Fossil Collective: On and On – interview & ep review

Fossil Collective: On and On EP (Dirty Hit)
DL
22nd Oct 2012

Fossil Collective are indie folk duo Dave Fendick and Jonny Hooker from Leeds who have been creating gloriously melodious and harmony laden music since their band Vib Gyor split in 2009. Their work is coming to fruition now with the release of 2 EPs and a tour on the horizon in October. If you like The Fleet Foxes, give your ears a trip out into Fossil Collective’s chilled out world of intelligent music and heartfelt vocals.

Back in June, Fossil Collective released their 5 track debut EP. Its title track, ”˜Let It Go’ is a beautiful song with something foot tappingly and head swayingly compulsive about it. In fact, I challenge you to listen to it and remain completely still and silent. I can’t manage it. If you watch the lovely stop/start animated video below, prepare to succumb to random outbursts of harmonising and knee drumming. You have been warned. I’ll take the high notes and you take the low”¦

If you jump onto Fossil Collective’s website and sign up to their mailing list you can download a free 4 track EP of some of their demos. Amongst these songs is ”˜Outliers’ which is as upbeat and addictive as Let It Go. It’s a wonderland of a song with a really nice tone to the vocals, a clever pattering of piano and the guitars, oh the guitars are just sublime. You can check it out here & this one of the tracks on it.

Keeping up the momentum, Fossil Collective are set to release their 2nd EP called ”˜On and On’ on October 22nd, you can pre order it on iTunes now though. The title track does what Fossil Collective do so well, they draw you in with their clever knack of merging harmony and melody. This song sees them offering yet more proof of the amount of thought given to each song. The instrumental spectrum employed and cohesion achieved says to me that this band is a labour of love with a clear understanding of their art. You can watch the video below, again, another interesting animation, if not a little tragic!

Next is ”˜Rivers Edge’ which starts off with a gentle folky acoustic vibe that builds into the perfect catchy and chilled out prescription to smooth out your inner ruffles. Again their musical prowess is fully realised as the extent of instrumentation really kicks in towards the end of the track.

The third song is the sweet, stripped back ”˜Silent Alarm’ a pensive ode and plea to the environment, I love the lyrics: ”˜I was the lake that reflected the stars, you were the silent alarm, going off.’ The last track is a short Simon and Garfunkel sounding song called ”˜The Fog’ which was inspired by Damon Albarn stating that he’d based the lyrics to ”˜This is a Low’ on the shipping forecast. All in all this EP is a gentle stroll through a daydream, or it is if you’re me anyway.

Basically, my thoughts on Fossil Collective are that it may well be impossible to stress out while listening to them. They’ve got such a lovely vibe that just carries you away in a thoughtful and sedate little bubble where head swaying and singing along are tools to heal the mind. This can only be a good thing, right?

I asked Dave Fendick a few questions to help us gain a bit more insight into their world…

Louder Than War: There are officially 2 of you in the band who play a variety of instruments and you also have a talented band who tour with you. What is your ethos as regards other musicians joining the band? Ӭ

The band started out as a project between Jonny & myself – it was just a way of us putting down some ideas and songs that we were really into – but it kind of has escalated into what it is now ”¦ which is amazing. It started out by word of mouth and people talking about us on blog sites, YouTube etc. – which led to a few labels getting in touch and us eventually choosing to work with Dirty Hit  – a fledgling label who are very passionate about us, and are having great success with Benjamin Francis Leftwich. The band has opened up now where we take our friends out on tour with us – it really is a collective of likeminded musicians.

Louder Than War: Where do you draw your influences from? Who would you be happy to be compared to?

We have been friends now for nearly 10 years, and in that time we have expanded each other’s musical tastes – There are lots of bands we like from the 70’s 80’s – Neil Young, Simon & Garfunkel, John Martyn, and we are also inspired by modern artists such as Bon Iver, Villagers, Fleet Foxes etc. -But then we love Ravi Shankar, Blur, Sigur Ros, M83, Radiohead, Daft Punk, Grizzly Bear etc. ”¦the list goes on and on ”¦. It’s quite an eclectic mix I guess.

Louder Than War: What’s your writing process? It all seems very heartfelt and reflective, would you say that’s true?

Yeah – we try and be as honest & as heartfelt as possible – it’s a very long process for us writing a song – each song probably has about 10 versions before we reach the end goal – lyrics are scrutinised, choruses changed etc – we aim to never write any filler – each song has to feel really special and personal to us.

Louder Than War: Can we expect an album soon? Anything you can tell us about it?

We actually sat down and worked out that in just over 12 months we will have released over 20 songs – Our 1st 5 track EP (Let It Go) Our New EP (On & On – out Oct 22) 4 free songs on our website – and then our album which has a release date of February. We’ve some very beautiful songs kept back for the album – I hope people will feel it’s something quite special.

Louder Than War: This year is one where Fossil Collective are really starting to make waves and gather fans, how are you both feeling about it all?

We’re really happy that all of our hard work is starting to pay off, but more importantly, we are really humbled and appreciative of the people who have taken us to their hearts and have helped spread the word one person at a time.

You can catch Fossil Collective on their UK tour this October. I’ll be there, foot tapping and head swaying skills at the ready. I will also be trying hard to not to sing along in the harmony bits, for everyone’s sake. Here are the dates:

October 2012
”¨12 ”“ Doncaster Leopard ”¨
13 ”“ Manchester Deaf Institute ”¨
14 ”“ Newcastle Cluny ”¨
15 ”“ Glasgow King Tuts ”¨
16 ”“ Liverpool Shipping Forecast ”¨
17 ”“ Bristol LouisianaÂÂ
”¨18 ”“ Birmingham Hare & Hounds ”¨
19 ”“ Nottingham Bodega
”¨20 ”“ Oxford Gathering ”¨
21 ”“ Cardiff SWN ”¨
22 ”“ Norwich Waterfront ”¨
23 ”“ Cambridge Portland ArmsÂÂ
”¨24 ”“ Brighton The Hope ”¨
25 ”“ Exeter Phoenix Arts Centre ”¨
26 ”“ London Old Queen’s HeadÂÂ
”¨27 ”“ Leicester Academy 2 ”¨
28 ”“ Leeds Brudenell Social Club ”¨
29 ”“ Sheffield SoyoÂÂ
30 ”“ Manchester Apollo (with Civil Wars)

November 2012
2 ”“ Glasgow ABC (with Civil Wars)
6 ”“ London Roundhouse (with Civil Wars)

Links:

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All words by Sonj. You can find more by Sonj on Louder Than War in her author’s archive.

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