Falls – Into the Fire – Australian folk duo album of the year candidate

There’s a place in my soul that waits for a band like Falls to drop every year. They are, for me, what Penny and Sparrow was last year and what the Civil Wars were a few years ago. They are exceptionally talented musicians that have found a way to cultivate our souls as we listen. Using instrumentation reminiscent of the Fleet Foxes and vocal blending more like Joy and John Paul, this is a must-own album. Seriously, stop reading and buy it. Then come back and read the rest.

The opener “Please” is endearing, sweet, and wonderfully written. It does a great job of introducing listeners to the sound of the rest of the album. It’s the track that really points to that Fleet Foxes sound I mentioned in the intro. It’s a great little song that is all sorts of comfortable.

The second track is “Girl that I love” and if you didn’t know better, you’d swear it came right out of the 1960s. It sounds like a Beatles and Peter, Paul, and Mary mashup (okay, so maybe not… but some sort of Beatles meet American folk blend). “Here we go like a roller coaster…” The song overall seems to be about the adventure about a really intoxicating relationship. It’s true rock and roll music, though, with percussion and guitars driving a powerful melody. I seriously think this could have been a chart topper in about 1966.

“Home” has a nice acoustic intro do it, but as with the rest of the album the harmonies between Melinda Kirwin and Simon Rudston-Brown. Their songwriting is great and the guitars make me happy, but the vocal harmonies are just perfect. This is by far the most well-known track on the album (hand claps and all!), but really the whole album is great. “Hollywood,” which follows the more famous “Home” is (for my money) the better track. It’s a simple folksy two-stepper with some killer chorus harmonies and a male-female melody swap on the verses. It’s classic.

“Hey” sounds heavily influenced by The Lumineers. It’s a song entirely about miscommunication. It’s about being twitterpated and having a difficult time communicating with a beautiful woman. It seems to lack some of the lyrical complications that the first few songs have, but it captures a moment that many guys can relate to… and I can imagine people love yelling along with this at festivals. I can almost feel the mud caked on my face now.

The title track “Into the Fire” brings the album home. Melinda’s vocals are a little like a female Dylan at the beginning. It’s good to hear her solo. It’s a good sound for the duo. Her contemplative lyrics, “what is done can’t be undone” get listeners thinking about personal relationships a bit more deeply than the typical clap-along song. When Simon joins in on the track with a nice low alto harmony, things really come together. It’s a great way to end a stellar album.

We don’t always feature these big time acts. The Falls is “new” here in the states, but is an international story. Many of you readers probably already heard them on tour with Of Monsters or Passenger… but for those who don’t know about them, they’re just too good to pass up. I alluded earlier, but they’ll probably be on my album of the year list. It’s just that good. It’s a no-skip awesome album start to finish. I can confidently say that folks who typically enjoy what we post here at EarToTheGround will love this album.

Check out the album and give us a few comments here. We’d love to know if you agree!

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