Turtle and Fox Woo with New EP
While Turtle & Fox may seem like ‘just another folk band named after cute, non-threatening animals,’ their debut offering ‘The Plight of the Stern Tern’ proves without question that these dudes are anything but. Hailing from the snuggly ‘burbs of Melbourne, siblings Dan and Shireen Rawlins artfully combine the reggae-infused lyrical sensibility of The Beautiful Girls with a fabric of natural sounds, creating in the process a warm and enveloping offering of soulful acoustic gems, fast-paced foot-stompers, low-fi soul-burners and everything in between.
The EP kicks off with the first of three short ukulele interludes which, while seeming at first to be a tad unnecessary, allow the album to jump from one musical style to another without seeming fickle. Combining a multitude of weird-ass instruments from all over the globe (djembe, harmonica, didgeridoo, steel drums and banjo to name but a few), Turtle & Fox effortlessly glide between genres as they explore the planes of love, loss, happiness and exploration. The low-fi crackling of ‘Solitary Drink’ pays homage to the dark days, while ‘Go There’ encourages the listener to get off their toosh and explore the world around them. While these aren’t exactly the most original song topics of all time, Turtle & Fox deliver the message without making clichés of themselves – which, if their musical contemporaries are anything to go by, must be incredibly hard to do.
The versatile use of vocal and instrumental harmonizing is one of the strongest points of the EP, steering very clear of “meandering, folky whinge” territory with artful ease. The album itself is well produced and packaged in artwork created at the hands of the duo themselves (bless), however the super-critical listener could argue that some songs, despite saying what they need to say, slightly outstay their welcome in terms of length. Overall, the least satisfying element of the EP is the overwhelming feeling of THIS-WOULD-BE-SO-MUCH-FUCKING-BETTER-LIVE that begins to penetrate by the second or third song; a credit to their style, to say the least. With the first single ‘Stern Tern’ already online, and an official EP launch in the pipes, it’s safe to day these guys (accompanied by Pete Rawlins, Jack Haycock and James Bell) will be out and about very soon.
Turtle & Fox create incredibly dynamic music within a beautiful collection, and is well worth a listen from any admirers of flavorsome local tunes.