College Fall kick off new tour
College Fall are a polite band. Comprised of several young upstanding citizens conjuring sounds that puts one in mind of summer and long grass. There’s no swearing or anger, just solid musicianship. Singer and guitarist Glenn Musto is an absolute gentleman. Having to postpone our scheduled interview time by a few hours, he messaged my phone....smiley face and all. Listening to their music and conversing with Glenn later that day, I get the distinct impression that the vibe in College Fall camp is incredibly lax. Sharing songwriting and vocal duties with Jodie Bartlett, the bands only other ‘permanent’ member, Musto, spoke on her behalf in regards to the new album and tour to follow.
"We’re very excited about touring. It’s been a long time, the album feels like a long kept secret. We tour a lot so touring is kind of the last phase of the album recording process."
Having released something every year since forming, the band are quite prolific. The gap between albums, however, has been getting noticeably larger.
"When we formed, we wanted to get something out early and then subsequent releases coincided with our touring. Our song structure paid off with [new album] The Curse Of Us. Lyric wise, the sentence structure gained from extra time. The Curse Of Us is the first recording where College Fall expanded from a duo into a full band, previous albums having been a more simple affair. Usually it would be Jodie and myself, then we bring in other musicians where they were needed. The Curse Of Us was still written by Jodie and I, but it was recorded with a whole band. The sound has definitely filled out between recordings as well as the passion and delivery of the lyrics."
Though aware of this, Musto says he can’t take credit.
"It just started feeling right. There’s no real concept behind it, but it all just felt right at the time. Right to us. It’s a very true sound. I think you’ll always be caught out if you try too hard, so we just let it come. An admirable approach that is apparently not free of it’s complications. On [previous album] Eleven Letters, we wrote songs one for one. It was more or less even. This time it was a full collaboration on everything. The album focusses on the last two years of our lives, but told from a less personal place. Something more people can interpret. We don’t usually adhere to an approach but this sounded really consistent. It worked well for us."
The writing process itself, according to Musto, has become less a hands on experience and more a matter of letting things take their course.
"Each song defines when it is ready. We tried to be more organic but we still let the songs breath. The title track of the album is a good example. Originally it was acoustic and at half the tempo it is now. It had more harmony but the energy wasn’t right, it needed more. Sometimes it’s just happy accidents."
By Musto’s own definition, a happy accident is something unintentional that just seems to fit.
"Comparisons are made to Death Cab For Cuties infamous one-take of I will follow you into the dark. If there is room for these happy accidents, audiences will hear the difference. If you’re too full on or particular the anxiety comes through. Dashboard Confessional are a good example. I loved their last album but their most recent was too quick. It sounded rushed."
Hailing from the south of Western Australia, Musto admits the inspiration the early Perth and Bunbury gigs had on the band.
"With a full band, we have a revolving rhythm section. People come and go so we’re locked into a stringent frame. You can’t go changing something on someone halfway through. Playing as a duo in Perth and around the south west is something I do miss now and then. Jodie and I work on the same channel so playing little venues with just the two of us, it was more free and there was more spontaneity.
Currently based on the east coast, The Curse Of Us tour will be the first trip home as a band in some time.
I really can’t wait to get back over. We both really miss it. Everything is going a bit nuts as we speak, it’s all about to start happening. Chaos will ensue!"
College Fall kick of their W.A shows at the Rosemount Hotel North Perth on the 13th of August.
By Levi Dobbie