You know those moments where you’re at a party and a de facto couple reveal that they’ve had an argument and why? This is what COLLEGE FALL might be likened to onstage. Their last album Eleven Letters shared the story of a squabbling couple (meaning band members/partners Glenn Musto and Jodie Bartlett). Evidently Glenn explains that, “the type of band that we are, where we’re so honest about what we’re doing and the emotions behind our songs, we’ve found that when we play live that’s when people really connect to us.”
Fret not though, o potential listener, because as College Fall openly express their experiences they ensure not to take themselves too seriously and they are far from self-indulgent. Their soon to be released effort, The Curse of Us, looks behind the green curtain to analyse people’s addictions, lying, cheating, disconnecting and blaming others. As Glenn tells it, “in the past our songs have been more about the emotional moment but not really analysing them. I think Jodie and I, while writing more recently, have been asking ourselves as to why people do the things they do.”
The raw honesty avoids ambiguous metaphors about catching mice and putting them in pots or whatever bands like Radiohead like to make us think/wank about. This approach has been particularly well received in Japan where College Fall’s “music went down well because it’s a very cute culture. And I think with Jodie’s voice and her take on the world and the things she sings about… she gained a lot of fans over there pretty quickly because they react to that kind of honest emotional content that’s in our songs.”
It is always admirable when a band builds their reputation through live performances, rather than just via singles released on the blogosphere. Glenn continues, “for us playing live now, we’ve come out of our shells a lot. We tell a lot of stories and have a lot of fun in being ourselves, and the audience can see that.” Glenn goes on to clarify that when performing for the Danish Royal Family, however, it was not one of their usual heart-on-sleeve fares, adding that “it was very strange because we were performing by commission. We had to be a bit on our toes. We couldn’t swear on stage or share the dark stories we’ve sometimes shared before.”
Ignoring the few criticisms College Fall have apparently received regarding their openness, Glenn states, “we’ve just always felt that it’s much more important to follow our own path and write the songs we want to write, tell the stories we want to tell. If that doesn’t lead to the kind of success we might’ve had from moulding songs in a different way then so be it.”
College Fall are about to embark on their first show in Canberra at the Front Gallery. After I describe the intimate venue, Glenn muses, “we love telling stories and the subtle intricacies come out a little more in that environment.”
College Fall perform at the Front Gallery on Thursday July 22. Entry is $5 on the door.