Album Premiere: On ‘Talking,’ Fell Runner Weave a Kaleidoscopic Rock Tapestry

Fell Runner © Ellyn Jameson
A powerful exercise in organized chaos, Fell Runner’s second album ‘Talking’ is a kaleidoscopic musical journey radiating raw energy with dynamic strength and effortless cool.
:: stream/purchase Talking here ::
Stream: ‘Talking’ – Fell Runner

Organized chaos doesn’t quite exist or work out in most instances, but it makes complete sense in music – where jazz, rock, and experimental artists deliver inspired aural Jackson Pollocks with grace and finesse. What often may seem like scattered noise is in fact intentional sound, delivered so as to provoke us, shake us, and awaken something deep within. Such is the case with California indie rock band Fell Runner’s new record Talking, a powerful exercise in organized chaos. Fierce, poised, and effortlessly cool, Talking radiates raw energy and dynamic strength as the four-piece immerse us in their raw, kaleidoscopic musical journey.

Talking - Fell Runner

Talking – Fell Runner

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering Fell Runner’s sophomore album Talking, out June 21 via Yes PLZ Records. The Los Angeles-based experimental rock band of Steven van Betten (guitar/vocals), Gregory Uhlmann (guitar/vocals), Marcus Hogsta (bass/vocals), and Tim Carr (drums/vocals), Fell Runner debuted five years ago with a raw, garage-inspired indie rock sound that has kept bouncing off the walls ever since.

2015’s self-titled debut album displayed a loose, but controlled musical mentality. The songs create plenty of space for instrumental exploration, soloing and jams, integrating those at times scattered movements into a fluid record of artistic self-discovery.

Fell Runner © Ellyn Jameson

Fell Runner © Ellyn Jameson

If Fell Runner were searching for themselves on their debut, Talking finds the band confident and polished.

They’re as sure of themselves as they are sure of their ability to weave improvisation into structure. Three years’ worth of performing and growing together pays off through seamless, natural transitions and nuanced instrumental interplays: Everything sounds and feels like it’s meant to be, despite this everpresent lingering sense of chaos that looms like a funky cloud hovering high above.

Some of Talking‘s decidedly “sporadic” nature may be due to the circumstances in which it was made: Tracked live in drummer Tim Carr’s bedroom, the album especially highlights polyrhythms, with West African music and Ghanaian drum master Alfred Ledzekpo serving as significant influences to Fell Runner and their sound. Story-wise, Talking revolves “around themes of frustrated communication, failed language, and dealing with one’s own shortcomings” per the band – and while each track tends to exist within its own canon, the collection overall places a noticeable weight on our own emotions and behaviors.

While the record is best listened to from start to finish, key tracks include the poetic, sweetly melodic “Come Home,” the unhinged and chugging “Talking,” the cascading opener “Dog Inside A Car,” and the punchy harmony-full “Jeffrey.” Indeed, each song appears to offer its own unique window into Fell Runner’s ever-exciting world – a quality that keeps Talking fresh and fun throughout its run.

Talking is tight, passionate, and charmingly savage.

Unleashed garage rock meets an eccentric mind, and out bursts a dizzying array of unpredictability. Fell Runner have delivered a feverish, stylish experience in Talking, displaying musical maturity as they bend volatility into a cool, fun, and organized indie rock chaos.

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:: stream/purchase Talking here ::
Stream: ‘Talking’ – Fell Runner

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Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com