Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Fruit Tree Foundation

With such a huge range of stagnant side projects and cumbersome collaborations going, it's often difficult to get excited about the vast majority of musical hook-ups. The Fruit Free Foundation, however, caught me eye immediately. Granted, this was partly due to my unconditional love of Scottish music and Frightened Rabbit in particular, but the thought of a who's-who of the nation's thirving indie scene tackling deep mental health themes was certainly one which grabbed my attention.

As well as the FR's Scott Hutchinson, the project also consists of Idlewild's Rod Jones, The Twilight Sad's James Graham, Jill O'Sullivan of Sparrow And The Workshop, as well as songer-songwriters Emma Pollock, Karine Polwart, Alasdair Roberts, Jenny Reeve and James Yorkston. They got together as part of last year's Scottish Mental Health Arts And Film Festival, and wrote what would become their debut LP in a country house over just five days. The record was made available at two shows later in the year, with all 500 copies selling-out instantaneously.

Thankfully, independent label Chemikal Underground is now making it available to the wider public, and early sounds suggset that it could well be worth the investment. As well as the cutesy accents and token misery that we associate with Scottish music, the collective also makes use of dense instrumentation and layered textures with surprisingly excellent results. It's impassioned, well meaning, and crucially no less than you would expect from such a talented bunch of songwriters.

The album, First Edition, is released on June 28th. Two of it's tracks, "I Forgot The Fall" and "Favourite Son" can be downloaded for free from the band's website.

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