10 Jul 2020
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Reb Fountain - Single Review: When Gods Lie

12 Mar 2020 // A review by Tom Ashman

Reb Fountain’s urgent vocals and the deep harmony of the piano weave together like silver threads; her rhythmic lyrical changes play out like an intricate dance over the subtle backing. When Gods Lie is Reb Fountain’s latest release and first single from her upcoming self-titled album. The single is set to be available on Friday the 13th of March to coincide with her appearance at WOMAD festival.

When Gods Lie is a tender and heartfelt articulation of the feeling of being let down by something or someone. Having to square with oneself an intimate kind of betrayal or shift in perspective. Something turning out not to be the way we initially felt it or indeed wanted it to be.

This is a universal feeling brilliantly captured in the music and lyrics of When Gods Lie. The title itself is a perfect expression of the bitter taint of corrupted divinity. It brings to mind the self-reflection that there are parts within us all that are ugly and badly motivated, despite our clawing protestations that we are virtuous. There is a certain freedom that comes when recognising and coming to rest in the grey areas and doing away with the mythology that cloaks the truth.

Reb herself says about the song:

"…Perhaps most importantly one can deceive oneself and it is this awareness that the stories we tell ourselves shape our experiences – that empowers us. Once we have witnessed and felt ‘when gods lie’ …and chosen to see our part in the great fall - we are set free."

It is wonderful to hear a song with such a coherent communication of a feeling. It is really this connection with the listener that music and artistry is all about. An articulation of something that rings true, When Gods Lie uses all its faculties to convey this message. The music is beautifully composed and works in perfect tandem with the thought proving lyrics to provide a deep and personally impacting song.

The instrumentation is fantastically understated, really giving room for the vocals to lift off and drive the piece from one section to the next. There are several melodic passages throughout that are sublimely beautiful. Including a short but sweet lead synth/organ solo. The layers of instruments in the track are almost visual in that the listener can hear everything in its place and the weight of each part is fully delivered.

The backing vocals have a big role in threading together the punchy singing in the choruses and the interplay between Finn Andrews’ and Reb’s voices keeps the sound fresh throughout.

If this single is anything to go by the upcoming album looks set to be an absolute must-have. Keep an eye out for its release on the 1st of May and for Reb’s tour dates over the winter. For fans of melodic music that packs an emotional punch Reb Fountain’s When Gods Lie is truly unbeatable. A brilliant slice of powerful singer-songwriter magic at its finest.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About Reb Fountain

Reb Fountain may be New Zealand’s best-kept secret. Identified as a “the best voice to come out of Christchurch in ten years” in the finals of Battle of the Bands way back in 1990 she disappeared off the Kiwi music map. Since then Reb occasionally appears at her old haunts, mesmerizes anyone who’s there with an increasingly polished repertoire of breathtaking vocals, soulful lyrics and melodic tunes, before vanishing into thin air again. So what ever happened to Reb Fountain?

Perhaps it’s more like what didn’t happen: She got her first guitar at six and by the age of thirteen she had mapped her poetry onto melody, writing lyrics to the sound of her acoustic guitar. She’s been singer/songwriter for three bands Immaculate Sun, Like Water and Beckoning South with talented musicians like Pete Woods (Salmonella Dub/DJ Rockwood), Tony Harlem (Future Stupid), Mark Tyler (Salmonella Dub) and Pete Hobbs (Lesley Speaker/Kitset); trained as a jazz vocalist at a college in Seattle performing with great musicians which drummed out any insecurities about playing live; lived and recorded in major musical cities like New York, Vancouver and London all the time living and breathing music.

Yet you could be forgiven for not knowing who Reb Fountain is. If you’ve been at one of her gigs you certainly wouldn’t have forgotten her. Or maybe, by chance, you would’ve heard one her low-fi 4 track recordings with Like Water on Indie Hit Disc (#5 and 8), doing the rounds on RDU and Radio One. There’s no doubt, with her immense talent and productivity as a singer/songwriter, that she should’ve made several records in the last decade, but that hasn’t been her path until now. She’s been a lover, a fighter, a mother, and a writer; got a degree, two gorgeous kids, plenty of knowledge with wisdom to boot, strong political leanings and a great big heart wide-open to the world around her. Fortunately for us it pulses deeper and stronger everyday with desire to have the freedom to write and play, perform and learn, travel and share music with others.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Reb Fountain

Releases

Reb Fountain
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Hopeful & Hopeless
Year: 2017
Type: EP
Little Arrows
Year: 2017
Type: Album
Holster
Year: 2008
Type: Album

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