Fossil Collective’s debut album Tell Where I Lie is a great listen, but it’s not anything you haven’t heard before.

The duo Jonny Hooker and David Fendick have been toeing the line of commercial success with this band for years now, gaining internet buzz and collecting a slew of followers on essentially every social media network. They aren’t going to hit it big with Tell Where I Lie though.

The main issue is that they don’t have a unique enough sound to set them apart from other artists. Listening to “Let It Go,” the first track on the album, I thought I had accidentally opened up a Fleet Foxes album instead. It’s pleasant music. Honestly, if you love the genre, you’ll enjoy them, but there are absolutely zero tracks popping out of the 11-track album that scream “this is what this band is all about.” Just thought I’d warn you before you take a listen.

That being said, Fossil Collective is good at what they’re doing. “Wolves” is a clear frontrunner for most successful on the album. A comforting piano ballad weaves in and out of the flowing folk guitar, creating a soothing atmosphere. The lyrics are ambiguous and seemingly somber, just the way us folk junkies like it. Fendick even breaks out some invigorating electric guitar rifts toward the climax of the track, adding a little energy in the final minute. This is mood music to a tee. Go break up with your girlfriend or boyfriend and listen to this while driving home down that winding road in the rain. the music video for “Wolves” was very interesting, it contained no actual wolves. Bummer.

“When Frank Became an Orb” is a wonderful song as well (just on the basis of title alone). There’s a fluidity to this track that doesn’t exist anywhere else on the album. The rhythm is driving, but simple enough that you could drum along with it, while strings and ambient keyboard sounds come together seamlessly. It also has that spooky, Bon Iver-esque guy singing faintly in the background  thing going for it. You have to love that.

This album is great. No lie. Good for you, Fossil Collective. But it really could have been more original. A song titled “Wolves” and then one called “Brothers?” What a concept. The lyrics are full of imagery of trees and stories about girls who “belong to” them (in a totally non-misogynistic way, of course. These men are sensitive and have beards.) Or at least that’s what I can pick out. For some reason, artists of this genre still don’t want you to hear the words they’re saying.

Listen to this on a rainy day when you’re feeling glum, but don’t suggest it to your friends.



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