Behind every Reb Fountain song is a stabbing intent, masked behind a smooth all-star band, and a smokey timbre.
New Zealand folk heavyweight Reb Fountain released one of the country’s best albums last year. With an alluring voice, provocative approach to lyrics, and a cruisy backing band, Fountain has etched a mystical mark on the folk scene.
Her latest offering builds upon this structure in an unadulterated fashion. On Beastie, Fountain digs deeper into the earth, turns off the lights, and gently pushes the listener to turn inward.
After some haunting synth chords set the scene, a minimal soundscape settles in the dust, consisting of steady bass, drums, and an occasional minor piano. It’s here that Fountain explores the inner workings of humanity; our redeeming qualities, but also our habitual downfalls.
“Dehumanising one another is a horribly human behaviour”, Fountain comments on the track. Continued occurrences of mass incarceration and systematic racism had the artist in anguish, left asking the question (and hook of the single): “is that us?”
She repeats the line four times, increasing its urgency, while an outback electric answers by noodling in the minor key, prodding the listener to ponder the question.
Beastie also comes with a music video where Fountain faces the nooks and crannies of dimly lit rooms, grooving along to the uncomfortable questions of morality.
While the single is a slick execution of atmospheric, pop-tinted folk, the lyrical substance reigns paramount. Should we be proud of our actions, sit in silence, or open our eyes and speak out against our evils?
“If you say nothing, nothing at all, nothing comes to light.”
Beastie is a single from Fountain’s upcoming album Iris, coming your way by way of esteemed New Zealand label Flying Nun Records.
Pre-order or pre-save your copy of Iris here.