Eastbound from the album Runaways
Along The Run from the album Second Storey
Give Me Tonight from the album Wires
Moving on from their delicately controlled sophomore album Second Storey, Melbourne quartet Art of Fighting return with their beautifully intuitive third, Runaways.
Described by the band’s front man, Ollie Browne, as “open and relaxed”, the songs captured on Runawaysare a mix of introspective[‘Sycamore & Sand’], playful, romantic, [‘Less than an Instant’] insightful [‘Distance as Virtue’] and brutally honest [‘Mysteries’].
“Second Storey was a very considered album,” Ollie recently told music website and magazine ‘Mess & Noise’. “We spent a lot of time arranging the parts and adding lots of textural overdubs and little extras.” “As a response we wanted this one to be far more impulsive, almost as if the songs were controlling us and not the other way ‘round.”
Formed in 1997 by three high school friends, including Browne and bassist Peggy Frew, Art of Fighting in its first incarnation quickly released their debut EP ‘The Very Strange Year’ , followed by the ‘Empty Nights’ EP , both on the Half a Cow label. During this time, the band’s line up continued to evolve, with the inclusion of Ollie’s brother Miles Browne on guitar and keys, and drummer/multi-instrumentalist Marty Brown completing the line up in 2000.
Already beloved by many, the band recorded and released their debut album ‘Wires’ on the Trifekta label in early 2001. Highly anticipated, the album went on to exceed all expectations of the band’s hopeful fans, garnering considerable critical recognitionin the process. Late 2001, an absent Art of Fighting made their musical presence felt at the Australian Record Industry Awards ceremony by taking out the ARIA for Best Alternative Release.
‘Wires’ saw Art of Fighting connecting with international audiences also, the band securing releases in the US, Japan, Germany and Taiwan.
At this time Art of Fighting embarked on their first tour of the UK and Europe, bringing them to the attention of former Cocteau Twin and Bella Union label boss, Simon Raymonde, who would later go on to release the band’s second LP in the UK and Europe.
A prolonged break followed, the band emerging once again in 2004 with the glorious, aptly titled ‘Second Storey’. Carefully crafted and obsessively detailed, the album reveals a more mature outlook – a slight hardening of the youthful honesty that was characteristic of the first album. The depth of the band’s experience delighted many; tracks such as ‘Busted, Broken, Forgotten’, ‘Sing Song’ and ‘Along the Run’ peeling away intricate protective layers and revealing the darker depths that lay below.
With the remainder of 2004 and 2005 given away to promoting ‘Second Storey’ internationally while maintaining their love affair with Australian fans, Art of Fighting commenced 2006 with their first trip to Taiwan and a series of performances where they previewed the very beginnings of Runaways.
Unlike previous Art of Fighting recordings, which were carefully prepared before entering the studio and putting songs to tape, Runawayscontinually evolved throughout the recording process.
With the band happily living ordinary lives in their home town, the genesis of Art of Fighting’s third album involved a long and collaborative process which saw the four band mates relax as they took the time to let their new songs unfold. With the help of engineer Steven Schram [Ground Components] at the Guruland and Martin Street studios [both in Melbourne], Art of Fighting set about capturing their live sound on record. Long time collaborator Tim Whitten joined the band for mixing in the closing stages of 2006. “When we play live the sound is very stripped back, very spacious,” says Ollie. “We wanted to capture that as much as possible.”
“We wanted this album to be very direct, warm and honest: the sound of us in a room.”
Thanks to www.messandnoise.com
Ollie Browne (guitar/vocals)
Albums / Lp’s
The Very Strange Year (1988)