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Taking Autumn: Our Lives

Refreshing folk-rock finds its bluesy niche in the hands of the Rustenberg five-piece.

26 Jun 2018 / Opinion, Review / written by Skye Mallac

Quietly navigating the Gauteng indie rock scene since 2012, Taking Autumn finds their feet in the over-saturated genre with a fresh, folk-driven tangent. Comprising of Tian Joubert (lead vox and guitar), BJ Koen (backing vox, lead and rhythm guitar), Ian Swart (bass), Tim Kirsten (drums) and RJ Coetzee (keys and synths), the band dropped their debut album, “Our Lives” in 2016.

Theirs is a careful blend of rock, pop and folk influence, caught up in the almost too familiar strains which belong to the rife South African indie scene. A band which would be more than comfortable opening for Shortstraw (RIP), their album is peppered in tempo changes and carefully sculpted lyricism.

‘I’m Not Irish’ is soaked in chiming guitar lines and a rollicking, energy-fuelled melody, while healthy bass lines make themselves known in ‘Up In The Air’ and ‘Quarter To 4’ – which unfolds with quirky abandon.

Earthy textures work themselves slyly into the mix too, as shakers and woody percussive effects work their way through. ‘Old Man Sonny’ tilts things in a marginally different direction as guttural vocals rub shoulders with the floaty pangs of the harmonica, and Spanish style acoustic guitar riffage.

Lyrically, it’s far more complex than one quite cottons onto until halfway through the album. “I walked along the summer sun / climbed the mountain to reach the blue / it’s cold up here and the view froze time / the highest tree reached its whitest dew,” Joubert softly enthuses.

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Listen to the album on Apple Music.