Artist playlist: Fell Runner and a ‘jarring mismatch of influences’
Kevin Bronson on
There are guitar bands. And then there is Fell Runner, the Los Angeles quartet whose latticework of riffs, rhythms and rhymes often seems the musical equivalent of the chalkboards in John Forbes Nash Jr.’s classroom.
It’s not all math with the foursome of guitarists Steven van Betten and Gregory Uhlmann, bassist Marcus Högsta and drummer Tim Carr, who released their debut album in 2015 and followed up in June with their sophomore album “Talking.” Though informed by their studies in jazz and West African music at Cal Arts (it’s hard to imagine they didn’t ace their courses), their music is underpinned by fiercely emotional reactions to our imperfections as humans — not the least important of which, established by the new album’s title, is communicating. Live, Fell Runner is a uniquely visceral experience.
There are parallels between Fell Runner and first-wave emo, post-punk, math-rock and various strains of jazz, but listening to the quartet poke and prod throughout “Talking” begs a question: What music moves the dial for these guys?
In advance of their Monday night residency at the Echo and Echoplex this month, the quartet compiled a Spotify playlist for Spaceland Presents. It’s a wild ride.
Says the band: “The four of us made the playlist quickly at Señor Fish in Eagle Rock. In a stream of consciousness, between bites, any song suggested found a place on the list. The result is a jarring mismatch of influences, but we like it.”
||| Also: Stream “Talking” in its entirety
||| Live: Fell Runner play free shows every Monday this month, tonight (at the Echoplex), Sept. 16 (Echo), Sept. 23 (Echoplex) and Sept. 30 (Echo).
||| Previously: “Come Home,” “Dream Catching”
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