Fellahin Fall‘s unusual musical formulation amalgamates earth-quaking heaviness and ethereal sounds of astral mystery, somber yet beguiling intonations and soaring vocal extravagance, futuristic electronic accents and vast, panoramic soundscapes that wondrously shimmer and shine. Their melodies are entrancing (both chilling and soulful), their rhythms viscerally powerful, and the atmosphere of the music seems to transport the listener across time and space into altered realms.
Fellahin Fall‘s debut album, Tar a-Kan, was just released on May 15th. As the band explain: “It’s narrated by a man in the near future who is ravaged by the change in time, technology, and himself. Tar a-Kan struggles to come to terms with his ever-changing state and the crushing urbana that surrounds him.”
The music has been described as “gothic-industrial” and as “dark-wave industrial”, and those descriptions refer to the band’s significant use of synths and keyboards, creating gleaming cascades of sound as well as darting vibrancy, and to the weight and potency of the body-moving percussive undercurrents, as well as the resonance of the singing. But those shorthand descriptions don’t fully encompass the range of sensations the music presents, or the ways in which it kindles the imagination to produce unearthly visions.
The whole album, heard from beginning to end, is enthralling — it casts a lasting spell — but it’s a bone-shivering and spine-tingling experience too. And while different listeners may be carried into different waking dreams while listening to it, it seems to this listener to be only barely tethered to the here and now. That’s not to suggest that its futuristic, off-planet atmosphere is emotion-less or cold — quite to the contrary. The vocals alone (which are fantastic) hit you where you live, where you’ve yearned and grieved and spilled out your passions in ways both defiant and defeated. But a sense of being transported away from commonplace surroundings persists.
Given this strong impression, we were delighted that Fellahin Fall chose the song “Rover” for the lyric video we’re premiering today:
“Rover” is explicitly transportive — since the tale it tells takes place on Mars. As explained by the band’s Brooklyn-based founder, Nodar Khutortsov:
“Like most people, I sit at night distilling anthropomorphic qualities upon unmanned rovers on the Red Planet. Rover is a song about Curiosity’s journey on the dead world, and his need to break away from the Terran handlers who lord over him from a million miles away.”
The video beautifully captures this narrative, as does the music. The song will pound the back of your neck, but its darting keyboard tones and sweeping synth layers vividly spawn images of an isolated electronic entity in the midst of a vast and barren landscape. The song also provides a fine illustration of the emotional power of Nodar Khutortsov‘s voice, which principally carries the memorable melancholy melodies of the song.
Be aware that the album includes a second version of “Rover” to close the album. It’s called “Rover (Isolate)“, and it’s well worth hearing how they changed the first version, which appears in the video. You can do that through the complete album stream we’ve included below.
In addition to Khutortsov, Fellahin Fall includes the talents of guitarist Patrick Reilly (of Tengger Cavalry), rhythm guitarist Raphael Pinsker (of Fin’amor), drummer Eugene Bell, and bassist Mark Morrill.
As noted above, Tar a-Kan is out now and available on Bandcamp. It includes cover art by Lewis Hewison.
STREAM/BUY TAR A-KAN: