The Falls : Hollywood
Beneath its cheap and shiny facade, Hollywood is as romantic as a scrap in the back pocket of a suburban footy game. For the better part of a century, Hollywood has constructed a false concept of romance: the rose-coloured meeting of souls, the scented air of mutual attraction, the perennial existence of togetherness. Match that to the bitumen-rendered reality of Hollywood itself: ego-fuelled brawls, pretentious indulgence, and dysfunctional emotional intelligence, and you’ve got yourself a stark contrast.
The Falls is a folk duo made up of Melinda Kirwin and Simon Rudston-Brown. According to the press release for the band’s debut mini-album, Hollywood, the duo met, they fell in love, they wrote songs; they fought, they broke up, they wrote songs – and that’s probably about as succinct an observation as you could make about Hollywood’s true behavioral traits.
Hollywood is a record that delves into the glittering image and painful reality of romance. With its string backdrop, Please drips with unhappiness, yet leaves you wondering if it could all work out, if only someone got their emotional shit together. Home finds Rudston-Brown torn between individual freedom and domestic stability, with the twain struggling to make ends meet. Girl That I Love is a tale of false expectations, and the fine line between celebration and disdain; like Fleetwood Mac bunkered down in Sausalito – without the lavish helpings of cocaine – sadness evolves into a song of popular beauty. Hey offers an alternative perspective; this isn’t personal, it’s about feelings.
Million begins an uphill battle to reclaim what was there, but will never be again; and on the concluding title track, Kirwin and Rudston-Brown’s call-and-response admits that fabled Hollywood beginning has descended into bleak realism. Romance, like life, isn’t always pretty. But it can lead to great songs.
BY PATRICK EMERY
Best Track: Hollywood
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: JONI MITCHELL, THE CARPENTERS, SONNY AND CHER
In A Word: Romance