Tarantella Fall formed in late 2009, the band’s line up includes Chris Kinsella on vocals and guitar, Neville Foster on drums, Graham Keogh on bass and Ronan O’Donovan on guitar and harmonica. The ‘Tarantella’ part of the name was first heard by the band in the Tom Waits song ‘Tango Till They’re Sore’ from the album Rain Dogs. It is also a type of music and dance originating from Italy. The supposedly curative or symptomatic ‘tarantella’ was danced solo by a supposed victim of a tarantula bite. The dance was agitated in character, lasted for hours or even up to days, and featured the same characteristic music. ‘Fall’ came from a poem called ‘Tarantella’ written by Hillaire Belloc in which the last line refers to a waterfall – “No sound, but the boom of the far waterfall like doom”.
Their debut album ‘Abandoned Road’ was launched at the end of March 2011. It contains a set of themed songs that could have been written for a speculative noir B-picture set in the American heartland. It tells the the fictional story from various parts of the life of John W and is the kind of record the Coen Brothers would’ve made had they picked up telecasters instead of 16mm cameras. At the core of their sound though is good old-fashioned storytelling through song.
“It is a collection of songs that undoubtedly comes from a dark place,” says songwriter and guitarist Ronan. “I always found the wrong side of the tracks to be more interesting from a songwriting point of view. Tim Burton and Tom Waits were two artists that would have a big influence on the imagery used in a lot of these songs. Our lead singer Chris spotted the link between the songs which in turn shaped the lyrics of the last few songs to be written, ‘Sharp Tone love’, ‘Last Chance’ and the bridge in ‘Junk’. That link gave us the name of the album and informed the imagery that would be used for all the photo shoots for the album. From there the central character John W was created and the people in his life began to fall out of all the songs. He has a tough life from beginning to end.”
“When Ronan came to me with these songs, firstly I had never been asked by anyone to sing a song which they had written,” adds Chris. “I read through the lyrics for the song ‘Abandoned Road’ a few times and one line in particular stood out: ‘Jessica my sweet they have taken you for all I’ve done’. I always loved the name Jessica for some weird reason. I thought, ‘What could this guy have done that was so bad that someone would take his daughter, kill her and dump her body on an abandoned road? Could this be the story of one man’? This common thread played out in my head like a film and I knew then I had a character to relate the songs to.”
The album, essentially a modern take on the concept album, was recorded in the last half of 2010, under the production stewardship of Dave “Skippy” Christophers in his Karma Korner studio in Dublin. Musically it veers from Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, Neil Young, hitting R.E.M. and Radiohead and lots more in between. There have been two singles released so far, ‘Junk’ and ‘Wasteland’.