Members of Fashion, Johanna’s House of Glamour and Throwing Muses team up as The Pull of Autumn
The Pull of Autumn has announced the forthcoming release of their debut self-titled album via Boston-based RBM Records. Ahead of this release, which includes 10 tracks, they are previewing ‘Laurasong’, the lead track from this album.
The Pull of Autumn, a ‘super group’ of sorts, is comprised of members of pioneering 1970-80s British new wave band Fashion, Rhode Island’s Johanna’s House of Glamour, and Fred Abong, founding member of Belly with Tanya Donelly and early member of Throwing Muses with Kristin Hersh and Donelly.
The album’s cover artwork was created by James Johnston (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, PJ Harvey, Gallon Drunk). This original striking artwork is called ‘Figure on a Frozen Path’.
The bulk core of the songs on this initial offering involved a collaboration between Daniel Darrow from Johanna’s House of Glamour and Luke ‘Skycraper’ James, frontman of I.R.S. recording artist Fashion.
It all began when Luke James, long-time hero of Darrow’s and his late wife Laura, reacted to the electronic-based music Darrow and his son Matthew were releasing under the name Spectral Assignment. A string of correspondence ensued, followed by file swapping between Skyscraper, who lives in San Francisco, and Darrow, who lives in Massachusetts. Skyscraper would send basic ideas with Darrow creating more elaborate soundscapes to ornament this sound. The Pull of Autumn was thus born.
Luke Skyscraper had a near brush with fame when I.R.S. founder Miles Copeland (also brother to The Police drummer Stuart Copeland) signed Fashion to his label for their 1979 debut album ‘Product Perfect’. Between 1978 and 1980, they played shows with the likes of UB40, Hazel O’Connor, Billy Idol and Toyah Willcox. They also did a UK tour with U2, opened for The B-52’s on their first British tour, and enjoyed stadium tours of the UK and USA opening for The Police. Back then, the recently formed Duran Duran opened their shows. In June 1980, Luke Skyscraper left Fashion after the band’s final London gig with U2.
Johanna’s House of Glamour was active from 1989 through 1997, primarily comprised of Dan Darrow, Laura Darrow, and Bruce MacLeod. They signed to Rough Trade Records for their debut 1990 album ‘Farewell Street’, and later, to Cargo Records for ‘Style Monsters’ (1993), for which they were joined by Fred Abong and John Orsi. A third album, ‘The Dark Flower’, was later released on RBM Records, followed by several singles and compilation projects.
The Pull of Autumn quickly became a bigger project when Darrow felt that the music would benefit from other contributions. Fred Abong contributed ‘Vanishing Spell’, Jeanne Batting (of Spindle Shanks) appears on vocals for two Darrow/Skyscraper tracks (‘Breath’ and ‘Shimmer Lizard’), and former band mate Bruce MacLeod contributes the lovely ‘Laurasong’, which he wrote about Daniel’s wife, the late Laura Darrow. Bruce MacLeod also appears on ‘Trance Fear’ with Daniel (keyboards), Matthew Darrow (drums) and Bruce (additional drums).
The final track ‘Elusive Love’ features vocals by the late Laura Darrow on vocals, Daniel Darrow on acoustic guitar and Bruce MacLeod on keyboards. This song emerged from a recently found never-before-published demo by Johanna’s House of Glamour.
“This music means so much to me as I’ve gotten the chance to play music with an artist I really loved and had the opportunity to shape the music into a forward thinking contemporary sound. MacLeod and Fred Abong are both musicians I hold in high regard and their contributions are great,” says Daniel Darrow.
“I think of this music as post-rock informed by electronic and experimental music, but also taking elements of a simpler sound as an acoustic guitar. Bowie’s Berlin trilogy was also an inspiration. The chance to meld together different elements of music such as electronic, acoustic, avant-garde and pop is at the core of what we want to achieve with The Pull of Autumn”.
As of August 24, ‘The Pull of Autumn’ will be available via the main online stores and streaming platforms, but can already be ordered digitally via Bandcamp.
2. Heaven Now
4. They Came Down
5. A Small Affair of the Heart
6. Shimmer Lizard
7. Vanishing Spell
9. Trance Fear
10. Elusive Love
Daniel Darrow photos & collages by Matthew Darrow. Luke Skyscraper James photos by Karen Cornils
Cover artwork by James Johnston (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, PJ Harvey)