We Fell To Earth
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We Fell To Earth

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"NME "Wendy Rae and Richard File have something a little special""

Much like Mork & Mindy before them, Wendy Rae and Richard File have something a little special. Introduced by mutual firend Josh Homme and currently on tour with The Big Pink it'd be easy to dismiss this duo as hipster wankers. But their synth-laden pop has a subterranean quality to it that will leave you soaring, while Rae's sickly sweet and hauntingly harrowing vocal glides with the certain ease of the most lizardy and loungey lounge lizard ever - NME


"The Guardian "eerie and unforgettable""

A great year for pop and rock albums has seen less on o?er on the atmospheric side of things, so We Fell to Earth are ?lling a hole in the market. A duo of former UNKLE man Richard File and sometime QOTSA collaborator Wendy Rae, their debut pitches haunting vocals against quietly insistent guitars, electronic pulses and kettle drums. It's not staggeringly original – there are echoes of Loop/Spacemen 3's guitar ?re, Can's repetitive mantras, Ennio Morricone's spaghetti-western soundtracks and – unsurprisingly – UNKLE's War Stories, to which File contributed. But they are crafting their own identity with tunes strong enough to hold their own amid the dark sonic tapestries. Careful What You Wish For manages to make three piano notes sound eerie and unforgettable; the way Sunshadow suddenly shifts gear into a mesmeric chorus is one of the album's highlights. Embarking on so many adventures, it's understandable that they lose their way at times, but there is some marvellous stu? here. - The Guardian


"Clash Magazine "An exercise in mastery and control""

There's a scene in The Man Who Fell to Earth - the film that inspired Rich File and Wendy Rae Fowler's choice of moniker - in which the alien humanoid played by David Bowie and his partner have sex, Bowie secreting extraterrestrial goo as the pair follow their physical urges, emotional needs apparently out of the equation. Thankfully, Rich and Wendy's collaboration is a much closer, tidier, yet equally otherworldly affair, inspired by the starry desert sky and consummated with celestial harmonies.

WFTE's debut, conceived at Rancho de la Luna Studios in the High Desert of California, represents something of a meeting of minds, given its creators' markedly different musical pasts. Somewhere in between Richard's trip-hop work with UNKLE and Wendy's surf rock leanings in earthlings?, the duo discovered the simplicity of hushed vocals and brushed guitars, the sound of desolation heightened by the epic production lent to tracks such as ‘Burn Away’.

Rich and Wendy admit to a shared love of krautrock and this is most evident in the album's earlier tracks, looping bass lines driving ‘Spin This Town’ and ‘Sovereign’ along as stabs of eastern guitar and piano flash by overhead. But the foreboding sense of death and helplessness against the unforgiving desert are unmistakeably American: ‘Lights Out’ and album closer ‘Undone’ unfold like the soundtrack to some kind of cosmic western, tinged with the sense of vastness that formed the backdrop to many a classic gunslinger shootout. There will be comparisons to Portishead and Massive Attack, but in many senses this is music that shares more in common with Mark Lanegan's work with Soulsavers, battered with dust and laden with the loneliness of the outlaw.

An exercise in mastery and control, this is an album that threatens rather than attacks - which is maybe its frustration as much as its success. Drums roll like distant wagons that never seem to get closer, and the desire for the bigger beats of Rich's UNKLE work can sometimes gnaw away at the listener's patience. But WFTE's world doesn't promise to welcome us with open arms - we enter it at our peril and must deal with it on our host's terms, much as Bowie does (in rather tragic circumstances) on the big screen.

Happily, unlike the Thin White Duke's doomed mission on Earth, Rich and Wendy's partnership turns out to be a rather weird and wonderful marriage.

7/10
- Clash Magazine


"The Sun "Other worldy and hypnotic""

This duo, ex-UNKLE star Richard File and Queens Of The Stone Age collaborator Wendy Rae Fowler, met at legendary Rancho de la Luna Studios in Joshua Tree.
Their music retains the spirit of the Californian desert night - darker than dark, otherworldly and hypnotic.
On 'Careful What You Wish For', built around a spectral piano motif, Wendy Rae's beautiful yet pained vocals evoke a sense of windswept emptiness.
While on Undone the spirit of Ennio Morricone is evoked in a space-age take on a spaghetti western soundtrack.

Tehir electro leanings are most apparent on Sovereign - a soundscape which pulsates and bleeps with all the mystery and menace of a visiting spacecraft.
4/5 - The Sun newspaper


"Mercury Prize Recommends "Shadowy music that draws you in almost instantly""

Combining the sonic spectrum of bands like My Bloody Valentine and Spaceman 3 with the kind of heavy rhythms you'd expect from former U.N.K.L.E. member Richard File, We Fell To Earth make shadowy music that draws you in almost instantly. Somewhere in the darkness there is the very slightest suggestion of pop - a strange, contorted pop, but pop all the same - that derives from the breathy delivery of File's partner, Queens Of The Stone Age collaborator Wendy Rae. - Mercury Prize Recommends


"Q Track of the day "a paranoid mix of smoky atmospherics, drone rock and skittering electronics.""

The Joshua Tree national park in California has a special place in rock mythology – alt-county pioneer Gram Parsons’ corpse was famously left smouldering by the roadside there, U2’s mid-‘80s visit resulted in their first true claim to greatness and Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess relocated to its dusty plains to briefly reinvent the Northwich indie stalwarts as funked-up space rockers at the tail end of the ‘90s.

It’s also where We Fell To Earth first came together. Compromising Richard File – DJ Shadow’s replacement in UNKLE – and Wendy Rae Fowler – formerly of stoner rockers The Earthlings – the duo cook up a suitably paranoid mix of smoky atmospherics, drone rock and skittering electronics.

Equal parts Ennio Morricone and Portishead, Careful What You Wish For doesn’t stray too far from this formula – guitars shimmer, synths bleep and vocals remain resolutely ethereal. - Q


"The Sunday Times - Breaking act "brutal and beautiful""

Richard File and Wendy Rae Fowler met in the Californian desert during sessions for UNKLE’s War Stories album. When File subsequently left UNKLE, he reunited with Fowler, formerly the bassist in earthlings? (sic). The music WFTE make evokes the location of their first meeting, but its night chill, rather than the arid daytime heat. The three tracks on the duo's self-titled debut EP thrive on the tension between their respective backgrounds in dance and rock, coming together on a musical middle ground previously visited by Cocteau Twins, Depeche Mode, Doves, Massive Attack and PJ Harvey. The results are somehow brutal and beautiful, inclusive and alienating, at the same time. - The Sunday Times


"Dazed and Confused "Never less than intriguing""

Trip hop: wasn't it basically just an excuse to feel moody during one of the most cheerful, prosperous decades in modern history? This new project by ex-UNKLE producer Richard File does have hints of the 1990s, but a heavy Krautrock influence and Wendy Rae Fowler's ghostly vocals means it's never less than intriguing. - Dazed and Confused


Discography

Singles:
'Lights Out'
'The Double'
'Deaf'

These 3 singles have had extensive U.K. and U.S. radio play.

Album:
'We Fell To Earth'

Photos

Bio

Perhaps the reason We Fell To Earth make such widescreen, spacious and cosmic music is down to where they first met. Wendy Rae Fowler and Richard File were introduced by mutual acquaintance Josh Homme at Rancho de la Luna Studios out in the High Desert of California, a building that stands alone among the cacti and Joshua trees, a Mecca for stoner rock.

It’s at Rancho de la Luna where Josh Homme occasionally drags a who’s who of heavy guitar dudes to record his ‘Desert Sessions’ album series. It was within this milieu that Wendy Rae thrived, singing with Homme and with her former musical collaborator, Mark Lanegan. Richard knew Homme from previous collaborations under his other moniker - U.N.K.L.E. and it was during one of these sessions in 2005 that Richard met Wendy Rae and they hit it off immediately.

Wendy Rae comes from a very different background to Richard. Born in West Virginia, she spent her youth travelling the southern states with her father until he eventually settled in North Carolina. The only music she was exposed to was FM radio staples such as Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin but visits to her mother would engender an off-kilter approach to music that remains with her to this day. When Wendy Rae was 19 she found a job working in Los Angeles’ notorious Viper Room and was suddenly overwhelmed with live music that played there, from acoustic sets by Brit hippy Donovan to full on rock outs by heavy metal behemoths Masters Of Reality.

Richard, on the other hand, comes from a British dance music background. When DJ Shadow left U.N.K.L.E., the group helmed by Mo’ Wax Records head honcho James Lavelle, Richard stepped into the breach. Richard grew up in Sutton in Surrey, DJed on pirate radio and hooked up with Mo’ Wax through a short-lived production unit called Forme.

If there was a culture clash when Richard, with his dance music background, started working with rock lover Wendy, it was of the most positive kind. We Fell To Earth bonded over an area of music that suited both their tastes, Krautrock. “It’s really groove-based,” Wendy Rae says, “but it has elements of rock ‘n’ roll alongside elements of dance music. I like the marriage of the two. Krautrock’s been a big influence on me of late.” And also on the music of We Fell To Earth where echoing motorik grooves can be heard within their debut album but only as one of a multitude of flavours. The duo gently search for the ethereal while never forgetting that pop music is always about mustering a decent tune that sticks in the memory. The album, which contains grains of that desert night ambience, bleeds an otherworldly quality tinged with psychedelia, melancholy and songs that float into the stratosphere.

US TV programmes have been quick to realise their potential with songs from their debut ‘Lights Out EP’ being snapped up by giants of the small screen such ‘CSI New York’ and ‘Gossip Girl’. Their music has also just appeared in the worldwide trailer for the new version of ‘The Prisoner’, which launches this Autumn.

Far from just being a recording unit, though, We Fell To Earth have also put together a full band to perform live shows, atmospheric events that drag the audience off into their hazy, elegantly spaced out universe. They may now be based in London but We Fell To Earth inhabit a world that’s far from urban, somewhere sonically distant and dreamy. It’s a place it seems likely many more of us will be entering with them before the year is out.