TENDER NEW SIGNS (Mexican Summer)
The second album by San Fran shoegaze duo Tamaryn is a scorcher. Gliding gracefully into view on a slow-breaking wave of fuzzy, washed-out soul, Tender New Signs gets better the further it progresses and the louder you listen to it. Everything is meticulously executed, layers of guitars, breathy vocals and swaying cymbal rides perfectly re-capturing the feel of the early 90s swamp where shoegaze and grunge melted into the floor. There’s a pervading air of bliss – like Spiritualized in their less bombastic moments – but it’s the tracks with a more adventurous melodic structure (well, adventurous for shoegaze) that really elevate Tamaryn above the fray. Standout track Transcendent Blue is an understated masterpiece – what New Order would sound like if they swapped Bernard Sumner for Stevie Nicks and a big bag of valium. But it’s the lolloping, menacing final track Violet’s In A Pool that steals the show: a genuinely spooky piece of music that feels like it’s about to fall to pieces right in front of you. Crafting original and rewarding music from the much-plundered toolbox of shoegaze is a big ask, but Tamaryn deliver in spades.
– – – – – – – – –
Words: Adam Corner