Tuesday, 30 October 2012
You won't find the name Tamaryn a lot over here, but it is used as a girl's name in Australia and New Zealand. Tamaryn also is the somewhat mysterious name of the singer of the album Tender New Signs. She's from the faraway country New Zealand, but is living in San Francisco nowadays. There's she's collaborating with producer Rex John Shelverton. A first album The Waves was released a while ago, with positive response. The music can best be described as dreamy shoegaze pop, like for example the Scottish band Cockteau Twins did in the past.
Tamaryn - Tender New Signs (Ronald Says 6 out of 10)
The new album continues down the same road as that first record. The sad songs, nine in total, are mostly slow and will get you into a lazy feeling. Tamaryn's thin voice is giving the songs a cold feel which results in an oppressive atmosphere. This is reminding a bit of The XX, but without the estranged character. The music doesn't dig deep enough for that and the songs stay within the accepted boundaries. The usual shoegaze wall of reverb and effects is less thick and remains tasteful.
But that low pace is also a weak spot in this case. The pitfall for this dreamy music is monotony. 'Heavenly Bodies' and 'The Garden' sound flat and are playing along unnoticed. The dream shouldn't get to wild but you have to keep on dozing instead. So don't expect any violent eruptions or outbursts. Tamaryn's style of singing, that doesn't have a lot of variation, doesn't help either. She will keep rocking you asleep. Maybe that was exactly her intention, but it just won't get really exciting because of it. Until the end, where the strong and best song on the record 'Violet's In Pool' closes the album. Here's she's showing that she's able to surprise after all.
Tender New Signs didn't turn into a bad record, but it just can't keep you focused. It is easy to listen to and fans of dreamy shoegaze won't be disappointed. But it could use more intensity and dynamics. Now it has led to an average end result. It does enable you to doze off gently though.
This review has been published on ROAR E-Zine in Dutch over here.
Listen to 'Tender New Signs' on Spotify.
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