Album, Single and EP Reviews


  Tender New Signs by Tamaryn

Tender New Signs cover art

Artist: Tamaryn
Title: Tender New Signs
Catalogue Number: Mexican Summer MEX125
Review Format: LP
Release Year: 2012

There are times when I think the album format has had its day. After all, people tend to go the tapas route with their music these days in preference to sitting down to a proper meal. Oh, and no one actually has time in their busy schedule of tweeting to actually sit down and listen properly to a whole album.

Tamaryn, you see, are something of an enigma and their full effect can only be felt over the length of an album. Bands that use heavy on the reverb and distortion guitars allied with dreamy female vocals are hardly unusual these days and yet Tamaryn seem to be different, being more on a parallel path than following the increasingly well trodden route of the sonically similar.

There is, in truth, one obvious single – to use a rather quaint and outdated term – and that is “The Garden”. That song draws deep from the sweet smelling smoke of late period psychedelia evoking all sorts of strange thoughts of lost dreams and forgotten times.  In the context of the album however, it is something of an anomaly as the other songs seem designed to wash over you rather than make any particular point or even to make an individual mark on your consciousness and the vinyl format accentuates that. You have to stop and turn the thing over and that very interruption seems part of the whole experience.

What I’m saying is that this album has, by some magic of the creative process, turned out to be more than the sum of its parts. I might well be wrong – and I usually am – but I can see “Tender New Signs” maturing with time and ripening into a musical symbol of a truly disaffected period in our collective history. The collectors of this world will then do the holy thing and resurrect it from undeserved obscurity.

The pressing quality was fine and the vinyl came with a CD version. In terms of sound quality, the CD was actually better but it didn’t work so well at 33rpm…

Review Date: October 30, 2012