Release Date: Oct 16, 2012
Record label: Mexican Summer
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Tamaryn carry on where they left off on sophomore album, Tender New Signs, trading in the scorched, late-night shoegaze of lonely hearts. While working in such a narrow subgenre leaves little room for variance (pick a flavor: dark, ethereal or darkly ethereal), the San Francisco duo imbues every note with an oppressive, underwater grace. They come up for air on breathy single, “I’m Gone,” but this is a song cycle for those who like melancholy with a side of melodrama.
It's fair to say that any record containing songs with titles like 'Transcendent Blue', 'While You're Sleeping I'm Dreaming' and 'Heavenly Bodies' will immediately be painted into the shoegaze corner, regardless of what it sounds like. And in the case of Tender New Signs, the long-awaited second album from San Francisco's Tamaryn, such perceptions would be spot on. However, such genre recognition shouldn't be seen as dismissive.
On Tender New Signs, Tamaryn and Rex John Shelverton aimed to give more structure to the drifting beauty of their first album, The Waves. Fortunately, adding more shape to their songs doesn't pin down their sounds too much. Like a lot of shoegaze revivalists, Tamaryn cherry-pick their favorite elements from the style's originators, and Bilinda Butcher's seductive coo, Julee Cruise's surreal little-girl-lost vignettes, and the Cocteau Twins' alien ecstasy are some of the main influences here.
Tamaryn is reinventing herself, or at least she's trying. "I call Brett Anderson from Suede my spirit animal," Tamaryn's eponymous frontwoman told Amber Bravo of Fader with regard to her playlist for their Fader Mix series. Even though she said in another interview at MoMA PS1 last year, "People compare us to My Bloody Valentine, the Cure, the Cocteau Twins.
TamarynTender New Signs[Mexican Summer; 2012]By Joshua Pickard; November 14, 2012Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOGTamaryn exists somewhere is that diffuse middle ground between My Bloody Valentine and The Cocteau Twins. It’s that feeling of clawing your way up through layers of reverb and hazy sun-drenched vocals toward some obscured pop heart that makes her a perfect fix when you develop that inevitable autumnal lethargy. Her songs seem to crawl by, with bits of flash and unexpected instrumentation thrown around in dramatic fashion.
The visual and sonorous arts capture something of the vibratory structure of matter itself; they extract colour, rhythm, movement from chaos in order to slow down and delimit within them a territory that is now capable of undergoing a reshaping and a new harmonics that will give it independence, a plane of stabilisation on which to sustain itself. – Elizabeth Grosz The covers of classic shoegaze albums — think Loveless or Heaven or Las Vegas — evoke a sensation of smeared light and color. It’s a process that is a one-to-one visual reflection of the music: a smearing of guitars, keyboards, and vocals; a wall of sound that becomes a 3D wave or perhaps Pin Art music; a thousand defined edges smoothing themselves out in the “roar of the crowd.
Tamaryn may be one of the quietest bands to traipse through the newly ploughed field of indie rock, but that's only because their unfazed take on shoegaze too often gets passed over. However, if anyone mistook the underrated San Francisco duo (composed of the eponymous singer and instrumentalist/producer Rex John Shelverton) for shy wallflowers, sophomore album Tender New Signs will change that. The new release is the follow-up to the 2008 debut The Waves, and it builds on the band's irreverent pop sensibilities with bolder vocals and a more textured rhythm section.
Still a paid-up member of team nu-gaze? Then you’re gonna love the second album from San Francisco-based duo Tamaryn. Like their 2010 debut ‘The Waves’, it’s cinematic, dramatic, and has vocals so indistinct that Tamaryn (the singer whose band this is) could just be coo-ing “turn up the smoke machine” over and over again. Stare out of a latticed window while your pale, thin lover strokes your back to the listless groove of ‘Heavenly Bodies’.
“We like the idea of seeing how far we can take what we have” says the eponymous singer of San Francisco by-way-of New Zealand duo, Tamaryn, of their sophomore LP, Tender New Signs. You could very easily file the group’s shoegazey haze-pop next to the dozen other bands out there right now ripping off old Jesus and Mary Chain songs, but Tamaryn wear their influences better than most. Much in the same vein as recent albums from Beach House and Real Estate, Tamaryn hone in and put their stamp on the template outlined on their first LP, rather than tinker with something that never needing fixing.
‘Tender New Signs’, the second album from San Franciscan duo Tamaryn, is a record that is massive both in scope and sound. Singer Tamaryn and producer and guitarist Rex John Shelverton have followed up their debut album ‘The Waves’ with a record that takes the debut’s sounds and builds it up to sky scraping levels.Everything on ‘Tender New Signs’ is coated in a wash of beefed up reverb laden guitars. The sound is, once again, very much indebted to the late 80’s 4AD / Cocteau Twins sound of symphonic guitar grandeur but Tamaryn add a punishing crunch rather than lissom lilt.
New Zealand native Tamaryn Sitha Brown and collaborator Rex John Shelverton don't bother pushing any envelopes with Tender New Signs. The San Francisco-based duo's second album together hews closely to the dream pop/shoegaze formula, as her ethereal vocals drift seductively over his effects-soaked arpeggios and vaguely hip-shifting grooves. Brown's born to sing this kind of music, blending perfectly with Shelverton's exquisitely crafted wall of sound.