Tender New Signs
Oct 17, 2012 Web Exclusive
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. It presents an apt second chance for a first impression.
With the spacey nuances of Slowdive and Catherine Wheel and the wispy vocals of MONO's Siobhan de Maré on tracks such as "Heavenly Bodies," Tamaryn is a nostalgic fan's daydream. Yet further exploration of Tender New Signs unearths a more grounded focus than that of its predecessors. The structure on songs like "I'm Gone" and "Transcendent Blue" reflects a more organic development, due in part to Tamaryn's lack of electronic effects. Later tracks "Garden" and "Violet's In a Pool" are the blue ribbons of this album, with a healthy intersection of unapologetic vocals and dueling guitars. While the name of the album might reflect subtle sentimentality, Tender New Signs is rather an obvious call for attention.
Author rating: 6.5/10
Average reader rating: 9/10