As year-end lists begin to bubble up among the Internet, Tamaryn will continue to be sidelined as a shoegaze line item, a band that puts its sound and mystery between themselves and the listener. But that’s not entirely true. Tender New Signs outlines — very clearly — that Tamaryn is more intimate and sonically busier than their outstanding debut full-length, The Waves. Producer and guitarist Rex John Shelverton carves out some of his best guitar melodies that hint at the glorious riffage created by Verve’s Nick McCabe on A Storm in Heaven, or more precisely, channeling the space-rock blues of tracks like “One Way to Go” on the driving and beautiful “Prizma”. Shelverton’s sound is a heady and dense mix of classic rock and overdriven glam submerged within deep blue canyons. And Tamaryn herself, although still reverberated and buried beneath his monolithic sound, positions her vocals this time around within an arm’s reach. You can visualize her singing a few feet away from you on “While You’re Sleeping, I’m Dreaming” and the sexually-charged catwalk of “Heavenly Bodies”. This is not a band destined for simple shoegaze comparisons, they’re the face of that period’s new progressive movement.
“The Garden” stands out as the most mesmerizing and seductive piece of music Tamaryn and Shelverton have recorded to date. It’s dirty and sweaty and all those things men and women lust after. Brooding slow-burning candles like “Afterlight” and “No Exits” haunt the record, both gorgeous and expansive in their own right, but the real payoff you get from listening to this duo lies within the faster tempos and mountains of widescreen guitar set against Tamaryn’s tempered hypnotic call. Album opener “I’m Gone”, for example, has a way of making the vocals feel stickier and more penetrating. She’s in no rush. And though these songs are ultimately about love and patience I’m always left with the feeling that Tamaryn loves the chase more than the climax. You keep making music, and I’ll keep running towards you. words/ s mcdonald
MP3: Tamaryn :: I’m Gone