American dream-pop, shoegaze combo Tamaryn are named after New Zealand-born Tamaryn, who provides soft girlish vocals, and guitarist Rex John Shelverton (Vue, Portraits of Past), who does the instrumentation and plays the role of producer.

Tender New Signs is the follow up to their first full length album, The Waves, and in making this album Tamaryn aimed, ‘to transcend the mundane world, by living in a new one of my own creation…now it’s time to invite everyone else in it with me.”

Sonically the album fuses Tamaryn’s sultry vocals with blissful drone-filled sonic landscapes and thundering ‘hooky ‘ like bass lines. As per any shoegaze inspired band there is a nod to the scene legends My Bloody Valentine, but there also is a dissonant 80s feel across the album, which would not have been out of place on Cliff Martinez’s ethereal electronic-pop soundtrack to the film Drive.

The album overall is a slight departure to the previous full length album with Tender New Signs being more a coherent song structured ‘soundscape’ rather than the ‘wall of sound’ approach that they adopted for The Waves. This is both a good thing and a bad thing as, depending on your mood, The Waves contained many tunes which deliver a more dramatic punch in particularly album closer ‘Mild Confusion’.

Tender New Signs is less immediate and more of a grower. It, perhaps, has less dramatic peaks but it does provide a more consistent sonic narrative with an almost soundtrack quality. There is a definite feel of reflection throughout the album, particularly in tracks like ‘Heavenly Bodies’, whilst ‘The Garden’, with its strident opening of layered guitars and heavy bass enhanced by Tamaryn’s floating vocals stating, “It’s not in essence what it used to be stole the words of yesterday”, is a close to an anthem as Tamaryn are likely to get.

Overall, Tender New Signs is a solid continuation in their sound and an album worthy of continual listens that unveils fresh layers of musical discoveries every time.

Release Date 15/10/2012 (Mexican Summer)

Jonathan Roby

Overgrown indie kid with a penchant for americana, psych and weird folk.