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- Papas Ear by Tenniscoats
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I've got a bit of a soft spot for Tenniscoats, although my dominant memory of them is that their last album (that one in the sexy fold-out card sleeve) had loads of tracks and seemed to go on forever and ever with its incessant fragile beauty. This time round they're dropping a much more digestible 10-song CD on the excellent Hapna imprint, who also put out their awesome split 7” with Tape last year which (at the time of writing) we still mysteriously have a handful left of. I thought that one would be long gone by now. Anyway, this new CD certainly serves as a welcome reminder of what's so beautiful and lovely about this duo, with hushed flutes and xylophones and pianos and fingerpicked guitars over fragile, understated female vocals. There's something about them that reminds me of early Disney soundtracks, but not in a cheesy way, just really earnest and heartwarming and simple and unpatronising, minimal and melodic but always with interesting instrumentation and arrangements. There's even some bouncy drums on the Jon Brion-esque Papaya. In fact, yes, I think I've pretty much struck on what their signature sound is. It's Jon Brion soundtracking early Disney. Another thing that strikes me about this record is how much more consistent it sounds than the previous efforts I've encountered. There's always plenty of prettiness to go around but on here it seems to have been concentrated, the fat trimmed, and much effort seems to have gone into capturing all the different tones they expose us to over the course of this record. Seductive stuff indeed.
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