Tanlines is an upbeat duo trading in a variety of synthetic and guitar sounds, shackled to a well-sheened indie pop sound. Highlights is a strong collection, ready to be grooved to or put on the stereo for a sunny road trip. Released on True Panther, and produced by Patrick Ford and Chris Taylor, the latter being of Grizzly Bear fame.
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- Highlights by Tanlines
Just look at these two men in close up. The one on the left, looking towards something unknown on the floor, triangular hair somewhere between Billy Mackenzie and an ear of corn. The one on the right, more intense…. hair more flat to the head, just the suggestion of Steve Coogan. Together they make Tanlines - a Pitchfork-friendly synth duo that sit somewhere in the exact mid-point between Wild Nothing and A Flock of Seagulls.
Opener ‘Pieces’ is college radio friendly clipped synthy pop. So far so Junior Boys but I’m very, very happy when lashings of jangling guitar is added to the mix. Just one thing - who cleared the synth horn? ‘Slipping Away’ is perky '80s pop that I’d imagine would have a video featuring jerky movements. Both ‘Palace’ and ‘Two Thousand Miles’ use the same farty synth - the former tries so hard to be a hit. As the A side draws to a close they start to evoke Chris Isaak, or any man who weeps with guitar in hand outside a hotel.
Overleaf things get a little aged boy band - emotional songs with fading dance moves sung by men. Imagine Harry Styles' Stuart Price-produced comeback album. Despite a bit of cheesiness here and there, this is certainly not the worst thing I’ve heard all week (cough... Tame Impala... cough) and when they stretch their songs and get all emotional they evoke the many moods of Blue Nile and New Order. Closer ‘Darling Dreamer’ is particularly swoonsome with its amalgamation of sweet guitar, clattery drums and crooning vocals.
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