Calm down everyone! Stop shouting at each other! Goodness me - Tempers, tempers. Despite having a name that implies vitriol, this NYC duo actually serve something closer to angst than anger on their latest LP Private Life. Entries such as ‘Capital Pains’ (geddit?) find singer Jasmine Golestaneh dealing with the mess of city living over urgent, widescreen synth-pop beats. The War On Drugs and Future Islands are close compadres of Private Life.
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I've spent today's review sesh listening to pretty organic records. Freaky folky film soundtracks and jazz compilations are great 'n' all but it was a blessed relief to have something icy and electronic to write about. The icy and electronic thing in question is Tempers' new album 'Private Life'. It's full of stern synthesizer lines, skeletal drum machine patterns, and bleak atmospheres.
There's a certain New York sound I'm getting from this album. The clinically geometric song structures conjure images of towering metropolises. They convey that unique loneliness that's only experienced in a throng. All great New York bands are part of a lineage you can trace quite easily, but they always have a few characteristics that disrupt and develop that sound. LCD Soundsystem had James Murphy, ESG stripped the fat away from funk so it more resembled no wave, and Swans played noise music in a psychopathically regimented way. Tempers takes influence from classic synth-pop and electronica like New Order and Depeche Mode but the point where it departs is Jasmine Golestaneh's vocals, the album's focal point. She murmurs brokenly on 'Leonard Cohen Afterworld', howls dynamically on 'Capital Pains', and croons like a more disaffected Lana Del Rey on 'Daydreams'.
Fans of that sweet spot between indie, synth-pop, and electronica will find something enjoyable here. There are also nods to techno on 'Guidance' and the feel of a less scuzzy, electro-flecked Stooges song in the form of 'Peace Of Mind'. 'Private Life' is a gloomy record but one that conveys the feelings experienced in a huge city, both good and bad.
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- Private Life by Tempers
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