The Waves


Mexican Summer, 2010

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


To enjoy Tamaryn’s music, it is best to avoid any dark cloud of criticism looming over about how derivative her music is. This vocalist from New Zealand, along with her collaborator, guitarist Rex John Shelverton, brings back the music of the shoegazer/dreampop era like they were a duo from the ‘90s. Tamaryn’s music celebrates everything that made this era so endearing to many. It fulfills the itch for nostalgia for the thirty-somethings mourning the death of this genre, forever cherishing their prized possessions of Cocteau Twins and The Jesus And Mary Chain record collections.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Tamaryn’s full-length debut The Waves sounds very much like a textbook shoegazer album with its heavily reverbed guitars and indecipherable singing. But although the style of her music sounds all too familiar, Tamaryn and Shelverton do bring their own personalities to The Waves and make it their own unique album within the broader picture of the style that they have adopted and have chosen not to tinker with too much.

The Waves is an album that is comfortable in its own slow pace. This hazy, psychedelic record mainly revolves around Tamaryn’s languid and sultry voice. Her vocals, however, do not have the aural quality that is generally associated with bands of her ilk; instead, they are almost steely and gloomy, adding a rather Gothic tone to the music. Shelverton’s guitars are at times minimal, but always lush. There are no great walls of sound and no grand white-noise effects in his playing on this album. For the most part, the guitars play the role of soft backdrop to the serenity of the album, with the particular exception of “Mild Confusion” and “The Waves” – the opening and closing cuts – where Shelverton’s guitars show some muscle.

With only nine tracks, The Waves is a tight album where no song feels like a waste. As a duo, Tamaryn and Shelverton sounds great and at times blissful, especially on “Choirs Of Winter,” “Sandstone,” and “Dawning.” This debut will be an absolute pleasure to any fan of shoegazer/dreampop.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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