Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Tender Trap - Dansette Dansette (Fortuna Pop)

When the cheeky, quaint and ultimately charming outfit of ‘Tender Trap’ went on an extended hiatus from music at the end of 2007, many fans of this whimsical group may have thought that this was the last we may have heard of this band. However, we all like pleasant surprises don’t we? And Tender Trap definitely gave us that when they reformed in 2009 emerging from musical wilderness as a five-piece and ready to expand upon their musical horizons.

So we find ourselves here in the middle of 2010 and the band has decided to treat us all with their third offering, “Dansette Dansette”, which is their first album since 2006, and it is more than welcome music to my ears. It seems all the things that were unique about this twee group have not been forgotten about at all. If anything, they have been enhanced tenfold by the addition of the two new band members that have joined in perfect harmony with the talents of Amelia Fletcher et al.

The album starts brightly with their distinct brand of indie pop in the form of the title track ‘Dansette Dansette’. It highlights that this band have come back with a purpose and are not just wanting to go through the motions for the sake of just getting another album out. This track has the feel of a wonderful summer anthem that would not be unwelcome getting airtime as you laze languidly with a loved one in a park. There is something about the lead vocals that draws you in about this band. It can be put down to the fact that you just don’t expect the slightly awkward tones of the voice to win you over, but when coupled with the dreamlike harmonies that eloquently float over in the background, it makes for a piquant mix.

This warm feeling carries on to the second track ‘Fireworks’ where the bubblegum pop genre of 60s American gets a nod with another feel good track that wouldn’t feel out of place on retrospective film.

The third track, ‘Do you want a Boyfriend?’ makes the feel good feeling resonate for the third time in a row and is definitely one of the best songs on the album. It has an infectious rhythm, great chord progression and fantastic lyrics that really demonstrate Tender Trap’s ability to make you feel happy listening to the tracks, a feeling that is lost on some of the more depressing and serious artists that permeate the industry today.

The next four tracks; ‘Suddenly’, ‘Girls With Guns’, ‘Danger Overboard’ and ‘2 To The N’ unleash a faster and slightly harsher rock edge to the bands music. The music does still sound a little dated but this is not detrimental to music, it just adds to the charm and makes the band more appealing, especially with ‘Girls With Gun’s which sounds like the theme tune to an Indie western.

‘Counting The Hours’ and ‘Grand National’ although being musically tight as the other tracks lack the certain nuance of its predecessors and they don’t really go anywhere. This is not to take from the overall feel of the album as this band deserves every credit for this output that you can garner from them.

The final track ‘Capital L’ provides a fitting end to a great resurgence for this band and is easily the best song of all 10. It is extremely fine and well written piece and you can’t help but admire it. If I could give you any nuggets of advice for July, it would be to check out this band and make sure that it won’t be another 4 years before they grace us with their talent.

Words : Barclay Quarton

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