It’s great to see that there appears to be a whole host of really great female driven music emerging at the moment. Tancred are not a band but instead the performing name for Jess Abbott (coincidentally similar to the Illuminati Hotties who we also recently reviewed). This album is apparently a bit more introspective than her previous releases, but still promises upbeat melodies to disguise more sombre lyrics.
Certainly brief opener “Song One” suggests a tender release. But that’s soon blown away by the brilliant “Queen of New York” which is just a fantastic indie pop number. It sounds as bold and cool as you would expect a queen of that city to be. Together with songs like the awesome “Something Else” Jess seems keen to show she can deliver the cool indie pop that is favoured by her previous tour mates Speedy Ortiz.
“Apple Tree Girl” demonstrates in one song how clever this album is in skipping through styles. That song alone seems to swing from low-fi indie to crunching guitar pop in a blink of an eye. And surely everyone will find it impossible to resist the sugar rush of tracks like “Hot Star” and “Reviews”. But then you’ll also be captured by the melancholy of “Clipping” and “Just You”. Whilst “Underwear” is like the best song ever written by Juliana Hatfield (and that’s some compliment!).
It’s funny how trends and sounds come and go in music. Maybe it’s the state of the world at the moment but there seems to be a host of brilliant new indie/alternative artists that have something to say but want to deliver it via songs with a catchy appeal. There’s a bit of an early nineties feel and it’s brought a reintroduction to the sound of artists like Juliana Hatfield, Liz Phair and bands like Rilo Kiley. Maybe it’s just because we’ve started loving those artists and searching out new acts like them. But, to be honest, who cares if it continues to result in finding great music like this!