TENEDLE – Stellar
There was an earthy, vital sound the Tenedle’s previous album Traumsender (see TEC review previously). Meanwhile Dimitri Niccolai (aka Tenedle) has been keeping busy writing and recording new material (including Glossophobia, the soundtrack to his film The Dormitory).
A new album is in the works, but meanwhile Tenedle has produced a new EP titled Stellar, which presents a good example of where he is musically post-Traumsender. As ever, it’s written and produced by Niccolai, who has also crafted the striking artwork.
There’s an easy-going aspect to title track ‘Stellar’, a smooth slice of synth-pop with a nice line in gentle melodies. Meanwhile, Niccolai’s tight vocal delivery wrap the whole thing up up perfectly.
Originally, ‘Stellar’ was designed to be trialled in live shows, but the current ongoing crisis has forced Niccolai to regroup and rethink how he presents his music.
The EP itself is also being treated as a standalone release from the forthcoming new Tenedle album.
OVVLS – Lockdown
The Liverpool duo of OVVLS (pronounced ‘Owls’) previously put on a star turn at 2019’s Silicon Dreams event. Stephannie Stokes and Lee Dimelow offer a haunting aspect to their unique pop approach, which is drawn from a darker palette but has an engaging, emotive quality at its heart.
Give the current circumstances, the duo have understandably taken inspiration from the ongoing pandemic for their latest outing.
As a result, ‘Lockdown’ offers up a sense of fragility with some engaging synth washes and stark piano melodies. Co-written and produced by Brian Campbell of Clinic, the track was produced by all parties in isolation. A demonstration perhaps that even in the midst of a crisis, musicians can find a way around limitations.
The new OVVLS release has also been designed to raise both funds and awareness for mental health charity Mind.
LADY B – Distant Shores
Lady B (aka Sarah Bouchier) usually lends her vocal talents to Nature Of Wire’s beefy tunes. But here on her solo debut release, she strikes out on her own in a more lush direction.
Written with Manchester producer Martin McLaren (San Pedro Collective), ‘Distant Shores’ draws from a dancepop sensibility, but has a softer musical quality with a distinctly summery vibe to it.
Lyrically, the song has a darker edge to it: “It’s about revenge on people who continually cross the line of morality” offers Lady B. McLaren had apparently had the composition for a while, but on sending it to Bouchier, she connected with it immediately: “it’s simple but effective and atmospheric”. A sentiment which sums up the tune nicely.