New Zealand-born singer-songwriter Tamaryn, who relocated first to New York
and then to San Francisco,
launched her "solo" project with help from
Rex John Shelverton of Vue.
The EP Led Astray Washed Ashore promised to overhaul the stereotypes
of dream-pop and shoegaze-pop.
Her sensual whisper dominates but also constrains The Waves (Mexican Summer, 2010), so that the Shelverton needs to add layers of bombastic arrangements
to the songs.
The Waves revives the old idiom of slocore, as practiced by
Galaxie 500 and
with just a lot more guitar clangor.
The pace, however, degrades to an exaggerate crawl in Choirs Of Winter,
although the equally slow Coral Flower manages to evoke a healthy dose of
and rhythm almost disappears from the ultralight Haze Interior.
The more lively songs fare a lot better, whether Love Fade, haunted by
a jangling guitar, or the tribal and acid Sandstone, that evokes a
calmer Siouxsie Sioux.
The specter of the more austere Nico, however,
is much more difficult to summon, as the solemn and desolate Dawning proves.
The most serious problem of the album is the chronic dearth of good melodies
to accompany the atmospheric setup, something that is partially remedied only
with closer Mild Confusion.
A state-of-the-art production and fashionable dark-punk overtones mask
the fundamental poverty of inspiration on
Tender New Signs (Mexican Summer, 2012). Tamaryn shines when she
finds an unlikely balance between girl-group naivete and trip-hop decadence, as
in the dizzy Heavenly Bodies.
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