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Tanlines: Highlights


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From the label:
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Tanlines‘ sophomore album Highlights began in a basement in Pittsburgh and ended in a church in Brooklyn. Produced by the band and Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor, it trades world music sounds (as heard through YouTube) for a more alive, realized approach, the result of singer/guitarist Eric Emm and multi-instrumentalist Jesse Cohen wanting to break from their ‘two guys, one screen’ writing style. The transition came suddenly: when they sat down to write Highlights in Emm’s childhood home in Pittsburgh, their computer blew up. Stranded without the samples and sounds that had previously defined their musical palette, they spent the rest of the week in Pittsburgh writing songs the old-fashioned way with a guitar and drums. They found themselves falling back on facility they’d gained with their instruments over the previous two years of touring, and an alternative, simpler process evolved, one that set the tone for Highlights immediately. Influenced by their time spent on the road touring Mixed Emotions, primarily in the States, they reached for the sounds of 90’s New York hip-hop drums, Detroit techno synths, and lots and lots of guitars. Whereas before the band had wandered their way through foreign musical landscapes and the existential ‘what am I doing with my life’ wasteland of post-youth, Highlights finds the band settled and at home, comfortable in their own skin. Indeed, one listen shows this change in subject matter has brought Tanlines to a more evolved, sophisticated place. Themes of love and desire replace questions of the unknown. Partnerships are celebrated while relationships grow and change and give way to safe-distance reflections on the past without the trappings of nostalgia. In many ways, the resulting music feels like a renaissance for a band that began in 2008 as a one-off remix project. The upbeat dancefloor-ready Tanlines lives on in songs like driving set opener “Pieces”, the dream-inspired “Slipping Away”, and the seductive “Bad Situations”, but the colours and emotional range of the album go much deeper than ever before, with Emm’s vocals and lyrics, at once personal and observational, taking center stage on songs like “Running Still” and “Invisible Ways.””
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Highlights is out May 19 on True Panther; check out “Invisible Ways” below.
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About foamhands

My name is Michael Dix; I'm a decade or so past being down with the kids, but to me new music never gets old. Apparently I like music that sounds like faulty kitchen appliances and ritual slaughter; really I just like what I like, whether that happens to be indie, pop, punk, hip hop, metal, electronica, Afrobeat or jazz. Follow me on Twitter @FoamHandsBlog to receive notifications of new posts and the occasional random brain-fart, and please share links wherever you can. Enjoy!

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