[sic] Magazine

Tamaryn – The Waves

Shoegaze is more than aptly named, capturing its inward-looking esotericism accurately. Though firmly aligned with the masters of this genre, Tamaryn seems to have loftier ambitions. Her dreamy washes are mesmeric all right, yet they seem to look out over The Waves of her debut LP towards the horizon in wonder. It may be that “skygaze” is sometimes the more appropriate here.

Whatever, and now after relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area with collaborator Rex John Shelverton , Tamaryn’s nine tracks nevertheless run the gamut of shoegaze. Ranging from the predictable fan-fic of “Dawning” to the revelatory “Sandstone”, she has quite a lot to say, even if it’s delivered in a familiar voice.

The black-hearted bass work of the title track is a showpiece borrow, suiting the foreboding vocal repeat and accompanying glassy-eyed stare to a tee. It’s a steal worth repeating, and its growl returns for the closer “Mild Confusion”, which froths with sexual energy and is mysterious in its depths, crests and lulls.

There’s a dignity to the album’s slowcore chiming throughout and “Love Fade” reprises it almost verbatim from the opener, seemingly blowing that track back in as an chilly echo. In turn, “Haze Interior” is a further degraded form of that same sound, Tamaryn this time lulling the listen towards assisted unconsciousness above hyper-stoned waves of flat-lining equipment. Splitting the difference between The Cocteau Twins ‘ ethereality and Mazzy Star ‘s dream-pop, “Choirs Of Winter” completes the set of nods to its rather apparent influences with a dash of you-know-who’s brand of drone.

Yet, perhaps unavoidably, the cornerstone of The Waves is “Sandstone”. In between chattering loops of optimistic, organ-like parps that fill the track’s cavernous chambers, Tamaryn sweeps in with an enveloping vocal current that is more than easy to drown in.

There’d be much worse ways to go too than walking straight in, never to return.

Advised downloads: “Sandstone” and “Mild Confusion”.

~The Waves is out now in the US on Mexican Summer , and will be released in the UK on the 4th October 2010.~