The Last Mixed Tape reviews Rom-Com, the long-awaited debut album from Tandem Felix.
Some records are just a pleasure to listen to, Rom-Com is one such record. There’s a clear love of the craft of songwriting and joie de vivre behind Tandem Felix’s debut that is undeniable and results in an album that is as welcoming to listen to as sitting down to read your favorite well-leafed through novel.
“A night in the city with the washed-up” and a snap of a snare begin Rom-Com with a killer opening line, hooking us into the story to come. Opening track ‘Nightclub (I Sold My Soul To The Devil)’ showcases Tandem Felix’s pin point musicianship and songwriting with a production that twangs and jangles against a wide-open alternative-country Wilco-esque production that sets record’s sonic landscape perfectly.
This continues as we move on to the sun-drenched ‘Tapley Takes A Stroll’ and the jolting beat led ‘Now I’m A Drip’, as Tandem Felix play with the setting and sound of Rom-Com to convey a music that has a clear sense of place and purpose. This attention to maintaining both the lyrical malaise and sonic serenity of Rom-Com whilst also moving the dynamic needle of the record itself (see: the fuzzing scale of ‘Oil Money’) is an intricate dance that Tandem Felix pull off with ease, an essential trait to the album’s overall success.
Every good story needs a beginning that grabs you, invites on a journey somewhere you want to follow (the aforementioned ‘Nightclub’), but the ending is just as important. It’s the last impression you make on the reader, listener, audience, before they leave… and Rom-Com finishes on its strongest point ‘Making Dinner On Valentines Day’ a near six minute epic that takes all the sounds that came before, melds them into one long-form track and ends in an abrupt twist with the line “and I tell you that I wish I could stay”, a slow strum of guitar, then silence, leaving what happens next up to us.
Rom-Com is an invitation to traverse the music of Tandem Felix. Via an album that weaves vignettes of stories, fragments of memories, self reflection and a slight hint of abstract surrealism put through a prism of intricate lyricism and laid-back alt-country and indie-folk flourishes, we are given impression of a record presented in widescreen and a journey best experience from beginning to end.
Rom-Com by Tandem Felix is due out on October 10th.