Review- “bl:ndness”- The Tender Threads

a3575046539_16reviewed by Erik Sedore

While calling Montreal home, The Tender Threads are world travelers. Their debut recording bl:ndness came together during the last few years of their globe spanning journey, from Barcelona to Hanoi and back home again, and as a result it’s permeated by both a resigned, seen-it-all weariness, and a hopeful faith in people.

The most impressive thing about these songs is the attention to detail in the arrangements. Core members Sandro Manzon and Liam Welch are joined on the these recordings not only by a sizeable cast of friends, who bring along an assortment of strings and horns, but also by some seamlessly integrated found sounds, from clacking rocks, to running water, to the pops and hisses of a vinyl record.

Named for a flower associated with death, opener “Asphodel” is actually one of the less funereal tracks here, at least in its punchy horns and rhythm. Manzon knows it’s not going to last though, as he sings of “immortal beauty, or is it in decay?” The following song “red + – O” is a dirge anchored by a slow, throbbing pulse, and its lyrics conflate images of erupting volcanoes and skulls split open by arrows. Life comes back to the album in its second half, however. Standout “into the spring” is based on a simple, repeating melody, and has an endearing, old-fashioned sweetness to it. It favourably recalls Dylan’s “Boots of Spanish Leather” in its back and forth dialogue between two lovers who yearn only for each other, above any worldly possessions. Closing jam “{{{ Anex }}}]]]” takes us out with the return of those punchy horns and some high psychedelic vocals.

The Tender Threads want to take you with them on their journey, and I suggest you open your eyes and follow.

Top Tracks: “Asphodel,” “into the spring”

Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)

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