I know I can be a bit of judgemental prick when it comes to this kind of thing, but when someone thrusts a copy of their vinyl into your hand at a record fair with a mumbled ‘you might think it’s shit but, er, yeah whatever’ and then shuffles off to the do the same for everyone else along the whole line of stalls, the they’re usually right. I usually will think it’s shit.
It’s always best to treat these things as guidelines rather than rules, however, and bear in mind that some of my favourite music has come from following up on the most half-arsed, ill-expressed emails I’ve ever read, so no matter what you’re expecting, always best to just have a listen anyway.
It took me a while, but I am glad this self-titled debut by Tryptamines found its way to me, because not only is it a really good album, but it’s one of those totally out of the blue surprises (I’ve not seen anyone else really covering this anywhere, or even anyone talking about it on social media) that makes you feel lucky to be one of the few who is actually paying it the proper attention.
There are seven songs on this album, all fairly long ones, and generally composed of low-key, trippy atmospheric stuff not a million miles away from the downbeat end of the Beta Band’s canon (I think – I’m actually not all that familiar with the Beta Band).
Some of this is woozy ambient soundscapes, some of it more upbeat, but it still reminds me a lot of the more indie end of the trip-hop movement which seemed to blossom in the nineties. The mixture of gorgeous cello and piano in songs like Absolutely Everything contrast really well with some of the more crackly, less organic moments and a little like BEAM (who I wrote about yesterday) it gives this a wonderfully warm and accessible feel.
Some of it may be odd, but it is never abrasively or awkwardly so. And it’s really beautifully executed too, none of this ‘lo-fi band finding their feet’ nonsense, the sound of the record is all wonderfully assembled and really nicely balanced.
Thank fuck I don’t pay attention to my own stupid prejudices, eh.More: tryptamines