If Taryn Miller’s ‘Jekyll/Hyde’ EP was a satisfying exercise in downbeat triumph, it’s surprising how quickly
‘Gumption’ marks an early departure from that endearing style.
Where tracks like ‘Tame One’ fell somewhere between the sparse tenderness of Explosions in the Sky and the heart-on-sleeve vocals of She Keeps Bees,
Your Friend Gumption here Miller explores drones, loops and field recordings with varying degrees of success.
Opener ‘Heathering’ is pleasant and plaintive – all drifting vocals wrapped around languid guitar twangs and layered harmonies
but it’s on ‘To Live With’ that the synth-heavier influence surfaces.
Coming alive with a foreboding B-movie loop, it thrums into the vocal acrobatics of ‘Desired Things’, and the atmosphere continues on
‘Nothing Moved’ with humming melodies and dark, tribal drums. Title-track ‘Gumption’ briefly lifts some gloom but by the time
‘I Turned In’ has slowed the pace to a contemplative, mournful crawl,
it’s a mix of moods that leaves this collection of songs feeling ambivalent and unresolved.
“I think I’ve always seen sounds because music to me is a really 3D thing and I always try and bring that forward.
I think bands should use sounds to their maximum potential, to create worlds.
It’s definitely something I have in mind when I’m making the tracks in my bedroom, you know, Your Friend Gumption music you can enter.”
A brief visit to the band’s myspace page will tell you all you need to hear – Alex’s ethereal falsetto
imbuing the music with a permeating sadness – tracks like ‘Sofia’ and ‘And We Parted Ways At Mt.
For more information: หวยลาวสามัคคี