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Your Friend Gumption

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,

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.

But between them, and underneath all of its exquisitely
chiming layers, ‘Not To Disappear’ is a relatively straightforward indie
album.

Think The xx, or Emiliana Torrini.
Yet it’s also a thing of real beauty – an album best listened to
through headphones whilst walking through a congested city rush hour,


its sonic curves and sweeps somehow adding beauty to the
everyday.


The London trio are a band with a highly unique musical identity, and
while that identity has only developed a little since their first release,

‘Not To Disappear’ drips real class from every icy hook.

Opener, ‘New Ways’ is sweeping and shimmering; the whole song
seems to emerge gleaming and wet from a sea of dry ice.

Contrast that with closer ‘Made Of Stone’ – a gentle, ballad-like vignette.

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