>> Rochester’s own Tart Vandelay may have the best band name around in terms of juicy satire, but their sound isn’t joking around. The latest drop from the four-piece is titled Flow, and it’s simply four songs of sweet sounds and messages in regard to dealing with life.
Lead singer Katie Halligan is an invaluable kudos, as she harbors such a beautiful swoon with her lead vocals. Her entire performance on the record is an awesome experience. She’s a triple-threat of sorts in delivering meaningful lyrics, creative melodies and a great songwriter structure to give the songs flow (pun intended, I suppose).
The band has created an awesome niche of rhythmic indie, and the instrumentals made it happen. The backend is simple & solid, which is exactly what Halligan’s vocals need. Beyond that, the guitar parts are what I’ll call a psychedelic form of lounge that fills in any and all gaps within the mix perfectly.
Josh Pettinger of Wicked Squid Studios is another mentionable, as he took great care of the group on this EP. Between the immensely crisp and round sound on each instrument and the pure cohesion between each part, it’s clear that he killed it in the engineering department.
The only aspect of this EP that stands out to me is that its motif seems to be rather deep, and there were occasions where the instrumentals could have hammered down that concept. Again, one of the album’s strengths is the mention of figuring out how to deal with crap thrown in one’s direction, finding oneself, etcetera. There seem to be a few spots where there exists a disconnect between certain deep & powerful vocal lines and the parts underneath it. An example of this concept is when the band executes the choruses of Drifting. Halligan moves from a flowy swoon to a powerful croon and I was expecting the band to grow much more than it did behind her to drive home the harshness her lyrics and emotion change are describing.
Flow was another solid release from Tart Vandelay that shows they are well on their way to defining their sound. Its style was akin to their previous drop, Frontier Pioneer, only more refined and mature. In short, this album acts as another treasure from Rochester, and I’m stoked to hear their next body of work. 4.0/5 <<
You can listen to their new EP below on their website: