I first heard their name over two years ago; a friend of mine had mentioned them on a number of occasions, but for some reason, I never really checked out their music. At the time, I was pretty big into post-rock, so it’s possible that I just wasn’t really interested in anything else.
The band released their Popcorn EP at the start of April, and I decided that I had heard the name too many times not to pay any attention. It took me two years to listen to this band, and I regret it immensely; for the last two weeks, I’ve found myself listening to Popcorn and Tweedledee (an earlier release from 2009) to the point whereby it’s become quite feasible Tandem Felix is on the fast track to becoming one of my favorite bands.
The band describes themselves as alternative on their Facebook and Bandcamp pages, but I’ve never been a fan of the term (during my search for “the perfect post-rock band”, I grew to develop a great disliking for vague genre descriptions that don’t really tell you anything of how a band sounds). I know a lot of music-lovers don’t like applying labels, but for the sake of attempting to describe what you can expect from this band, I’m going to borrow a comparison a friend of mine made a few weeks back, and describe Popcorn as seemingly Grizzly Bear-esque in places, with some vague inspiration from folk and psychedelic music (most notably in Pointing and Laughing, I think). Rest assured though, my description probably doesn’t do the band or the EP justice; they’re a little difficult to pin down in a couple of words, so don’t let me put you off.
The band’s music strikes me as a mature expression of raw emotion, through gentle vocals paired with rather mellow and pleasing instrumentation. At times, Popcorn takes on a somewhat atmospheric quality; I have on a few occasions forgotten I was listening to the EP, only to catch myself swaying to the music. There’s a certain natural quality to every track, and as cheesy as this sounds, it feels almost like listening to the soundtrack of your life.
Opening with the rather fantastic Third Degree Burns (the track that convinced me to sit in the dark and listen to the whole thing repeatedly), and closing with Tell Yer Loved Ones (Reprise) (a slow track I fell completely in love with the moment the cello joined the piano melody at its foundation), listening to Popcorn is a consistently enjoyable experience. However, Tell Yer Loved Ones (the EP’s single) is easily the highlight of the EP for me; around the 1:10 mark, the track breaks into what I’m going to refer to as 68 seconds of bliss, and it does this again around the 3:30 mark. Although I do enjoy Pointing and Laughing quite a bit, I was rather disappointed to have Tell Yer Loved Ones end.
For me, Popcorn is easily one of my favorite releases of 2013 so far. The band will be supporting Enemies at their Embark, Embrace album release on the 25th of May, where I’ll get to see them perform for the first time. I’m pretty excited.
You can buy/stream Popcorn here (Tweedledee is also available for free download, if you check the “discography” section to the right of the page): http://tandemfelix.bandcamp.com/album/popcorn
Like the band on Facebook!