Tanlines has become so much a part of the New York music scene that it’s easy to forget that they’ve only released one proper EP so far (2010’s Settings). That the duo play live often is an understatement, to the point where I’ve seen them maybe five times in the past year, every time almost entirely by happenstance. They also maintain a hilarious Twitter account (recently voted “Best Local Music Twitter” by the Village Voice), which doesn’t have all that much to do with their music, but is great for getting you through the workday. With the release of “Brothers” from the forthcoming Mixed Emotions (fittingly announced via Twitter), Tanlines put the focus back on their music with the best song they’ve recorded to date.
“Brothers” sees Eric Emm and Jesse Cohen expanding their neo-tropical sound, improving production value, and trading in steel drums for emotional depth. While the influence of Swedish bands like Studio and The Tough Alliance can still be heard, the sonic pallet of “Brothers” is darker and more new-wave-inspired than anything on Settings. The effect is similar to Future Islands’ recent releases, where dance-floor pop was tempered by evocative, personal lyrics. While Tanlines may sing “I’m just the same as I ever been / But I’m the only one who doesn’t notice it,” the truth is that their music has indeed evolved. Tanlines has always been a great party band, but now you’ll want to spend just as much quality time with them on your headphones.
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