I don't typically pay much mind to contemporary music, like, I have PLENTY of OLD records to keep me busy and insulated from what passes as relevant or (ahem) cool. Well, occasionally and unexpectedly, a fantastic record from a NEW band will fall into my lap. Yup, my jaded, cold lap got a sooprise...and this time it just happened to be from local group Tomten. They got a new EP, Ta Ta Dana. Goddamn. What a good showing.
Right, well, so Tomten, on this record, seem to favor creating an atmosphere of reverence; it's like they've written hymns. Not sacred hymns, but hushed pop hymns, slightly flecked with lysergic glints of radiance. Well, at least it feels that way. It could be the reverb, but I reckon it's their strictly focused writing/playing as filtered through the pop side of '60s Merseybeat/beat and mid-/late-era Velvet Underground. A mix which is easily the premise for a shit ton of indie AND post-indie bands, has been since the mid-'90s, OBVIOUSLY, but Tomtendon't rely on '80s born/'90s popularized recycled/cliché indie riffs. It's obvious they're in the know about '60s playing; they're economical and reserved, but are not clouded by the contemporary aural misconceptions of the psychedelic '60s. Their knowingness is then mated to open, crisp, contemporary production, giving them a strong '80s paisley pop sound. It just all FITS. So much so, they play the kind of song I wish Mazzy Star had fleshed out their LPs with, rather than padding 'em out with dodgy blues and Doors-ish "psychedelic" nonsense. I kinda feel if Tomten tried, they could reach as far out as early Tim Buckley... maybe. Anyway, my fave track off the EP is "So So So." This is the single. This is what should be on the radio and in your brain. Jesus. CHRIST. It's good...it reminds me of the Zombies, in the best way possible. I've been listening to this end on end all week.
Here is a clip of Tomten live from EMP's Sound Off! 2011 competition, a competition they won. I'm impressed they can pull off some sweet rural sike ca. 1970. DAG.