Torquay five-piece Tourists combine elements of shoegaze and synth-pop with deeper-rooted post-punk influences, crafting their own identifiable brand of dark, melodic dream-pop. Their debut album, ‘Another State’ is an album exploring the shadowy recesses of the human mind and existence.
The Album opens with `Silent Type` which explores the appearance of social anxiety, and the misconception that introverts are less threatening than their more outwardly aggressive extroverted counterparts. It begins with a steady drum beat and synth before the quietly shared vocals merge and we enjoy a charming, dreamy section. The track then takes a more musically instrumentally assertive passage which continues for the duration of the song. There`s a much more uplifting feel to `Align` which is quite a fast-paced offering with some goth tinges and vocals that are quite remote at times. Tourists have spoken of their admiration for the band DIIV and this track does seem to tip it`s hat towards their `Past Lives` track.
` Remains` written about the unexpected suicide of an unnamed public figure, is understandably a little more reflective and an extremely mature composition. It has a wonderfully captivating feel about it. The band have shared that `Smokescreen` is an exploration of author Graham Hancock’s banned TED talk ‘The War on Consciousness’, and the hypocrisy of drug laws. An almost anthemic piece where the vocals are almost floated atop a dreamy soundscape.
`Faults` is a quite quirky stop start number with a rolling drumbeat, intricate guitar chords and lyrics that seem to be self-analytical. We have a track that draws on a more personal experience of control and manipulation within a relationship with `Lego Man` It`s an enthralling kind of dark wave track that reminded me of the early offerings of The Editors.
`Blindside` had a real eighties synth vibe to it. A composition with a different insight into the agonising turmoil of love set against a quite mesmerising musical structure.
I felt there was an edgy undercurrent to `Black Friday` an instrumental presentation of pounding bass, clipped drum beats and insistent synthesizer waves.
`Strangers` is another view on the painful upheaval of love shared against a dreamy quite electronic background. A captivating and enthralling conveyance. An Adam Curtis documentary inspired `Perception Management` which takes aim at the manipulation of society by the ruling class. This weighty subject is offered up against a musical background that is quite light but has a mechanistic drum beat which will lead, understandably to comparisons with Joy Division`s `She`s Lost Control`
The album closes with title track, `Another State` which was written about escapism.
The track has a laid back, trippy ambiance to it with swirling organ, jangling guitars and almost brushed drums allowing the delightfully melodic vocals to surf this musical wave. The beginning and end has the sound of seagulls squawking in the background.
There was much to enjoy with ‘Another State’ where Tourists managed to blend elements of shoegaze, synth-pop, indie rock, dark wave, and post-punk influences.
The songs are not only musically appealing but address some quite substantial life topics that have certainly given me some food for thought.