Parisian synth-pop duo Tender Tones released their debut EP, entitled Youth Retirement Club, not long ago via Somewherecold Records (US) and Shore Dive Records (UK).
Although the EP is their first, in a manner of speaking it’s their second. The earlier or first edition of the EP was stolen, along with all their gear, when their apartment was broken into and burgled. Working from memory, they started from scratch and attempted to reproduce the pressure, nuances, and textures of the original recordings.
Made up of Manon Deruytere and Maxime Pargaud, Tender Tones’ sound blends savors of ‘80s French pop with hypnotic extracts of ‘90s shoegaze and shimmering tinges of dream-pop, along with what Fabrizio Lusso of White Light/White Heat eloquently refers to as “extra strains of existential anxiety, unease, and dread that systematically permeate nowadays life.”
Encompassing six-tracks, Youth Retirement Club starts off with “In Dreamed Lives,” opens on dazzling wisps of emergent percolating colors, shimmering, while two voices merge into drifting, dreamy, misty sighing timbres. Wistful, almost melancholic savors imbue the lyrics with the soft, glowing resonance of echoes out of a heavenly landscape.
“Strangers From Ultra” rides lush washes of shoegaze filaments, curling up on glossy synth coloration, while a rumbling-lite rhythm imbues the tune with a tantalizing pulsating tempo. “Red Lovers” travels on luminous hues supported by deep droning tones, groaning lusciously as Depeche Mode-like vocals effervesce overhead. Dark swirls of logarithmic tints form the psychedelic-Esque solo section, followed by the crying froth of keening synths.
“Pay More Pray More” features an industrial/techno intro rife, followed by searing layers of synths bubbling with ghostly coruscations. “Still White Noises” commences on plonking percussive notes transitioning into thick, wickedly palpitating pigments. There’s an edgy brooding sensation to the shifting mechanical synth suffusions.
The final track, “Tournée Au Japon,” rolls out on a measured thumping rhythm topped by gleaming coruscations. Manon’s delicate yet silky voice infuses the lyrics with scrumptious, lingering nuances.
Stylish and gorgeously wrought, Youth Retirement Club breathes out sonic auras of pure elegance.