Tamas Wells

Two Years in April

by Ian Mathers

7 September 2008

 

Frustratingly, the music of Australian expat Tamas Wells is still unavailable in North America, although after his last record was a bit of a hit in Japan he’s readily available there. Wells moved to Burma (or Myanmar, if you want to get technical) back in 2006 while putting together his second album A Plea en Vendredi and lives there still. Which has no obvious sonic effect on his music, then or now; all three of his records are the same kind of sun-kissed, impossibly relaxed (yet somehow still a little dark) acoustic reverie, the kind of thing that gives the likes of Jack Johnson an especially bad name by showing how close they are to something that’s actually beautiful, intriguing and often moving.

If this were a just world, A Plea en Vendredi would have gotten the same quantity and quality of praise that, say, Our Endless Numbered Days did—like Sam Beam, Wells is blessed or cursed with a voice that is always soft and pleasant and so gets away with singing far stranger songs than you might expect, but unlike Beam he’s remained resolutely quiet and small scale (sonically and economically). Two Years in April is if anything more streamlined—no gorgeous instrumental miniatures like “Yes, Virginia, There Is a Ruling Class”, or droning dreamscapes like “Open the Blinds”. The songs here are consistently enjoyable but the lack of variation is missed a bit. But even a good-not-great Tamas Wells album is miles above what most of his contemporaries can produce, and when he hits his stride on a song like “The Day She Drowned, Her Body Was Found” or “Grace And Seraphim” there is little music being made today that is as sublime. Now get him some proper international distribution, please.

cover art

Tamas Wells

Two Years in April

(Popboomerang)
US: 17 Jun 2008
UK: 16 Jun 2008

Two Years in April

Rating:

Topics: tamas wells
//related
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work. We are a wholly independent, women-owned, small company. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing, challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. PopMatters needs your help to keep publishing. Thank you.


//comments
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Slowdive Sell Out Brooklyn and Release Bonus Song "30th June"

// Notes from the Road

"Although sound issues delayed their set on the second night, Slowdive put on an unforgettable show in Brooklyn, or rather two shows.

READ the article