TEME's "bj.sadsong" Is an Intriguing Mix of Widescreen Soundscapes and Shapeshifting Electronics

Photo: Héloïse Faure (Courtesy of artist)

UK band TEME may be a bit mysterious, but "bj.sadsong"'s gorgeous electropop might just bring this group a lot more attention.

In the constant fight for your attention, it's all too easy for new bands to get lost in the scrum. These days it is a basic prerequisite that emerging bands have to come complete with a ready-made narrative or some other angle to get you to take five minutes out of your busy day. However, occasionally, there are those bands that are confident enough to let the music do the talking.

On the suitably enigmatic track from UK band TEME, that is exactly what they've chosen to do. With little information about them other than that they are named after the River Teme in mid-Wales, the band have opted to stay in the shadows and push the song into the limelight.

Keen to avoid any preconceptions, the release comes with no moody press shots or portentous statements. Rather, the song alone serves as TEME's opening declaration of who they are, encouraging the listener to advance their own meaning and context.

The song begins gently as the graceful sigh of achingly tender vocals hint at an underlying weariness, accompanied by minimal piano chords and bluesy guitar. Recalling the sophisticated, soulful voice of Benjamin Clementine, the vocals beautifully reflect the ebb and flow of the music as they both race ahead and struggle to keep up over the song's duration.

As the song reaches a euphoric climax of synths and drums, it seems to shut down again as the lull of a rudimentary, pre-set keyboard pattern serves as the interlude in a song that works like a two act play. Soon the song finds fresh rhythm as the drums click into a groove and cascading synths reflect a new found optimism in the vocals as if a heavy emotional burden has been lifted.

"bj.sadsong" is an intriguing mix of widescreen soundscapes, shapeshifting electronics and gracefully brittle vocals that give the song it's emotional heart. What it means is up to you.

Over the Rainbow: An Interview With Herb Alpert

Music legend Herb Alpert discusses his new album, Over the Rainbow, maintaining his artistic drive, and his place in music history. "If we tried to start A&M in today's environment, we'd have no chance. I don't know if I'd get a start as a trumpet player. But I keep doing this because I'm having fun."

Jedd Beaudoin
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2018 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.