|Tanukichan — Sundays (July 13, 2018)|
Tanukichan — Sundays (July 13, 2018)■•■ Kdyby byla nějaká pochybnost o hudební změně směru Hannah Van Loon od okamžiku, kdy opustila indie poppers Trails And Waves, je rozptýlená během prvních třiceti vteřin jejího debutového alba «Tanukichan». Přetížení fuzzované kytary, ve spojení s výkonovými riffy, které se objevují po celé délce alba, je hlavním atributem. Samozřejmě, mlhavé tóny jsou zpátky v módě, ale Van Loon je zaměstnává způsobem, který naznačuje, že se dívá do budoucnosti, ne do minulosti. Je to odvážné, osvěžující a doufejme, že album je ochutnávkou toho, co přijde.
Location: Oakland, California
Styles: Alternative/Indie Rock, Dream Pop, Shoegaze, Indie Pop
Album release: July 13, 2018
Record Label: Company Records
01 Lazy Love 3:02
02 The Bes 2:42
03 Like the Sun 2:49
04 Bitter Medicine 3:33
05 Hunned Bandz 2:48
06 Natural 2:32
07 The Blue Sky 3:21
08 Sundays 4:03
09 Perfect 3:16
10 This Time 2:55
℗© 2018 Company Records
AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra; Score: ****
■•■ The subtle shoegaze and delicate dream pop found on Tanukichan’s debut album, Sundays, was created by Hannah van Loon with an assist from Chaz Bear of Toro y Moi fame. The duo set out to create an album that captured the lazy, hazy, and introspective mood of a Sunday afternoon, and they succeeded. The songs roll by slowly on puffy clouds of fuzzy guitars and lighter~than~air vocals, with tempos that feel like the gentle flow of a stream over rocks. They create a welcoming, enveloping sound that any fan of classic ‘90s shoegaze should be glad to discover and champion, because unlike many of the bands inspired by that era, Tanukichan doesn’t stop at the sound — the songs have real emotional weight. Van Loon delves deeply into the kind of melancholy that can leave one frozen in place; songs like the title track and “Like the Sun” transmit that terrible feeling, but the warmth of the vocals and the comforting embrace of the blown~out guitar noise help to melt it just a little. Along with tracks that come across like they could have been on Creation circa 1991, there are some tracks that dial back the noise and tread close to Cocteau Twins territory. “The Blue Sky” has guitars that twinkle and van Loon’s voice is positively angelic; “This Time” delivers soft rock smoothness; and the “Bitter Medicine,” with its fragmented guitars and steady pulse, show that Tanukichan would be a fine post~punk revival project if van Loon steered it in that direction. No matter what the pair do on Sundays, it works thanks to the stellar songcraft and van Loon’s guitar skills and beaming vocals. Added to that is a factor that truly pushes the album over the top into greatness: the delicate and always perfectly calibrated arrangements that never let the songs sink too far into gloom or float away into the ether. As lots of bands have been only too glad to advertise, it's tough to make a shoegaze album in the late 2010s that doesn’t sink into hero worship or suffer by comparison to the work of the originals. Even Ride and Slowdive had trouble! That Tanukichan have come up with an album that sounds original and true while bringing deep emotions along for the ride is truly something worth commending.
by Margaret Farrell, JULY 13 2018; Score: 7.7
■•■ San Francisco musician Hannah Van Loon marries the dreamlike eeriness of the weekend’s final hours with the heaviness of shoegaze on a debut album co~written and produced by Toro Y Moi’s Chaz Bear.
■•■ Sundays can be disorienting. The gateways from weekend to weekday, they wear many hats — Sunday Funday, Lazy Sunday, the Lord’s Day, Sunday Scaries — and possess a magical melancholy all their own. This mystique provides the name, and the inspiration, for the debut album from San Francisco musician Hannah Van Loon, who performs as Tanukichan. Through heavy distortion, bleeding basslines, and eerie lyrics, Van Loon captures the spirit of a day whose wide~open nature fosters anxieties as well as ambitions.
■•■ The late cultural critic Mark Fisher wrote that eeriness was characterized “by a failure of absence or by a failure of presence… when there is something present where there should be nothing,” and vice versa. Those sensations, of something elemental missing and of something ghostly lingering, permeate Sundays’ ten tracks. With help from co~writer and producer Chaz Bear — aka chillwave innovator Toro Y Moi — who also worked on Van Loon’s 2016 Radiolove EP, Tanukichan marries the eerie and dreamlike qualities of the weekend’s final hours with the heaviness of shoegaze.
■•■ The result is a thoroughly dazed album that conjures a daydream so immersive (if not always so idyllic), it precludes any intrusive thoughts. The instrumentation on Sundays feels sun~baked and toasty in its fuzzy beach towel of distortion. “Natural” is a car ride with the windows open and sunbeams kissing every exposed limb. “The Blue Sky” envelops Van Loon in the hazy heavens. The warped, spiraling guitar riff on “Like the Sun” recalls a wind~up music box whose overheated ballet dancer has begun to melt.
■•■ Sundays’ eeriness comes from its lack of specificity. There is a void at the center of its songs, filled only with a longing for something that remains unarticulated. Album opener “Lazy Love” is a tussle between agency and lethargy. Its chugging bassline and bouncy electronic drum beat battle the electric guitar’s grumpy wail. “For as long as I remember/Got up over and over/Does that mean anything at all?” Van Loon wonders. Her voice is serene and almost sleepy as she seems to question her apathy.
■•■ The bulk of Sundays deals with similar sentiments of lack of control or direction. “Hunned Bandz” revels in this freedom, while “Perfect” drips with uncertainty. “What am I doing/If I could just lay flat,” Van Loon sings on the latter. She wants to bathe in the brightness of morning sun (if she can wake up for it), but restlessness takes over and she becomes overwhelmed. Tanukichan comes closest to pinning down this peculiar sensation on “The Best,” where she frets that her growing numbness will isolate her. Although the backstory never surfaces, Tanukichan fully fleshes out the feeling. Sundays isn’t a record of Hannah Van Loon’s personal history — it’s a library of her emotions.
■•■ But the album doesn’t leave you stranded in its liminal space. Van Loon has said that Sundays’ title was meant to capture the “laziness, and dreamy clarity that you can feel after a late night, waking up having to face the world with a new perspective.” On its final track, “This Time,” the heavy reverb and distortion fall away, leaving a perky set of guitar chords, a cool~headed bassline, and an iridescent, organ~like synth. “Oh I know I can be so blind/Maybe it’ll be worth it this time,” Van Loon sings, finally sounding more relaxed than exhausted.
Words by Derek Robertson, Score: 7/10
by Tim Sentz, on 13 July 2018. Score: 8
■•■ “Sundays” is the debut full length from Oakland~based Tanukichan, aka multi~instrumentalist Hannah van Loon. At surface level, the album sounds just how the title describes: hazy, dreamy, reflective, just like a lazy Sunday afternoon. Upon second and third listens, the dreamy music unveils a deeper world: an ever present sense of longing, an endless state of summer and a period of instability that plagues us all at one point or another in our lives.
■•■ Raised in San Francisco, van Loon started out making classical, bluegrass and jazz music as well as playing in numerous bands in the area before deciding to make something more personal. What started with a few unfocused demos, with van Loon playing all the instruments herself in her house, became a studio experience and viable collection of music after her friend Anthony Ferraro of Astronauts, Etc. introduced her to Company Records founder Chaz Bear (Toro Y Moi, Les Sins). After collaborating on her 2016 EP “Radiolove,” van Loon and Bear set out to make a much more sonically cohesive release, with both the producer and artist playing all the instruments on the record. The result is a slice of dream pop that could only come from the combination of the laid back atmosphere of California and the nostalgic and often difficult memories that are generally associated with coming of age.
■•■ To van Loon, the tracks of “Sundays” are a form of contemplation and approaching life’s issues from a different and less complicated perspective. “Sometimes for me, it feels easier to write songs about things than to talk. A lot of things in life are layered and paradoxical, but with songs it always seems simpler.”
■•■ Opening track “Lazy Love” sets the stage, sonically and lyrically, for the rest of the album, combining vulnerable lyrics with gorgeous, fuzzy tones. Above pummeling synths and guitar tones, van Loon sings “you know I’d do anything/don’t you know I try my best/if I could wake up when the sun is rising” showing the album’s constant theme of balancing always wanting to be the best person you can be, while also feeling a low level joy at letting life play out as it wants to. “Natural” is a track that feels perfect for a road trip, a track that hums away with a driving beat, culminating in the sheer excitement of finally having a night alone with someone you’ve loved for a while, among many highs and lows: “a window too bright/it’s natural sunlight/grey fades to white lie/kiss you tonight/it’s natural delight/help me feel right.” The tracks collectively address a deep rooted sense of yearning for someone, something new, while also feeling content with your life; a realization that maybe the places you’ve always belonged aren’t where you should be anymore, that suddenly you might be looking for something completely different.
■•■ “I settled on the name ‘Sundays’ as the title of the record because it encapsulated how the record felt to me,“ van Loon says. “I was thinking about the laziness, and dreamy clarity that you can feel after a late night, waking up having to face the world with a new perspective.”
■•■ “Sundays” encapsulates this feeling, a nostalgic way of looking at the world, waking up feeling like a slightly different person than before, looking back on life, not sure if you can tackle what’s next, but doing your best, day in and day out.
|Tanukichan — Sundays (July 13, 2018)|