Friday, June 15, 2012

They make it look trap-easy

Kiwi anthem-generating machine The Temper Trap have had a curiously low-key campaign for their second, self-titled album. The band's debut, Conditions, went gold in the UK, largely thanks to the beautiful, spiralling radio hit Sweet Disposition, so you wonder why more fuss hasn't been made over the follow-up.

The band's secret weapon is singer Dougy Mandagi's soaring falsetto. It's the focal point of Conditions, triggering several of the album's big crescendos. So maybe this interview with The Bay Bridged explains the muted reaction to the follow-up: "This time around there is not as much (falsetto)," says Mandagi. "We didn't want to make the exact same album."

Oh, you FOOLS! The second album should always be exactly the same as the first. Tinker at the edges, refine the formula, hire a more expensive studio - but don't start mucking about with the one thing that made you unique. You can save the experimental synth fusion album until 2017, when you've run out of ideas for actual songs (cf Radiohead).

Luckily, it turns out The Temper Trap's new material isn't entirely awful. Dougy still manages to imbue the songs with a thrilling sense of drama. And, when he does pull that falsetto out of the bag... well, wow.

Trembling Hands has been chosen as the next single from the record. In all honesty, it's not going to be used on any sports montages this summer, but the video - which follows a young girl training for her first ever trapeze performance - is beautiful.

Temper Trap - Trembling Hands

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