‘Flood’ by Tamra | New EP, ‘Light Reading’
Exclusive video premiere of ‘Flood’ by indie pop band Tamra, taken from their debut EP, ‘Light Reading’.
Tamra is four middle-class white men approaching 30: the exact band no one wants to hear from. The collective output of Kenton Freemuth (vocals, guitar), Andrew Freemuth (guitar), Ethan Bjornsen (bass), and Chris Clayton (drums) is a byproduct of that unavoidable byline. It’s a byproduct of first-world waste, the American West, the feedback loop that is loneliness, and the slipstream that runs through the basement when the boys play their bad music. It’s the chemical spill from the head-on collision between identity and environment. Each is contaminated, each is the contaminant. The scene is sometimes unintelligible—sometimes universal.
Tamra’s Kenton Freemuth had this to say about the new single: “Self-help as self-destruction is more or less the sentiment in this song. It’s a look at what’s lost when we try to make ourselves feel better, well-intentioned or not. Whatever that loss is, the song’s saying it’s probably more permanent than we want it to be. The damage is insidious, maybe even metastatic, depending on who you are. To convey that—in the kind of a way you’d convey it to someone who has trouble listening (see: yourself)—the song structure follows the water cycle. When there’s contamination in water, it doesn’t just go away. It stays, and sort of commutes between the soil, the sea, the sky—wherever the cycle takes it. Since we already know water as this lifeforce and agent of change, the new corruption is more of an added complication. We can’t believe it; we live with it. So the song follows a flood as it washes things away; namely, metaphorically, the barriers between destroying and healing. The water is doing both. And it’s carrying all that good human stuff that’s now—out of context, in the current—just contamination.”
Medicine in the waterway / Infection in that same vein / Drainage out in the halls / Fades in to clouds and aerosols. It’s the view from the band’s latest single ‘Flood,’ a song that watches the tenuous barriers between self-help and self-destruction wash away—thrashing in a sort of up-tempo tranquility: the last seconds of consciousness before drowning. Like the rest of ‘Light Reading,’ it’s a track driven by distorted guitars that barely dodge familiarity, just exceeding recommended dosages for inversion, repetition, and strange major-key saturation. Cut with synths that oscillate between peripheral and obviously present, they blend with a rhythm section not immune to its own idiosyncrasies. When the vocals come in, the entire compound is personified.
Headline photo: Photo by Blaise Prokop