Tamara Schlesinger - The Procession
Kate Nash has made the transition from London to LA and has begun producing some controversial and punky tracks; a year after Amy Winehouse's death the world is beginning to associate her name with positive change over devastation and ruin; and Florence has produced and released 'Breath of Life' as part of the soundtrack for Hollywood film 'Snow White and the Hunstman'. So far, 2012 has been a significant year in terms of feminine musical creativity, and such revolutionary transformations don't appear to be set to stop any time soon. Following in the solitary footsteps of some of the UK's biggest female solo artists and front women, Tamara Schlesinger has broken the mould and gone solo, taking time out from her band 6 Day Riot and producing debut album, The Procession.
Despite the absence of band members Daniel, Edd, Gabriel and Rachel, Tamara's music is still every bit as alt-pop, and possibly even more folk orientated than before. Not having compromised on her joviality or entrancing folk vocals, it is clear that Schlesinger is a creature of consistency, and one whose choral talents could be readily compared to those of Laura Marling. However, while The Procession, with its rhythmic, summer-soundtrack vibe makes for brilliant late night listening, it is questionable whether the quality of her lyricism is as captivating, poignant or consistent as that of LM.
In songs such as opening track,' I Go', vocal and instrumental layering showcase Schlesinger's talent, while creating a sense of the spiritual. Using this focus on the layering of vocals, Schlesinger skilfully produces a choir like sound in which it's as if every snippet of her voice represents a varying emotion, or slice of personality. Each song, from simple opening track 'Yai Yai' to the darker 'No Coming Back', adds to the developing sense of this debut effectively being Schlesinger's thoughts and reflections on her own music and its progression, in melodic form. Unlike many albums, the debut of this former lead singer builds to no medial or terminal climax which each song is centred around, but remains inflexible in its calm and pensive beauty, and seems to suggest a developed sense of self-acceptance on Schlesinger's part.
The twee stylings of Schlesinger, displayed so quirkily on this album, would follow A Creature I Don't Know and Made of Bricks quite perfectly for some relaxed summer listening, and would most certainly end it on a chilled and contented note. However, this is not an album for every occasion, and it is at times repetitive in its lyricism. Just like we can only stand to hear Kate Nash singing "you said I must eat so many lemons...," in that faux cockney accent so many times, so too is there a limit to the amount of times one can stand to hear "Yai Yai Yai Yai Yai" repeated. Mean anything to anyone else? No, didn't think so.