Who knew “nasal delivery” could be a compliment for a singer? Turns out that for Tullycraft lead singer Sean Tollefson even his PR company refers to his singing style with that phrase.
However, there’s a reason these nose based vocals have been flagged up as on this album, their first since 2007’s Every Scene Needs A Centre, they’ve drafted in Phil Ek, a master of bringing out the best in an artist’s voice.
For a band that were at the forefront of the mid 90s American twee scene the vocals are still geeky and the songs are still cheery indie pop as you’d expect, but under Ek’s direction there’s a renewed sense of confidence. Ek, who has produced the Fleet Foxes, has also brought a sense of intimacy in Tollefson and other vocalist Jenny Mears’s singing, as if they are telling their tales right up to the listener.
Does it sound out of place, old fashioned even? No, it sounds like a welcome fillip and good to know that there’s still some cheery people out there, especially from a band that formed 18 years ago.
While many of their peers are still drinking weak lemon drink from a flask and grumbling about this and that, Tullycraft have added a good splash of gin to this poor metaphor of a flask and are belting out optimistic happy pop, as if the recession and all the other ills since 2007 had never existed.
Across each of the 11, two to three minute, tracks there’s a strong sense of consistency. The pace and nods to pop culture throughout the decades never let up and Lost in Light Rotation is all the better for it.
Musically each track seems perfectly weighted as well with the opening, choppy guitar chords of tracks such as Agincourt and Westchester Turnabouts offering a superb introduction to the confident vocals of Tollefson and Mears. They even carry off pop culture references to Hanson’s MMMbop, on Westchester Turnabouts, and Bobby Freeman’s hit Do You Wanna Dance, on Wichita With Love, with aplomb. The rousing singalong of the title track is another of many highpoints.
Tullycraft are back, happier than ever and showing indie pop bands just how it should be done.
by Joe Lepper