Slow Down Tallahassee - The Beautiful Light

Miss Fliss 11/06/2008

Rating: 3.5/5

Not a lilting lightweight Yankee country band as the name could suggest, Slow Down Tallahassee are actually a bright and shiny electro outfit from Sheffield. Blasts of guitar, slinky tambourines, Wurlitzer synths, and the odd heavenly harp moment, punctuated by twee femme vocals are the deal here.

At first listen, we mistake Tallahassee for twee innocents reminiscing C86 glory days, but watch that assumption, because they have a real bite. Lyrics sung all of a whirlwind romance can turn at any minute to, well, filth. "So much for love, so much for happiness", they sigh politely on "So Much for Love", but a few songs later it's details about spread legs, and requests for being "motherf*cking" hugged" and then we're back to sweeter stuff about "bonny pale faces", which all sits a bit bizarrely after, say, the gentle classical piano cadences of "Limbs". I'm not averse to the effect swearing can add to a song, but here it just seems incongruous and out of whack.

So while we're not dealing with a cohesive album collection here, The Beautiful Light is generally a likeable affair. Rather than make any tiresome attempts to analyse Tallahassee's possible place alongside Sheffield contemporaries such as The Long Blondes, I'll more accurately say that this is the sort of fuzzy warm electro indie you could have found on the 1990s Radio One alternative show, The Evening Session. Which is to say stand out tracks such as the pop splendour of "Baby Don't Cry" could have you shimmying about your bedroom instead of doing your homework. My only concern is that it's all rather staggered out and the liveliest moments are caught up in, well, slowed down Tallahassee. 14 tracks is a tall order too. But end track The Prettiest Tree climaxes everything to velvety epic degree. The album has no morose moments, and repeat listens will warm any indie loving heart.

Release date: 16/05/2008