Album Review Gently Tender - Take Hold Of Your Promise!

A debut that embraces optimism and nihilism in equal measures.

Gently Tender - Take Hold Of Your Promise!

For their debut, the affable Gently Tender have presented a compelling collection of folk melodies, doused in silken harmonies and strung together by vocalist Sam Fryer’s deep, magnetic baritone. “Maybe I’m in heaven, or maybe I don’t care,” he contemplates on the dream-folk ‘Heaven Ho’, suggesting an indifference that intimately captures the overwhelming feeling of the last few years for the South London supergroup.

Intentionally pieced together from ex-Palma Violets members, The Big Moon’s Celia Archer and known-to-all local guitarist Adam Brown, the outfit have teamed up with the likes of a community gospel choir (see ‘This Is The Night of Compassion’) and punchy brass band (’Sunlight In Motion’) to deliver a deeply familiar debut. Single ‘Dead Is Dead’ showcases the group at their most outspoken, with Sam speculating about the afterlife to a Kasabian-type beat, whilst ‘True Colours’ flips the coin with its coda offering beckoning vocal harmonies that taper into fragmented whispers as the progressive instrumentation slowly drops out. ‘Take Hold Of Your Promise!’ is a subtly beautiful and deeply spiritual debut that embraces optimism and nihilism in equal measures.

 

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