Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Positive Mental Health Music-Tiña album review

For fans of: Sinead O’Brien, Working Men’s Club, Crack Cloud & Black Country, New Road

Meet Tiña. Pronounced teen-yah. South London’s pink psychedelic cowboys with their debut album Positive Mental Health Music . Brought to us by Speedy Wunderground- the idiosyncratic record label fronted by Dan Carey. However, this is not the five-piece band’s first musical venture. They share an eclectic line up of members of splinter bands: Joshua Loftin (vocals/guitar) from Bat-Bike, George Rhys Davies (drums) of Uncle Tesco, Oliver R Lester (guitar), Uncle Tesco (bass) and Calum Armstrong (keys).

As suggested by  the name, this album is a journey through the mental health struggles of frontman Josh Loftin. Nonetheless,  the beauty of this album is in the fact that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. The pink cowboy hat is the manifestation of Tiña’s infectious dark humour and painful honesty.

The album opens with Buddha, the perfect personification of one’s depressive state .  It particularly echoes the opening of Sunglasses (Black Country, New road) in its use of 60s humming keyboards and hollow bass. Despite its morbid themes, it demonstrates the band’s capabilities to knit pain and hope into a tapestry that we can all relate with.

I Feel Fine takes its name from the Beatles, and reflects their later psychedelic-rock work. Yet, Tiña show us that there is more to psych than acid trips and hallucinations. The loop pedals and heavy bass have been swapped for clean guitars, bringing a beautiful honesty. The song itself is about discovering sexual freedom through deep meditative enlightenment. ‘Dicks in the sky. Vaginas in my mind’…need I say any more.

From this point onwards, the album shifts to a more hopeful sense.

 Rooster and Closest Shave particularly harness Loftin’s distinguishably child-like voice and falsetto to disguise the dark elements of mental health. ‘I almost cut off my own head’ is a prime example of the use of brutal honesty to evoke discomfort in its listeners. The aim of this is to draw new attention to the subject, and stop it being ignored by society as a whole. This theme is not ignored in New Boi, which is essentially a mockery of post relationship blues.

The album draws to a close with the single Dip, which is by far the catchiest tune on the record.

This body of work perfectly captures the rollercoaster of owning a human brain, and is something everyone can identify with, laugh at and most importantly…dance to.

- Mollie German


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