Thursday, February 16, 2012

Review: Tatterattles - Tatterattles EP

Open e-mail. Read press release. Look at the name Tatterattles. Let images of Tera Melos and Battles come to mind. Play EP. Realise that it's definitely not that. Check it out anyway. Slowly fall in love with said EP. Write review. And now here we are. 

A single pluck in Handsmedown almost made me cry. Not a single note had ever done that to me before. It took a while to sink in. Maybe it's the thought of my girlfriend thousands of miles away for Valentine's Day. Maybe it's just me being overwhelmed by many of the things happening around me at the moment. So many maybes, and only one certainty. Damn you, Benjamin Fletcher aka Tatterattles, for your contributions towards my inevitable nervous breakdown. 

Other tracks aren't moments of relentless sunshine either. Take 'Alas, Alack!' for example. It's a morosely melancholic yet somewhat hopeful track, dominated by an endlessly repeated series of finger-plucking and vocals reminiscent of Stuart Warwick at his most brilliant. This comparison holds up in 'Dead Letters' too, evoking memories of Warwick's song 'Ex-Gay' in some parts.

It's a similarity most definitely a consequence of mutual influences more than anything, and by the time 'Learning How To Fly' comes along, Tatterattles are a little more upbeat. An unnamed female vocalist sings a not-quite-twee, simple and short song accompanied by bird whistlings and Fletcher's supporting vocals. It's a wonderful change from the melancholic start, even if the lyrics aren't all about the fine and dandy. 

'Too Soon' is the most folk-ish out of the five tracks on offer, but the essence stays the same. The overall sense is that you are listening to a man in a state of indulgent sadness, deriving both pleasure and pain from heartbreak. Emotionally, it's a very moving record. Your heartstrings will be pulled, tears will be shed, and sheds will be made into personal fortresses of solitude.

Cry your beardly tears, Tatterattles, it's okay. We are here for you, and we hear you.

The EP is due to be released on 18th February on Holy Ghost Records.

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