This is the indirect eclecticism of Tempers, a truth that merges synthetics with nature on New Meaning, like an estranged relationship worth mending. Self-produced, the duo’s latest journeys through terrains seemingly settled before expectations are trounced; an initially careful synthpop-darkwave union broadened, a dimness overcome by curiosity.
Moods of self-proclaimed grief and crisis are treated like one would treat low mood with a hobby. Artistic focality stretches synthpop, imploring further genre like an ever-growing friendship group, plumbed by multitribal methods of production, even taking the face of Mortal Kombat-style Eurodance on the club beats of closing track Sightseeing, while the similar but dampened beats of It Falls Into You suggest the inner-workings of a cyborg.
Half-electronica, half-thought-provoking modernist’s art pop flows through Secrets and Lies and Song Behind a Wall; an apt title considering the duo’s masked, shoegaze-y desires. These songs are more Jenny Hval than anything; lost in their respective drowse, moping and hurdling, attempting to gain a clear head.
The choirs of Nightwalking whisper like urban legends; a shoegaze haunted mansion, joined by passages of guitar fuzz and synth transitions that offer serenity. It takes much of its character from the ‘80s, as do the uber-European, A-ha synths of Unfamiliar; forward-thought and nostalgia all in one.
In and Out of Hand and Carried Away frolic further towards the authentic extreme of the organic spectrum, born out of atmospheric new wave, certified by the simple notion of feeling alive, incorporating feelings of bare feet placed on a mountaintop, arms stretched, existential in nature.
And while much of Tempers’ artistry is gathered from influences of the past – check out how Here Nor There resembles Radiohead’s Jigsaw Falling Into Place – nobody can deny the duo’s individualism. New Meaning doesn’t screenshot influences; it grabs and shakes them, then notes how far each splashing of perspiration may travel.