Summer is picnics with rosé wine in plastic cups, melting ice cream, freezing body parts after night swimming, road trips to the country side, strawberries and cream, a bad tan and of course a good tune to go with all of that. With Dansette Dansette, the third album from London’s Tender Trap, you’ve got all the summer tunes you need.
Four years since their last album 6 Billion People, Tender Trap have returned a different band, reinforced by new guitarist Elizabeth Morris from Allo Darlin’ and drummer Katrina Dixon. The band’s first two albums had something of an electronic touch while Dansette Dansette is a timeless pop album with similarities to both that of Talullah Gosh and Heavenly, Fletcher and Pursey’s previous bands. It’s difficult to tell whether this is due to the influence of the new additions or if it were a case of Fletcher and Pursey simply returning to their roots.
Opening with the album’s title track, “Dansette Dansette” is a sweet but conventional ode to the old fashioned portable record player. Second track “Fireworks”, one of the singles of the album, is more charming and Amelia’s voice is nicely framed by the backing vocals from Elizabeth and Katrina. “Do You Want A Boyfriend?”, one of the highlights of the album with its catchy lyrics that combines sweet girl pop with a bit of wit. When Amelia sings that potential boyfriends have to like The Jesus and Mary Chain I have to restrain myself from not singing along (I don’t like inflicting pain to my surrounding so I try keep my singing to a minimum). Another highlight is “Girls with Guns”, where the pace speeds up and Amelia and company add an ounce of punk into the mix. The softer and more twee pop side to Tender Trap comes out clearly in “Suddenly” and “Capital L”.
Tender Trap is not an all girl band but one easily forgets the two lads in band. Amelia’s voice and the ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ of Katrina and Elizabeth reminds me at times of classic 60’s girl-group harmonies. Dansette Dansette has many highs but no real lows. If there is any justice people should at least have one song, if not more, from the album represented on their soundtrack of the summer of 2010 (or winter if one is trapped in the southern hemisphere).