Southampton’s talented Thomas Tantrum have just released their second album titled Mad By Moonlight which uncovers the theme of female insanity, insomnia and lack of sleep.
This indie-pop group have combined their many different influences from the B52s, Abba and The Cure into their sombre yet, in parts, rather adventurous album.
Track one is titled Tick Tock and is a song that brings forward the relaxed tone of the record. The peaceful vocals from Megan Thomas are pleasant and controlled allowing the song to be smooth making it a great introductory track.
Face The Music, however, livens everything up just that little bit. While sounding very much like The Cure, it has elements which make it a brand new song of its own. Ignoring the rather cringey, repetitive lyrics of “I wanna take you on a love boat. If we go back it will be cut throat”, this song is one of the best on the album. It captures the sound of The Cure and brings it back in a style which can fit perfectly in today’s chart.
Another great track on the album has to be Betty Blue which is about a crazy lover who has a breakdown one night. Bringing forward the cheeky side to the band with more upbeat melodies, Betty Blue features the album title lyrics ‘Mad By Moonlight’ in its chorus. This comes after a rather memorable and melodic bridge with the lyrics, “I don’t wanna burst your bubble but I’m a crazy lover, crazy lover yeah. I don’t wanna cause you trouble but I’m hard to love, a crazy lover yeah. I don’t wanna throw off the sheets and call you words I’ve never used before”. This is bound to be stuck in your head later.
It has to be said that Megan Thomas’ vocals have sharpened tremendously since their debut in 2008. You can’t find fault with them. While keeping her indie inspired twangs on the end of certain words, she has also developed the ability to hit high pitches, note perfect without any of the wailing once heard previously. Her voice also doesn’t sound the same on any one of the songs which is what makes her voice so interesting to listen to.
The first half of the album is cheerier than the second where things become a bit deeper and darker. All In Your Head and Supermodel are two of the more emotional songs on the record which are in fact needed to make that balance. They show the very mature side to Thomas Tantrum.
Although I’m congratulating the band on album, it’s worth noting not all the songs are worthy of a listen. Only Human leaves me a bit confused. The chorus is good and catchy like a pop song should be but the verses….well it sounds like Kate Nash has entered the room and this gives it a thumbs down from me.
Everything about this album captures the essence of sleep and how it can affect how you function. Listen to this record with low lighting, snuggled in bed and you will see exactly what I mean. Perfect bed music.
Thomas Tantrum have come a long way since their debut. Everything about them has grown stronger and matured. Mad By Moonlight is a brilliant album that combines many influences while making each and every song the bands’ own. A very pleasant surprise.