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SINGLE REVIEW: Multiples - Tall Trees

The Underground Giveth

Multiples - Tall Trees (2020 Multiples)

There are things that should be expected from self-released material in indie rock, and there are things that should not. The debut single from London quartet Multiples is a phenomenal example of exceeding any expectations for an independent, underground release in 2020 and a single that announces the group as an excellent emerging talent from the UK scene.

'Tall Trees' has so much going for it. Like, wow. Excuse me for gushing its praises, but all this article is really going to achieve is a comprehensive list of every aspect I love about this song. Starting things off (kilter), the stop-start guitar passages quickly find themselves secured tightly within the erratic, though phenomenally controlled drum grooves provided by Rob Janke (decidedly without-jank). Evocative of the work of Radiohead's Phillip Selway, flirtations with math rock experimentation feel entirely appropriate for the single's feel, before the vocals of Neraj Thangarajah, and Tom Short combine with Janke to announce the track as something special.

The sparse low/high octave separation of the verse harmonies are sensational. Recorded phenomenally well, the vocals are close, intelligible and simply sound excellent. As the chords transition into a wider atmospheric soundscape provided through the synths of Short and final band member Tom Clark, the vocals pick up an even greater weight, climbing into an emphatic hook. Breaking into an instrumental passage, as much as I adore the hyper-processed guitar tone from [1:35-1:42] the track loses momentum prior to revisiting its chorus for the first time.

The transition from this second chorus and into the next instrumental section is a little abrupt, without really feeling that powerful a shift, but as soon as the swirling vocals begin at [2:43] it's clear that something interesting is coming, with a cathartic release of loud instrumentation breaking through. Powered by a subtle, but impactful bass contribution from Short, the low notes land incredibly well, though it would've been nice to have heard Janke push the track a little further into the wild virtuosity I feel he is capable of, as evidenced by the incredible control exhibited in the track's earlier drum performances.

Returning for a final rendition of the chorus, the track finishes tightly - begging to be played again. Perhaps in places the track could've been condensed a little, with the length of its instrumental sections maybe not doing quite enough to justify pushing the track beyond 4 minutes long, but what Multiples have achieved with 'Tall Trees' is a clear demonstration of precisely what is waiting to be discovered in the underground. Complete with masterful mixing from Louis Swords, this is a must-listen in 2020 and a band that needs to be kept firmly in your sights.


- great -


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Thanks for reading! Slow Motion Panic Masters is a music, arts and culture blog created and edited by Ben Wheadon, a literature student and musician based in South Wales.

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