4 Dec 2020
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Imperial April - Single Review: Tonic For Your Boredom

21 Aug 2020 // A review by Trevor Faville

This is the second release from Christchurch combo Imperial April, that has evolved in a new direction from their origins as The Response, with Victoria Ropp taking an upfront role on vocals.

As such, Tonic for Your Boredom is a further refinement - and step up from- previous release Peachy. This effort is sharper, more direct, and finer distillation of Imperial April's essential musical elements. They identify their own sonic touchstones with honesty and accuracy, and indeed one can hear that those influences are referential, deferential, and adding to an overall musical effect-rather than homage or copycatting. A case in point is the relationship between the guitar and keyboard parts- which is symbiotic in the same way that The Cars used to do it, and effective in that exact same way.

Tonic for Your Boredom sets an effective melody in an alto range which allows Ropp to demonstrate a more subtle skill than many- shaping a melody through a lower range is no mean feat, and this melody is phrased cleverly to powerful, musical effect.

And listen to the key point at the end of the chorus where the arrangement follows the melody nimbly through some clever time signature changes. This effect in the hands of many bands seems gratuitous and unnecessary, but not here- the phrasing of the melody is precise, and the arrangement organically flows from that. It's a compelling moment, something done both cleverly and innocuously at the same time.

One of the great strengths of Tonic for Your Boredom is that there is a lot to hear in a short time. You can go back over it and still find more to listen to. This is because Imperial April has a fine sense of melodic interest, arrangement, and editing. They really understand what goes into crafting a good tune.

Tonic for Your Boredom is a rewarding-and fun- listen.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Imperial April

One band's trash is another band's treasure. Imperial April began as a way to up-cycle songs that didn’t quite fit the mould of Victoria and Andy Knopp’s electro-pop project The Response. At first just a selection of songs burnt to CD-R for a mother’s day present, the project has taken on a life of it’s own. After years as a supporting musician lurking in the shadows, Victoria has found a voice as front person. Blending catchy melodies and contemplative lyrics, Imperial April deliver guitar heavy power pop that is sure to get stuck firmly in your head.

For fans of Weezer, The Beths, The Cars, Lucy Dacus and Angel Olsen.


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