19 Jun 2024
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T. G. Shand - EP Review: Cinnamon

28 Jul 2023 // A review by Samantha Cheong

The Cinnamon EP is the five-parter passion project of Annemarie Duff. Honed over three years, Duff’s plan to extend her shoegaze and dream pop discography into an album were "scrapped" into a short player that focuses on eliciting a musical and emotional journey. Produced under the name T.G. Shand, it took a few listens for me to really pick out the lyrics and feel enraptured by the effect of the entire record—but that never fazes me, because that can be the case when listening to even my favourite artists. Often, the best music improves upon each listen, and that is certainly the case with Cinnamon.

It opens with Notions, a lulling, cinematic delay of vocals and electronic soundscapes. The harmonies take us on a journey, where the minimalistic lyrics and lo-fi production promise the visceral potential of perhaps falling in love.

The lead track memorably utilises dynamic instrumentation as its strength, such as dropping out into a bass riff. The EP’s namesake shifts into higher gear with a heavier rhythmic pulse, cadences of rock sensibility and grinding guitar riffs that are satisfying but leave me wanting more sections by the time it fades out.

Featuring re-tracked drums by Cory Champion for the EP’s release, Fatwood’s droll instrumentation tickles the bottom of our ears with the imagery of kerosene, as the falsetto vocals uplift the moodiness of the piece. The production gives way to embers of distorted strumming before offering us relief in its vocal clarity as it dips and climbs.

WAWO, or "We Are Way Off", maximises the emotional effect of a song strongly backed by the simplicity of a six string. With her trusty Yamaha CP-70 piano, Duff evokes the ebbing and flowing tides of Beach House’s sound.

Live, Duff’s music could capitalise not only on its synths and guitar, but the driving pulse that only live percussion can emulate compared to its secondary role in studio—to further propel the tangible journey that the EP seeks to bring forth. It feels that it’s only until the EP closer Streets that percussion takes an intriguing African-esque turn.

The disbanding of previous act Miniatures doesn’t hold back T.G. Shand’s growth; it fosters it in its opportunity for solo experimentation where sprinkling of spice to one’s dish can make all the difference.

 

About T. G. Shand

Described most often as “dreamy”, this lofi dream-pop project is produced by Annemarie Duff out of Otautahi, in the South Island of New Zealand.

Previously of Melbourne shoegazers, Miniatures, T. G. Shand has a modern nostalgic vibe for lovers of “lush, twangy guitar-pop”. These beats-driven tracks comes with a classic twist from the 90s shoegaze scene. An upcoming EP Cinnamon has been a few years in the works, and is scheduled for release 28 July 2023.


Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for T. G. Shand

Releases

Cinnamon
Year: 2023
Type: EP

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