Former member of New York indie band Now,Now, Jess Abbott (Tancred) has been solo for the past 7 years, releasing 3 albums beginning with her soft, and mellow solo debut ‘Capes’, a self-titled sophomore and a much more aggressive alt-rock immersion with ‘Out Of The Garden’ which compiles inspirations of 90’s alt-rock from the likes of Weezer and The Breeders. Yet with her latest offering ‘Nightstand’, Tancred provides an almost bedroom-pop sound yet stays true to her roots by combining alt-rock hooks, to create catchy and stunning tracks.
The beginning of the record opens with a soft and melodic approach with the short and sweet ‘Song One’ however it contrasts greatly to the second song ‘Queen of New York’, the explosive and bouncy introduction to ‘Nightstand’. Her explosive songwriting doesn’t end there with tracks like ‘Something Else’ with a catchy hook that bursts into life during the chorus and its effect heavy guitar parts which blend to create a brilliant listen, as well as ‘Reviews’, the stand out track from the record with its excitable sound which also features a synth that sounds ridiculously similar to Linkin Parks ‘Numb’ (this doesn’t take anything away from the track). The choppy indie sounds that dance through this record are reminiscent of a much heavier Soccer Mommy, with a soothing voice that compiles hard hitting riffs with a melodic approach.
The soft and emotion led ‘Just You’ and ‘Strawberry Selfish’ maintains a steady tempo and both compile emotion led vocals “You reach into me, Pulled me from the trench, I can see you smile there where the sunlight bends”. Abbott’s stunning vocals are shown at full capacity throughout this record, yet come to providence in ‘Strawberry Selfish’, it’s a luscious track with a powerful hook and jangly beats, thick with gorgeous soundscapes. The final track ‘Rowing’ takes picks at each previous track, its a culmination of the sounds of the record and maintains that emotion and blends it with grit and more powerful guitar parts that bring the album to a momentous finish.
‘Nightstand’ is an album that grips you instantly. Stunning vocals, hard hitting percussion and melodic guitars all culminate into an effortlessly beautiful record.
Words by Piran Aston