In March of 2012, Brooklyn experimental dream-pop duo, Tanlines, debuted their first LP, Mixed Emotions – an aptly-titled album stradling the spectrum of emotional tensions that accompany the common experience of “getting older.” Demonstrating a stirring perception of life’s highs and lows, Tanlines members, Jesse Cohen and Eric Emm, strike an impressive balance of lyrical profundity and instrumental buoyancy. The album features a range of tracks that cover the works: people changing, lovers changing, ourselves changing, and the constant clash between resisting and accepting such changes.
Leading off is the airy, mid-tempo dance beat of “Brothers,” paired with lyrics encompassing the plagues of indecision and living too much inside our heads. At the halfway point, the thematic track “Not the Same,” boasts a catchy, synth-driven sound with darker-toned vocals exploring the conflict of making changes to our lives while maintaining a convincing identity. Later in the album, the duo mellows out with “Rain Delay,” a somber, floaty break-up melody that painfully and accurately reveals how harsh reality can be.
The reality for Tanlines, however, probably couldn’t look any better after their debut album. After forming in 2008 and producing a well-received EP in 2010, all Cohen and Emm had to do was expand on their successful sound. Mixed Emotions is a dazzling debut LP that successfully captures the intimate struggle between who we were and who we have become.