The first notes of ‘Hungry For The Dark’, by TLA, sound like they could be by New Order; and in fact, as the group themselves say they grew up on punk rock, and have clearly been influenced by New Wave and other UK music styles, it’s not hard to imagine why that would be the first impression.
Add to this their Facebook bio, which is a quote from 80s “brat pack” classic, ‘The Breakfast Club’, and you realise that this isn’t some chance happenstance – their sound is deliberately geared that way, and heck, it could certainly have been on the soundtrack for the film – Simple Minds who?
‘Hungry For The Dark’ is one of a double A side single, which also features the thumping club banger, ‘Among The Living’. Both released 1 September through Dowd Records, it’s the first one which speaks most of all to me, with its swirling synths and gossamer light vocals underpinned by a strident bassline which carries all the way through the track. It’s gorgeously mixed with layers that can only be discovered when listening through headphones, and will get you imagining you’re starring in an 80s film: I was every character ever played by Ally Sheedy, how about you?
‘Among The Living’, the flipside of ‘Hungry For The Dark’, is more up tempo, however it’s no less influenced by TV and cinema of the 80s. Rather than a John Hughes film though, it’s coming from ‘Miami Vice’, or ‘Beverly Hills Cop’; the fast-paced staccato synth rhythms reminiscent of Jan Hammer’s ‘Crockett’s Theme’, with maybe a bit of Thomas Dolby, and Herbie Hancock thrown into the mix – heck let’s just add some Kraftwerk as well! Beautiful stuff!
The lo-fi and lovely creations of TLA come from the shared experiences and many years of friendship of Jon Sortland (The Shins), visual artist Tahiti Pehrson, and The Pleased’s Jason Clark, along with longtime friends and collaborators Miguel Aldana, and Genaro Vergoglini (The Pleased) completing the quintet. Their music is crafted the way it should be – from gut pure creativity, and songwriting that’s come straight from the heart – stream of consciousness stuff, not written and rewritten over and over by a committee aiming purely for a number 1 hit, while removing its very soul.