Tenacity lead us down dark passages, illuminated by brilliant ‘Long Faint Lights’
The ability for bands to grow out of a singular mind comes only from those who have the open-mindedness to absorb the influences of others. It is a skill that a rare few have, and even fewer can stomach. Tenacity comes from one such place.
“These songs are made up of the most personal words I’ve ever shared with anyone, and not just through music but in general.”Ula Wodarz, Tenacity
Originally a solo project helmed by multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Ula Wodarz, Tenacity expanded with the inclusion of bassist Tim Burghaus after their chance collaboration at BRIT School. Guitarist Daniel Lazenby and drummer Simba Jindu joined shortly after, and before long they had become a staple of the London music scene, and moulded their signature sound.
The act describe their new album Long Faint Lights as a cinematic soundscape, and it is clear why. The signs are apparent from the opener False Warning, dark guitar passages leading the listener down a dark descent into foreboding and misdirection. Lyrically, Ula sings of ignoring the evil thoughts in her head, and the fear of losing someone close to her. The chorus opens up into a lofty atmosphere, and backing harmonies add layers to the melody that glide across the instrumentation. It’s a gorgeous introduction that calls to mind acts such as Radiohead, and Portishead.
Tonally, the music shifts for following songs Doubt Me, and Out of the Dark. On the former, the pop side to the band comes across in the plucky guitar and moody sub-bass. The chorus flows in on a groove that would be at home on a samba track, while on the backend of the song high-gain guitar adds bite, as well as intricate motifs and harmonised refrains. On the latter, plodding drums and pulsing bass lead the song along. Arpeggiated synths layer the together with Ula’s vocals to produce a rich sounding, yet almost lo-fi aesthetic.
“This album has been a long time coming for us, and I think (like many people) we’ve been through a lot in the past few years. These songs reflect on those experiences and are a call for a better future going forward.”Daniel Lazenby, Tenacity
Perfect End shows off Ula’s vocal prowess, bursting into a powerful chorus after building with looping, Massive Attack-esc drums, while Where No One Finds Me reveals an acoustic side, complete with a brass accompaniment that reverberates over the soft synths. Closer False Hope begins like a Thom Yorke solo venture, but develops into a brooding pop song, before exploding around the halfway point, bringing together all the albums major elements in a cacophony of sound. It fades into the airy remnants of the synth and vocals, leaving the listener time to contemplate on what they have just heard.
Conceptually, Tenacity are a typical four-piece band, but sonically, they provide something left-field and unique. At points, they wear their influences on their sleeve, but never to the detriment of the songwriting, nor their integrity. Each song flourishes with interesting passages, creative rhythms, and mysterious lyricism; a triple-hit that keeps the listener engaged upon every listen. It may be a while until we hear new music from the group, but Long Faint Lights provides enough intrigue and catchy hooks to keep fans entertained until such a time as the band sees fit to release new material.
Listen to ‘Long Faint Lights’ from Tenacity on Spotify:
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