It’s not often that you discover an album that encompasses so much variation of style and panache with respect to its musical delivery. The Tea Clubs -If / When album is an enchanting project that generates a multitude of dynamic time and atmospheric mood changes. The inspiration of which seemingly pays homage to the melodic country rock stylizations of “Crosby, Stills Nash and Young”. But in fact, such a statement would be misleading because there are just so many other influential pathways which can be detected and which are altogether integrated so seamlessly rendering ‘The Tea Club’ a completely unique and extremely interesting band.
There is a distinctly solid togetherness about the band, the root core of which is driven by the formidable songwriting partnership of brothers Patrick and Dan McGowan. The composition ritual, undertaken by these two guys is clearly an extremely polished and practised art, especially how the vocal and supporting harmony arrangements are all so beautifully integrated creating a true depth of feeling. Their mostly well ordered and perfectly considered guitar contributions gradually grabbing your attention as the songs take root.
Surprisingly too, the range of material delivered here is widely diverse mixing melodrama with huge slices of romantic idealism and cinematic soundscapes. The keyboard chord progressions and swirling piano embellishments are paramount to the overall sound and provide a solid platform for the guitars and vocal arrangements whilst myriads of electronic dispersions colour the overall sound even further.
Certainly, it is music to be savoured and appreciated not only for its delicacy and structured artistry but also for the construction which is stacked with multitudes of gently strummed guitar and packed to the brim with various keyboard incursions, In fact far too many incursions and melodic drifts to identify and absorb on first play, thus the need for many replays in order to relish and digest every single aspect of the various complexities associated with the different compositions.
Mostly and throughout the eight tracks the music tends towards a more measured and relaxed pace, but never-the-less saturated with emotive feeling and expressive sensation. However, these guys can really rock it up when the mind takes them especially with the talented and very energetic percussive elements where bassist Jamie Wolff and drummer Dan Monda fuse together their collaborative skills to absolute perfection.
Summary: A delightfully engaging album that showcases the compositional talents of the McGowan brothers, melding together a variety of musical styles that are delivered with much finesse and sophistication.
Daniel McGowan: Vocals, electric, and acoustic guitars.
Patrick McGowan: Vocals, electric guitars, acoustic guitars, 12-string guitars, and mandolin.
Jamie Wolff: Bass guitar.
Joe Dorsey: Keyboards.
Dan Monda: Drums and percussion.
Lyrics by Dan and Patrick McGowan.
All songs were written by The Tea Club.
The engaging album cover, art, was designed by Kendra McGowan.