Tender Age is a low-fi shoegaze quintet from Portland, Oregon. I stumbled upon their music today, and I don’t really know anything about them, but they say that they’re influenced by a bunch of my very favourite bands: Galaxie 500, Mazzy Star, The Swirlies, Throwing Muses, Bleach, Sonic Youth. Tender Age has been around since 2013, and as far as I know, they’ve released two 7″ records and an EP that came out this year.
Apparently, they are also influenced by pop music from the late 50s and early 60s. The Disappear Here EP features tonight’s song, which was originally done by Bobby Darin in 1959, and a noisy cover of “I Love How You Love Me”, which was recorded by and made famous by The Paris Sisters in 1961.
Tonight’s song is a woozy, dreamy, and noisy adaptation of the original. It’s also played a bit slower, so it has a longer running time than the original. In short, it’s a pretty wild interpretation. I like it much more than I thought I would.
“Dream Lover”, as covered by Tender Age
I really like the boozy woozy sound. It’s like the tape is constantly being manipulated, or the pitch is constantly being adjusted. It’s a weird and fun head space.
There’s a lot about this song that reminds me of Louise Trehy’s old band Swallow, and the magnificent 1992 album Blow. A little bit of it is Tauna Leonardo’s vocals. A little bit is the dreamy, buzzy, fuzzy guitars. Maybe it’s something else. It took me a while to lay a finger on what it was reminding me of, but that’s totally it. And in this house, if something can remind me of Swallow, and if the band can mention The Swirlies, Throwing Muses, Mazzy Star, and Galaxie 500 as influences, and if they even reference (the band) Bleach in the fist place, there’s a really good chance that I’m going to like them. A lot.
And I do.
I don’t know what’s on deck for this band, but I really like what I’ve heard, and I hope they’ll have a full-length long player next year.
The Disappear Here EP was released on vinyl and cassette. The vinyl versions have sold out, but you can still buy cassettes via the Sinis Records Bandcamp page here. You can also buy a digital download there. It’s my understanding that the physical copies feature extra tracks, including a cover of a Sonic Youth song.