Album Review: Tan Cologne – Cave Vaults on the Moon in New Mexico

Tan Cologne‘s debut album ‘Cave Vaults on the Moon in New Mexico’ is a thing of ethereal beauty. There’s something in the spaces between the echoes and the jangling guitars, the languid distant voices and the reverb-drenched waves of sound that evokes space and time: a mystical geography and the tyranny and joy of distance.

Of course Tan Cologne hail from New Mexico and this seemingly provides a golden thread throughout the album, however self-constructed by the listener, of a magical distant place filled with endless blue skies and dust, bleached skeletons and the open road. Yet this album is cloaked in a far more modern melancholia more commonly found in a dark gothic musical realm. And herein lies the wonderful dichotomy of Tan Cologne. Misty, cloudy, cold-as-ice dream pop from the blistering desert.

Track seven, ‘Quartz of Rose’, for example is Donna Summers ‘I Feel Love’ rolled into a Chris Isaacs’s ‘Wicked Game’: languid, sensual and cool. Arctic sharp guitars over laid-back mesmerising vocals.

Backseat Mafia has previously praised earlier singles, ‘Cave Vaults on the Moon in New Mexico’ and ‘Alien‘ which both epitomise the magical tone evinced by Tan Cologne. But across the eight tracks of the album, the band has created a consistent level of quality and created an album that is a complete piece of a very enchanting tale.

After the opening title track, ‘Strange Gods’ has a haunting quality with its layered vocals and dreamy tone – a paean to the unusual and alternative. ‘Empty Vessels’ speeds up the pace with the same hazy waves that fuels the psychedelic verve – building and receding rhythms punctuated by the sharp drills of guitar and a slightly off kilter drone.

‘Empty Vessels’ begins with an almost jaunty flow in contrast to the rest of the album before becoming more contemplative with vocals coming to fore with delicate, enchanting melodies.

The album ends with ‘Monsoon’ – a druggy, spaced out farewell that recalls the rawness of Velvet Underground mixed with the sensuality of Mazzy Star. Gorgeous.

‘Cave Vaults on the Moon in New Mexico’ is a mesmerising delight: a psychedelic trip through an alien world enclosed in a warm, comforting blanket. It’s a trip you will want to take over and over again.

You can get the album through the normal download/streaming sites.

You can also order physical copies through here from Rough Trade.

Catch Tan Cologne at the following venues:

2.14.2020 – Tan Cologne ALBUM RELEASE with Grant Earl LaValley at The Hi Hat – Los Angeles, CA

2.17.2020 – Tan Cologne with Secret Flowers at the Morrocan Lounge – Los Angeles, CA

2.21.2020 – Tan Cologne with Grant Earl LaValley at Greater Goods – Ojai , CA

2.22.2020 – Tan Cologne with Grant Earl LaValley at Landers Brew – Joshua Tree, CA

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