One thing that immediately sticks out to me about indie-folk/power-pop band The Tang’s I’ll Try Harder Next Time EP is the presence of the influence of Elephant 6, opening track Deep Space Nine would fit comfortably on any Elf Power or Of Montreal record, it employs elements of dreampop and surfrock, creating a wholely unique sound in the process.
The Tang wastes no time on things it cant control, songs are underproduced but properly mixed, giving a rough aesthetic to the dreamy, ethereal instrumentation. The Tang smartly handles the balance of recording stadium pop ballads on a shoe-string budget, taking direct cues from influences like Big Star or Mac DeMarco.
Possibly the greatest thing about I’ll Try Harder Next Time is the array of sounds present, as drummer Michael O’Leary told me “the sounds of this EP penned by singer-songwriter Jesse Tenn range from reverb heavy lo-fi bangers to romantic yet heartbreaking dream pop melodies.” and nothing could be more true. All of its different pieces are held together in a jigsaw fashion by creative director and lead Jesse Tenn, who’s Robert Schneider-esque pop sensibilities favor mathematical precision and experimentation over safety and familiarity.
The most impressive part of this EP is that it still maintains its pop appeal, even when so packed full of bells and whistles you’d think that the album was ready to burst at the seams. And that’s a testament to The Tang’s raw talent.