Hardly Art is Tindrumm's debut album. Released on the 13th September 2017 through Trinitus Sounds records.
Hardly Art is a sprawling journey that sees the birth of an artist right through to his demise. Tindrumm have been well documented as ‘A band that's not afraid to have big ideas and to commit them to record.’ (Even The Stars) and Hardly Art is no exception to that. If its the ‘mesmerisingly beautiful melodies delivered by Lee’s dreamy vocal’ (Alternative Tracks) on Coming Up For Air, the stark angst of Sold My Skin or the trawling journey of the fifteen minute wonder that is Ripples // Stones In An Ocean, Hardly Art takes you on a journey thats dark, uplifting and life-affirming. Hardly Art was recorded over a two week period at Salfords famous Blueprint Studios with engineer, Gary Hadfield (Elbow, I Am Kloot, The Stereophonics). Inspired by the way the album came into being created, Tindrumm opted for a live recording to capture the feel and energy they had developed in their former rehearsal space at Brunswick Mill. Finishing touches were put to Hardly Art by Grammy award winning mastering engineer, Mandy Parnell (Bjork, Aphex Twin, Sigur Ros) who said of the record, “This is art”.
'1864' is Tindrumm's Latest single. A very different approach for the band, a 4 minute single is not a common feature in Tindrumm's repertoire. This song was written in May 2016 at the same period as the bellow mentioned tracks: This Time Tomorrow and Hollowtooth. During the writing process some songs can take much much longer to form than others. 1864 was one of those rare tracks that just fell into place almost without saying a word. A welcome occurrence I assure you.
The main thing that stuck out for us on 1864 was the chorus. Ryan brought some beautiful chords to the table for the chorus and that really gave us a positive energy to carry on the song into what you can hear today. It's a very simple song structure but when executed properly gives a real impact. Here's a few words from Ryan about the meaning of the song:
“1864 came about from my obsession with historical events and how numbers, such as dates, are assigned to them. When we grow up that’s how we are taught them and basically how we remember them. I also remember all the tall tales of Christopher Columbus being this great majestic adventurer, and finding out, later on in life, what absolute rubbish that was. It made me think and question a lot of other things I felt like I knew. It was just an idea I had about history, that I believe it’s important for us to ask ourselves, what if none of it is real?” _Ryan Lee.
This Time Tomorrow // Hollowtooth
This Time Tomorrow // Hollowtooth really were meant to come as a pair. Although very different tracks, they seem to fit with one another extremely well. Written in May 2016 between shows, they developed at different paces. This Time Tomorrow stemmed from an acoustic guitar melody Pete had been playing for a while, and in a writing session we started to piece it together into what we have now. The song wasn't truly finished until we'd recorded it. It was one of those songs that flourished in the recording environment.
Hollowtooth started off as a completely different idea. It was an idea Mat and Ryan had with Piano and Drum kit. The drums played a kind of shuffle with a trigger on the snare drum with lots of delay. After a few weeks passed and they were looking for ideas for a single release they rediscovered this idea and decided to have another look at it. Mat had decided to set his kit up in a different way to usual and wanted to try out this tribal style tom groove. Ryan moved from piano to acoustic guitar and the basic foundation of the song was set. Here's Ryan on the themes of TTT // HT:
‘In my head both of the tracks play out as a sort of short film in my head, with two opposing stories that interweave with various themes about isolation, disparity between the sexes and the expectation of the word ‘love’ in 2016. The artwork was always the key representation of the two ideas, man and woman. ‘Hollowtooth’ finds itself in the hands of a woman who slowly over the course of the track tries to figure out this man who she finds herself trapped with, in a way she seems so far away from the reality she dreams to live and uncomfortably close to the hell she is in. The ’This Time Tomorrow’ story is concerned with the male character who for most of the track i envisioned looking through a window at a woman he would never reach.. No man is innocent of that, social media has only upped the ante in a way non of us really understand. I had spent an evening when i first moved to Manchester in a bar and watched men approaching girls like they were all circus ringmasters trying to pull off the ‘best trick’, thats where a lot of those thoughts kind of started for me and also where the ‘come on and all’ line appeared from when we worked on the tracks cause i was reminded of that night.’