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Album Review

Brooklyn duo Tanlines return with a second helping of laid-back, romantic synth and guitar pop on their sophomore LP Highlights. The humid Balearic impulses and tropical rhythms of their slightly more danceable debut are more subdued here, though these warm, contemplative pop songs feel no less sunny or pleasing. Bandmates Jesse Cohen and Eric Emm began the project back in Pittsburgh with an album songwriting session at Emm's childhood home. When their computer was accidentally destroyed, denying them their typically digital composition method, they hammered out a number of tunes organically on guitar and drums, setting the stage for an album that ultimately feels more cohesive than their previous effort. Back in Brooklyn, they hooked up with Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor to co-produce the album, working with him in an old church where most of Cohen's vocal sessions were recorded. The more synth-led tracks like the buoyant single "Pieces" and the low-key dance track "Thinking" are in keeping with Tanlines' earlier work, though it's the guitar-led songs like "Slipping Away" and the lonesome "Invisible Ways" that really live up to the album's lofty title. Ultimately, though, the kind of generalized midtempo, melodic pop that Tanlines make is pretty widespread across the musical landscape, and they don't help their case by providing any real distinguishing features. Cohen and Emm are tidy and pleasant craftsmen in a crowded field of peers all referencing the same '80s touch points. Still, Highlights is a step forward for the band and with a bit of patience, its personality begins to show.

Customer Reviews

Great Band

Everything they make is gold!

Great Follow-Up Album

Highlights is a great follow-up album for Tanlines. If you like their stuff, you’ll love the album.

first listen...

from first listen, this album is really chill and simple. love it so far and can't wait to fall even more in love with Tanlines!!!


Born: 2008 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Riding the line between Battles' proggy electro jams and Vampire Weekend’s tropical pop, Brooklyn duo Tanlines started as a remix project by Eric Emm (Don Caballero, Storm & Stress, Brothers) and Jesse Cohen (Professor Murder) that involved friends singing over their music. It evolved quickly into a band, with Emm taking the frontman role and singing for the majority of their debut EP, Settings, which was released in March of 2010 on True Panther. After returning from a European tour supporting the...
Full Bio
Highlights, Tanlines
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Customer Ratings