With cinematic, orchestral crescendos and whispered, sinister lyrics, Tenderhost’s debut single ‘The Descent’ has managed to wrap an untraditional post-punk track in the aesthetic of a smoky 1920s underground jazz club.
Opening with a burst of violins cutting through stripped back guitars and minimal drums, ‘The Descent’ feels like something emerging out of the gloom.
With clean rhythms punctuated with abstract saxophone melodies and soaring strings, the track has such a specific sonic texture that it cannot help but provoke images akin to the film-noir movement of the 1950s. The lyrical narrative continues the mysterious, vivid aesthetic, with images of bruising and descriptions of “peeking through the blinds” creating the sense of a looming threat waiting in the shadows.
This is not frontman Gabriel Levy’s first venture onto the scene, in fact it has been three years since his sorely missed former project Sistertalk released their first and only single ‘Vitriol’. Even now, years later, the excitement felt from Levy’s sound has resulted in intense anticipation of his future ventures. Across both Sistertalk and this new project, Tenderhost, Levy has proven adept at creating an atmosphere of suspense filled unease, the music feels dark and moody with ominous undertones. ‘The Descent’ is not playful, it takes itself very seriously, yet is unpredictable and experimental in an exhilarating way. The malice seen in Sistertalk has shifted, the demons are no longer external but internal and we witness Levy’s exploration of them through a dramatic, cinematic lens.