Tapedeck 45 are an Indie Rock band from Dundee and Perth. After years of changes the band has recently settled as a 5 piece. This year they had a UK summer tour in the planning stages and the release of their long awaited debut EP. However with the world in lockdown and the summer tour postponed the band decided to delay the release of the EP until this could be toured and promoted at shows and events. In the meantime Tapedeck 45 challenged themselves to write, record and release and EP about the lockdown with the minimum resources at their disposal. The result is the 3 track recording, aptly titled “Songs For the Socially Distanced”.
Tapedeck 45 is an easy band and to fall in love with. Thick haunting atmospheres, lots of guitars – acoustic and electric, intense melodies, beautiful vocals and thoughtful lyrics. Though it may be difficult to adequately describe the sound that the band creates, as expansive would be an understatement, and an overstatement simultaneously.
There’s so much going on, but not in an overwhelming sense. They can go from the bare yet textured acoustics of the “Reclaim Me” intro, to the dense alt-rock built on thickets of crunchy guitar riffs on “All You Gotta Do”. Or they can straddle somewhere in-between with the jangly up-tempo hybrid “Home”.
Tapedeck 45 deliver the sort of organic-styled warmth you didn’t think existed in music anymore, but somehow, through the magic of production and the work of a band that knows exactly what sound they want, there it is.
Tapedeck 45 is one of those rare collectives that can simply transport you from the confines of your listening space, to a remote locale, with grandiose arrangements and rich echoey harmonies. The percussion thumps and smacks, but never bangs, the guitars can be as gentle as they are ferocious. One moment you’ll be caught up in a sweet croon, and the next an explosion of sound that will jostle you.
From the moment “Home” begins to narrate the gravity of the lockdown, forging contrasting choruses to illustrate how the situation was affecting people differently, sonic textures become aplenty on this record. All of this together, presents listeners with a triad of songs that are bursting with sound, yet economical in their instrumental distribution.
“Reclaim Me”, a song about staying strong and trying to maintain normality, in a period which is anything but normal, is regarded by the band as the essential core of this project. It also showcases the band’s ability to craft catchy Indie-Pop gems dominated by organic-styled instrumentation.
I’m seriously attracted to “All You Gotta Do”, with its urgent forward progression and hard-edged guitar riffs. “The track addresses the issue that most musicians will face when locked up,” says Tapedeck 45, “becoming an alcoholic.” The beauty here, in this track, and the others, is to be found in the moment. Every meticulously planned-out second plays its part in establishing a cohesive, emotional whole.
The crux of the power in these songs comes from the interplay between the bands Alt-pop instincts and their Indie-rock intentions. “Songs For the Socially Distanced” is mellifluous and immediate, with bright grizzled edges and engagingly captivating hooks, but it’s also a sonic collage of diametrical puzzle pieces, which craftily complete the whole harmoniously.