Tram – Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Jetset has saved me. I was listening to album after album of loud, abrasive music, including a few too many typical hardcore bands to suit my tastes. My day was feeling long and bleak. And then I slid Tram’s second full-length into the CD player and sighed happily. I sat back as the soft, lush sounds of this band washed over me. This London band’s album is now rarely out of my CD player.
Tram play a style of music that I have just recently appreciated to such a degree, a type of lush, lovely slow-core style rock. The references are many. Think Arab Strap, Mojave 3, Nick Drake, Low, Smog, Will Oldham, Songs: Ohia. The music follows a slow, easy, comforting pace that never sounds repetitive. Acoustic guitar and light drums abound. But what makes this so special is the use of piano, keyboard, oboe, trumpets, and strings to fill out several of these songs. And the sheer mood created by these songs leaves you with the most wonderful feeling, even as the songs take on a darker tone.
“Now We Can Get On With Our Lives” starts, and it’s so quiet and peaceful, I’m immediately embraced in the warm production. Acoustic guitar mixes perfectly with Paul Anderson’s hushed and slightly echoed vocals. The background here, filled with soft noise, occasional piano, and soft drums, reminds me of a Mazzy Star style song. “Giving Up” has a darker feel, primarily from the lyrics, but where it shines is when the strings kick in, giving the song a thicker, more lush feel. There are also moments of Anderson’s vocals echoed and almost alone in front of sparse guitar. “Once I Was” has a bit more of a full sound, with electric guitar and piano used more extensively and even harmonica heard in the background. I defy you not to swoon as Anderson sings, “And sometimes I wonder, just for a while, will you ever remember me?” “He Walks Alone” is one of my favorites here, with Anderson’s voice matching the guitar and singing in a slightly spacey, very mellow and textured way. This song is gorgeous, made more so by its simple structure. There’s some absolutely gorgeous acoustic guitar, almost classical in nature, that really makes the instrumental “Folk” a wonder. The use of oboe here is a wonderful touch as well. “Social Disease” has a bit more of a British pop sound, sort of like if Hefner had a better singer and slowed their songs down about three times as much. “Are You Satisfied” is almost heart-breaking, with the use of keyboards backing up the guitar and lyrics that are personal and emotional. And “Light a Candle on My Birthday” ends with an absolutely lovely feel, the guitar thick and calm, strings adding the perfect background, another wonderful instrumental that will take your breath away.
This album is brilliant, full of beautiful and lush songs that are framed around lovely vocals and soft acoustic guitar but filled with strings and piano and other instrumentation. These songs will envelop you, embrace you, seal you in a warm protective womb of comforting, soft music and lovely lyrics. I can’t stop listening to this.