Time For T. – Time For T

Characterised by classic luscious guitar tones and musical arrangements that could have come straight from the 60's and 70's heyday the band draw inspiration from, Time For T's third EP certainly makes a strong impression. It's a longer effort than they've released so far, these six songs almost feel like a full album's worth and it all sounds great. From the first listen every song has a great laid back vibe and there are a whole bunch of well orchestrated hooks – both instrumental and vocal. The EP begins with their latest single 'Long Day Home' which sounds to me like The Doors mixed with The Coral. The reference to the Palestinian conflict seems a little shoe-horned in a song that's primarily about domestic ennui. The change of gears at around 1:50 is a welcome shake-up, it's a lovely moment, a tumble-down serving of Americana, but the following return to the aforementioned Doors groove feels a little awkward there. It's easily forgiven, for the next trippy bridge with it's great flutters of percussion and delay, leads beautifully into the final chorus.
 
For 'Human Battery' they have successfully discovered the missing link between 70's Americana and 70's reggae – when those chops come in after the stripped down first verse it forms a glorious hook. This song contains one of my favourite lyrical turns on the EP – “I need a human size battery charger/I need to need less things” which stuck in my head after the first time I saw the band live a couple of years ago now. I just wish the song wasn't quite so stoppy-starty the whole time. When things are flowing it's great but for my taste they strip things down to bareness slightly too often on this song. 'Jazz Cigarettes' could suggest a titular origin for the all-pervading sense of mellow sunny days that is found throughout the EP. As on 'Human Battery' this track has plenty of rhythmical down-time this song floats along very naturally from section to section. It's got an appropriately jazzy motif that pops up regularly and the vocal arrangement is top-notch. The quietest moments of this song remind me of some lovely moments from My Morning Jacket's 'Circuital' album – which is great as it is one of my favourite albums! Finally when we get to the outro the song starts to resemble Rumours era Fleetwood Mac – this is great stuff!
 
Next up is 'Free Hugs' another single, this one was released last year with a video which showed the band offering out hugs to any passers by who played ball. It's another stop-starty number built around a Fleet Foxes-esque unison vocal melody. They manage to cram a lot in to two an a half minutes without sounding rushed or over-wrought. 'Johnny' has a more unusual groove – a bit of the afro-beat the band mention in their online descriptions. Then when the verse ends we drop down to a section that Johnny Cash could have written before stepping up into that sort of free-flowing picked Americana this band do so well. I don't think it's quite as strong as the other tracks on the EP, even though it's short on lovely moments. I particularly like the reprise of the verse groove at the end which the band fade out on.
 
'Donkey/Stallion' is the last track on the EP. It begins with some beautiful acoustic guitar playing and keeps us in that mellow stripped-back folky space throughout. Lyrically we hear front-man Tiago reflecting the nostalgia of the musical backing as he sings about longing for the 1970's, when “music and hair” were on the right track. The EP feels seeped in such nostalgia and with what I would consider to be a healthy reverence for a glorious period of music. The song sticks with the acoustic guitar, which is later joined by a few sparse notes on the piano delicately placed and some sweet harmonies to assist the lead vocal. It's a melancholy and mellow end to a lovely collection of songs. Now I can't help but hope their next offering is going to be a full album – for a band with such a high regard for that bygone era can really only make their definitive statement with an LP. I for one can't wait to hear it but there's plenty on this eponymous third EP to keep us happy in the meantime – grab yourselves a copy post-haste!
Adam Kidd