Music Review: Tamaryn’s latest strips the guitars and time-warps back to the synthpop ’80s

From the opening moments of Cranekiss, you realize that Tamaryn’s latest album is new in more ways than one. Gone are the swirling guitars and shoegaze-style rhythms—the defining qualities of her last outing, 2012’s Tender New Signs. In their place are an assemblage of synths and drum machines, all chugging away toward a very different style and sound than her previous work. That breathy, soft-to-sultry voice still anchors the proceedings, but much like Tegan And Sara’s about-face into glossy pop on 2013’s Heartthrob, the whole enterprise feels like an entirely new project.

From the opening beat of “Cranekiss,” which sounds like a distaff alternate-reality version of The Smiths’ “How Soon Is Now?,” the record has clearly fired up the flux capacitor and time traveled all the way back to the mid-’80s heyday of synthpop. And not just in the sense of inspiration, or a …

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