London duo Tender’s debut album, Modern Addiction, listens like catharsis. From orgasm, to break-up, to silence, the record breaths closure to a relationship that has intensified, shattered, and healed. It is young, cold, urban, lonely, and an intrinsically modern look at the irrepressible desire to maintain a love, be it destined or doomed.
James Cullen and Dan Cobb’s debut full length, due out later in 2017 out on Partisan Records, explores the phenomenon of comfort and compulsion that is addiction, via a pop record about a relationship. Cullen frames familiar feelings for us to relate to and digest, but simultaneously undermines their presence, leaving the listener holding the same hollow heart that he carried through his addiction. Cobb’s soaring synths and progressive percussion are waxed and shined by the album’s sleek club mix, and the juxtaposition with Cullen’s lyrics is heartbreaking.
Cullen and Cobb formed Tender in 2015, as the bedroom project of two flatmates tired of the design-by-committee nature of larger musical groups. Due to their intimate personal geography, Cobb was privy to the ’toxic’ relationship that gestated Cullen’s lyrics, and this record. Gladly enough, in regards to music-making with Cobb, “nothing seemed like a struggle. We never fought anything,” Cullen remembers. They self-released a few songs and ‘Armour’ wound up on the front page of Reddit a few hours later. Two years and three EPs later, Tender now have tens of millions of streams across Soundcloud, Spotify and YouTube and have enjoyed Hype Machine‘s #1 spot several times with several different tracks.
Tender play The Sunflower Lounge Birmingham on Mon 4th September 2017. Tickets available here.
Watch the video for ‘Violence’ below: