Tarmac Adam - The History Effect
Record Label: Onesize Records
Release Date: Feb. 19, 2013
Some albums make an impression from the opening note, others can take a few songs before they sink in. The History Effect, the sophomore album from Australia's Tarmac Adam is the latter album. But once it gets going, then the magic happens. While album opener "Chalk on Slate" is a fine opening salvo, it's not exactly the stuff of legends and there's no emotional wallop at all. Same goes for its successor, "Bygones." If anything the songs are buttery slices of twee folk-pop. But all that gets shoved aside on "You As Me," a near-flawless meditation on happenstance featuring the gorgeous vocals of rising Aussie star Maddy Hay.
There's a definite slant towards Laurel Canyon soundscapes and nowhere is that more apparent than on the ringing acoustic rattler "Leave," which ruminates over how best to eject oneself from a doomed relationship. The History Effect concludes Side A with "Stand," and "Giving Back." The former is an elegiac horn-laden ballad that is both airy and gauzy, while the latter is an ageless slice of pristine mood pop. On Side B, the standouts include the buoyant "Seven Days" and the jaunty "Window Pane." Other notable cuts on the second half are the introspective acoustic ballad "Stuck With This" and the sublime "Slide Down Slowly." The History Effect concludes with the twinkling "Catch His Breath," and the lush "Home," which has a sweeping cinematic quality to it.
While The History Effect is decidedly sleepy, there is still something powerful at work here. Vocalist Matt O'Donnell has a charisma in his delivery and his arrangements (co-written with Steve Paix) are nothing short of gorgeous. Those two simple facts should carry this band forward and help these Aussies make a splash here in America.