Utrecht beach-pop quartet TESSEL dazzled with their debut single “Family Time,” which was released at the beginning of the year. We described the track as a cleverly written pop song that might just brighten up your day. Now their follow-up track “Cinema” has been unveiled, TESSEL’s weather forecast shows nothing but sunny skies ahead.
Produced by Simon Akkermans at Rainbow Unicorn Studios, the song includes fellow Utrecht based singer-songwriter Amber Arcades (Annelote de Graaf) to complement the vocal arrangement. Lead vocalist Levi Oostermeijer mentions in a press release, “’Cinema’ is a duet from the perspective of two lovers. They go on a date to the cinema, the place they first met. Popcorn on your lap, a soda in the cup holder on the chair – 3,2,1 – the film is running.”
And just like that, vibrato-laden guitars welcome you into the hazy sonic scene, coupled with straight, lo-fi-esque drum beats that give the track its danceable feel. Oostermeijer proceeds to deliver his vocals in a laidback style similar to that of Unknown Mortal Orchestra with the first lines reading: “Talking on the phone / While we’re looking bored as always when we’re in the park / Your words like loaded guns, no / I don’t feel like waiting for you from the start.”
Like they did so well with their debut, once more the band have opted to encapsulate their more morose lyrical messages within their beach-pop sonic bubble, and it works very well. Amber Arcade’s delicately husky vocals in the second verse reveal a more intimate side to the track, responding acutely to Oostermeijer’s sulky lament in the first verse.
The catchy chorus lines — “watching ourselves in the cinema” — are the real pull of the track and Oostermeijer explains the meaning behind these lines in a press release: “A story identical to that of the two lovers is projected onto the screen… resulting in a ‘break-up’ scene. The hall light comes on, the show is over.”
TESSEL’s second offering of the year is another tasty delight and further suggests that Utrecht should become Europe’s next beach-pop capital (and yes, before you ask, there are city beaches in Utrecht).