When Austin's Tinnarose formed in 2014, they weren't fully prepared for the hype they would generate. Built around the core of songwriter/vocalist Devon McDermott, guitarist/songwriter Morris Ramos, bassist Drew Schlegel, and guitarist/vocalist Seth Sherman the band's 2015 self-titled debut quickly gained accolades for it's balance between indie rock structures and mid-70s songwriting chops. With so much for a new band to live up to, and pressures to tour more often, quit day jobs, sacrifice family time and record a follow up, the band began to fracture. Sherman eventually needed to leave the group.
For several months new songs were written and discarded, shows booked and not played, while the remaining members moved forward with writing a new record as a trio. Coalescing around McDermott's evocative lyrics and haunting mezzo-soprano voice, the album twists through a song cycle about hope, redemption and coming to terms with tragedy. Ramos also steps up to write and sing lead vocals on several tracks, while his technical and stylish guitar playing sets the mood of modern nostalgia for the record. The band also recruited local production duo Fat Fuse (Christopher Cox and Grant Johnson) to help arrange the songs, adding strings, horns, flutes and more. Cox and Johnson have worked on lauded recent records by Dana Falconberry and Abram Shook, among others.
The result - My Pleasure Has Returned - is a collection of songs that builds on the band's fondness for vintage '70s classics, while cementing a more unified sound of their own. Tinnarose has weathered a storm and produced a record of great variety and depth. They may sound like a nod to the past, but this is a band moving forward with purpose and passion.