Thames is a five-piece indie rock/pop band comprised of Gabriel Jackson (vocals/guitar/keyboard), Zander Hayes (guitar/synth/vocals), Noah Gregory (guitar/piano), Connor Fiehler (bass/vocals) and Sean Buchert (drums/synth/vocals) from Saint Louis, MO that formed in 2017. The band recently released Spotlight which they say “dove into dance/rave music as well as ambient/electronic sounds.”
This is a great album and while the songs are dance worthy I wouldn’t call this rave music. My days at raves are long gone but there wasn’t much music playing like this at a rave in Chicago. Their music seemed more of the ilk of a band like Passion Pit and Hot Chip which you could still dance your ass off to. The music is obviously upbeat but also very hopeful and cathartic perhaps like The Flaming Lips. There is an innate sense of joy through most of these songs.
The band gets going with “Spotlight” and there is piano melody slightly sounding like something from Elton John but the groove is much more dance oriented. I loved the vocals across the board here. Jackson just has aesthetics in his delivery that really appealed to me. The vocal harmonies that happen are also fantastic and where my mind went to Passion Pit. Great song.
“You Do It To Yourself” melds in perfectly with 2005 - 2010 dance punk. Cut Copy, Out Hud and LCD Soundsystem will work on the same playlist with this song. The band get all the moves right from the infectious hooks to the hi-hat sound.
“Shangri La” felt a little more aligned with a band like Local Natives. It’s a tad more emotive and melancholy. There are some inventive sounds on this track. That drone sounded great and also defined the song. “V.” felt more like a cerebral vignette if not an interlude.
They get back into dance territory with “Eye Contact.” The production pushes some limits by playing with the pitch of the vocals. I wouldn’t call this song dark but it isn’t afraid to feel like midnight moonlight.
“(I Could Use Some)” is perhaps the most inventive track. There is some really original sounding production that felt contemporary. They close with “Love Right Now” and this song actually has a tinge of Americana. I sort of hate to say it but at points it reminded me of John Mellencamp except if I really liked his music.
Thames delivers the goods and I really like the moves they made with this album In fact, I would say it's a gem of an album you might have missed. Don't pass this up.
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