Monday, October 24, 2016

The fearless and earnest sounds of Echo Park’s Tülips

Tülips will make you feel feelings. | Photo by Zane Roessell

By Nathan Solis

Listening Station ButtonSomething fearless perches atop the mantle of the Echo Park band Tülips, adorned with riot grrrl sensibilities and framed with an untethered joy. The obvious landmarks in Tülips’ world are the Sleater-Kinney overtones on faster tracks like Wait, where the guitar and drums crunch away with vocals from ferocious Angie Bloom. These play out with heart-on-sleeve mannerisms, jostling along with a tragic love story rhythm; it’s overly dramatic for the sake of moving along the song, sort of like burning a love letter that is never meant to be sent.

The other landmark on the Tülips’ map is the faint arrow pointing toward flourishes that remind of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The guitar work bends in unexpected ways and leaves off in strange, exciting places, a sort of parenthetical to experimenting on one’s instrument. These esoteric sidewinder solos land in the earlier Tülips’ track Rain Blame, making do with a less is more approach.

The group manages plenty of catchy hooks with split vocals from Bloom, Taleen Kali, drum work from Travis Barnes and Miles Marisco on bass. There are plenty of references to California on the group’s tracks, but it isn’t all sunny; more like washed out posters to old concerts that people can reminisce over while shooting the breeze outside of a bar. Forget post-punk or garage or any other title to describe Tülips.

It’s earnest and that is all that should matter.

Nathan Solis is a Highland Park resident who writes about and photographs the L.A. music scene. You can find more of Solis’ stories, reviews and photos at Avenue Meander.

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  1. Wait, aren’t these the hipsters that don’t say hello on the sidewalks and therefore are ruining our neighborhoods?

    • Hello, this is Taleen Kali of TÜLIPS and I always say hello when I pass friendly strangers on the sidewalks, parks, and sometimes even when I’m driving around. It’s just good manners. Have a nice day I guess!

  2. TÜLIPS rule forever! Love all of these people!

  3. Kinda juvenile, ya? What happened to good original music?

  4. it’s ‘Sleater-Kinney’, not ‘Slater Kinney’.

  5. I like when eastsider does articles on music / art / lifestyle more than the gentrification related stuff. Keep it posi in the new year

    • Yeah, but unfortunately positivity doesn’t get many comments, so unfortunately expect more negativity, hipster bashing and formulaic gentrification articles in the near future. Wish we were beyond this sub-human territorial cycle but hey, “clicks” sell ads…

  6. Taleen! He was kidding!!!

  7. Tony the Main Spoon

    Yo Nathan, When is their next gig? Keep writing/posting music related stuff like the old “New Times” rag once did that bit the bullet way back when. Perhaps the Eastsider editor can find someone like “the Finger” to gnaw on local politics, guard down. Someone that would even rise to rag on the real estate ads on this very site. I digress. I demand more upbeat pieces and plug more bands!

    • Their next show, at least what I can find, is Feb. 7, at The Echo L.A. with Bloody Death Skull, and So Many Wizards.

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