The whirlwind of Sheffield based bands that appeared on the radar after the success of Arctic Monkeys was somewhat phenomenal, yet totally expected. It’s something that just happens nowadays whenever a success story like the Monkey’s happens. Before you know it a new ‘scene’ has been dreamt up by the NME (in this case ‘New Yorkshire’ being the offending movement) and bands are signed and dropped quicker than you can say “does my arse look big in these skinny jeans?”. Scrawny youths with unkempt hair singing about getting pissed and shagging your best friends girlfriend has a shelf life, and it expired months ago. There is a diamond in the rough though, in the rush to sign the next Arctic Monkeys, Parlophone signed Tiny Dancers in early 2006 and although pigeon-holed into the New Yorkshire movement this 5-piece band couldn’t have less in common with their stable mates if they tried.
Tiny Dancers debut, Free School Milk has been strategically released just in time for the summer months. Its an album awash with ideas aplenty. An aural delight of wide eyed power pop, country tinged hoedowns and tender balladry. One things for sure is that Tiny Dancers aren’t afraid to wear their pop hearts on their sleeves, most evidently in the hook laden I Will Wait For You and current staple of daytime radio Hannah We Know. However, at times the arrangements being big, brash and hugely confident can at times be both a blessing and a curse. The jauntiness of the songs often cover up the fact that frontman David Kay hasn’t got the most emotive voice in the world, so whilst it’s easy to listen to the album and allow the summery goodness to wash over you, when the music stops the effervescent melodies just don’t stick, thus leaving portions of the record fairly forgettable. This isn’t always the case though, the shuffling Sun Goes Down has an irresistible pop swagger, like the Stone Roses but with added E numbers that is so sugary sweet it demands repeated listens. And on 20 to 9 the band transform a slow building tribal drumbeat and layered synth and guitar into a soaring anthem that swoops and glides through your ear drums like a breath of fresh air.
It won’t change the world, nor does it try to. Rather than fitting into a current trend, Tiny Dancers have simply allowed their creative juices to pour out onto the record and in turn they have created their own spin on pop music, and for the most part it works a treat. So, if you’re after a quick fix of sparkly sun kissed indie-pop this summer, Tiny Dancers are here, ready and willing to fill the void.