Tender Trap – Dansette Dansette (Fortuna Pop!)

Retro joy to start the whole how-do-you pronounce ‘dance’, or even ‘danse’, argument all over again!

Released Jul 21st, 2010 via Fortuna Pop! / By David Brown
Tender Trap – Dansette Dansette (Fortuna Pop!) Here’s a summertime treat with a double slice of retro heading back towards the girl vocal bands of the sixties and, at the same time, the more recent indie rock scene.
First, here’s a little history. The Dansette was a brand name for a popular record player in the 1950s and 1960s when buying and playing seven inch vinyl singles was all the rage. You could stack up to double figures of records on the player and the idea was that when one record finished, the next one would drop down to take its place. This was a nice theory, but all too often the whole pile would come down together, rather ruining the effect!
Dansettes were brightly coloured, square boxes with a lifting lid to reveal the turntable within. The speaker, or later, speakers, were incorporated in the front where the control knobs were also usually to be found. The late lamented Woolworths would sell you a set of four spindly legs to elevate the record player from the floor, but most preferred to sit or lie on the floor and spin their discs!
You can buy a retro-style record player today complete with the ability to play vinyl and CDs and record MP3s formats etc... Certainly Tender Trap’s record is just the sort of music to play on such a wondrous piece of equipment. Tender Trap, not to be confused with The Temper Trap, were founded in 2001 and have released two previous albums, Film Molecules in 2002 and 6 Billion People in 2006. These featured a more electronically based sound, but now here comes plenty of slicing guitar work and increased girl vocal power!
Original members Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey, ex-Talulah Gosh and Heavenly, have been joined by Elizabeth Morris on guitar and Katrina Dixon on drums, both of whom join in with the vocals to provide a joyous, poppy sound to a rock beat. The title track sets the pace with its lyrical nod to Sandie Shaw and Lesley Gore (you get the picture?) and The Supremes and could re-start the whole how-do-you pronounce ‘dance’, or even ‘danse’, argument all over again!
The pop bounce of ‘Do You Want A Boyfriend?’ makes it the ideal choice for the first single from this set, though you cannot imagine girl bands from the classic era singing a song with ‘gynaecologically’ in the lyrics somehow! There’s a diverse range of song topics to choose from, including ‘Girls With Guns’ and the housewives’ choice of horse races ‘Grand National’.
If there is a fault, then it is that the vocals do sometimes get lost in the overall sound and if you are going to feature clever lyrics they should be heard. After all, the famous Phil Spector ‘wall of sound’ managed to project the girl singers’ vocals clear of all those drums and big instrumentation, just listen to ‘Be My Baby’ by The Ronettes, you can hear every word. I’m sure that Mr Spector would love to produce Tender Trap, but he is currently otherwise detained.