Tiny Dancers - Free School Milk

Paul Cook 24/05/2007

Rating: 5/5

'Highly anticipated' falls way short of describing fans' feelings about Tiny Dancers' debut album 'Free School Milk.' With frenetic success in the live scene the energetic Tiny Dancers have been touring the country now spreading their melancholic, indie-washed country melodies for more than two years now. Picking away at an array of stringed instruments, Tiny Dancers form the more spaced, slightly psychedelic Larrikin Love and in the process craft a beautifully delicate collection of tracks.

However, unlike those distant bluegrass-rockers, Tiny Dancers have that genuine sentiment and instantly delightful quality which sets them apart from the commercialised, once-pure Kooks and Arctic Monkeys. Free School Milk displays a relentless, unnerving ambition to express how different and brilliant Tiny Dancers' flair and finesse is.

Patience is a virtue when listening to Free School Milk. Choruses are gently and delicately built, often with no sense of formulaic structure. It's refreshing to here just music, uncomplicated, untouched music and here Tiny Dancers give us just that in the form of twelve expertly crafted tracks, beginning with the brooding'20 to 9', radiating a strong sense of more virtuosity to come.

Following the deep, bass-lines of '20 to 9' is 'I Will Wait for you', an energetically charged strummer of quick riffs and an infectious electro-melody. It's taken down a notch with the pleasantly plucked, ambling 'Baby Love' and 'Ashes and Diamonds' only to soar right back up with the fantastically poppy, barrage of prodigious tracks 'Moonsong #2', 'Hannah We Know' and 'Hemsworth Hallway.' Flirtatiously flickering between country praxis and indie-hued apogees, Tiny Dancers modify and accede the boundaries of genre and style.

It's the little things that make 'Free School Milk' a delight to listen to. Accompanying the already odd country-twangs and indie-riffs, intricate, electronic flourishes send the album into another realm. They compliment the pure and clean soundscape of tickled cymbals and playful guitar melodies. Strewn almost randomly across a solid base of definite bass undertones, every instrument sounds wondrous and better than anything before it. Joviality exudes from each and every track making this music what it's supposed to be. Fun.

Like the paramount track 'Hannah We Know', 'Free School Milk' demonstrates such originality and showmanship, that both lyrically and vocally, Tiny Dancers have absolutely nailed their own unique style and sound. Precision can not usually be as free and playful as this but the cleanliness of the vocals and the graceful prowess of front-man David Kay make Tiny Dancers a completely alternative yet still uncompromising powerhouse, laying waste to anything even claiming to be as good.