Picture credit: Google Images
By Emma Walker
Diamond Horsetail has been used by green-fingered folk for years as an effective form of weed killer. But the name was first brought to my attention as the title EP for three-piece band, Deep Tan. Deep Tan’s entire aura is haunting. A dystopian atmosphere follows the band everywhere, into their image, live performances, and more importantly, into diamond horsetail. We’re taught to never judge a book by its cover, but we can’t always help it. For those judging diamond horsetail simply by its artwork, you’re probably spot on. It’s weird and it’s unconventional, but it’s also one of the coolest EPs I’ve heard this year.
There’s a lot to be said about bands that exercise their right to experiment freely, blurring the line between musician and artist. Deep Tan’s music oozes in experimental freedom. So much so that in addition to falling into the post-punk genre, the band also fall into a genre all on their own. The first track on diamond horsetail is the song ‘beginners’ krav maga’, released as a single in January 2022. The song completely contrasts within itself, lead singer Wafah faintly sings her lyrics with precision, while the jolting sound of the guitar offers to dominate the song completely. Underneath this, the rhythm section morphs the song into one, stringing together the space as the guitar spikes from part to part.
Deep Tan play with the element of space throughout their EP. Instead of a flowing guitar melody, the band use strong basslines and lyrics to weave their music together. In ‘device devotion,’ the song is completely led by the bassline, with the guitar chiming in quietly every now and again. The music does not flow traditionally; it stops and starts, but somehow the tempo has increased. A mixture of spoken word and singing makes for a captivatingly weird song that ends abruptly. The sharp guitar notes and a straight-forward, monotone voice hint towards a new romantics/new wave influence, despite not a synthesiser in sight during their live performances.
The frightening, bizarre piece of music that is ‘gender extension pack’ confirm Deep Tan’s haunting appeal that you can only love. The lack of vocals on this track are replaced by a more prominent guitar sound that almost acts as the vocal piece. The song plays into the intro of ‘ruddy ya ya ya,’ the band’s Rudy Giuiani hate track. If sci-fi was a music genre, this would be it. It’s compelling, with the catchiest chorus. The song hops about, ranging in tempo – the bassline tying the music together in the band’s usual style. Title track ‘diamond horsetail’ has the bands most piercing guitar sound yet. As the song progresses it gets faster, the beat of the drum leading the charge into something even more surreal than before.
Deep Tan’s ability to create a collection of music that is unique in style and sound is extremely exciting, unlike anything I’ve heard before. As the band continue on their May 2022 tour, I’ll be looking forward to seeing how diamond horsetail transforms into the live performance.
To find out more information about Deep Tan, use the following link: deep tan (bandcamp.com)