EP Review :: Tinge :: Big Deep Sigh

by Mykhailo Vil’yamson

In the song “Pennyroyal Tea,” Kurt Cobain once sang, “Give me a Leonard Cohen afterworld, so I can sigh eternally.” Not every artist possesses the ability to impel listeners to breathe deeply, but this is definitely the case with Tinge’s debut EP Big Deep Sigh. The project hearkens back to when Indie was more Punk than pretentious and when Emo was less of a post-goth fashion statement than an angst-ridden, authentic, and worthy successor to Grunge-era music. 

Veronica Blackhawk – along with bassist Jordan Tate and drummer Lincoln Brown – is Tinge, who released their first five-song collection at the beginning of March via House of Wonders Records. Originally from Northwest Angle 33, Blackhawk resides in Winnipeg; however, it’s the liminal space of wandering between that is most evident in their lyrics – something that’s also sonically palpable. But unlike the sentiment expressed in the line, “I just can’t explain myself to anyone” (from “Armed to the Teeth”), the reason Big Deep Sigh resonates so immediately and profoundly is that the artist has found a way to make plain the raw emotion of not feeling quite at home in the world through brilliant songwriting. Blackhawk’s poignant yet unwavering voice, coupled with the calculated precision of the seamlessly woven instrumentation, serves as a vehicle to transport the listener into a realm beyond, where one both sees and feels seen.

As soon as one hears the opening two chords from “Native Tongue,” Tinge’s hook is already deeply embedded in one’s heart, and it’s known that something transcendent is about to take place. The emotive interplay of playfully sad guitar, bass, and steady drums are hypnotic, and then the vocals hit with such a beautifully subtle and paralyzing force. Transfixed, the landscape suddenly begins to shift, revealing new heights and depths that weren’t initially apparent. Blackhawk’s singing is truly mesmerizing on this track. As for what follows in “Eye Contact,” there seems to be a dreamy channeling of the best of ‘90s Alternative (e.g., The Cranberries, Nirvana), which is paired up with some lighthearted yet edgy Math Rock in the high-school-nostalgic “Big Crush.” The “Burden Complex” is, as the title suggests, with unexpected shifts in tempo signaling how out of control life can feel. And this all leads to the last track, which was the first single to be released. If there was ever a song that could typify neo-Emo, it’s “Armed to the Teeth,” which is gloriously introspective and melancholy and has so many layers to uncover that it demands being listened to on repeat for every aspect of it to be sufficiently savoured.Big Deep Sigh is available at tingetheband.bandcamp.com as a digital download, as well as being offered on limited edition cassette.

Catch Tinge playing at Real Love Festival and Rainbow Trout Music Festival this summer.

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