If Images of Imogen made for an understated and intriguing start and Mankind & Destiny set a more buoyant pace, then this third offering from the spooneristically titled Tash Hagz, really ups the ante. You are immediately greeted by a John Lennonesque, post-Beatle vibe, not necessarily in terms of the sound of the song itself but it does capture the same raw edge and slightly ragged warmth, feeling like the perfect link between the studios potential and an honest, lo-fi jam.
And that, to me at least, says a lot about the man’s approach to making music. No over-polishing, no studio gimmicks, it’s all about substance rather than style, though in its way it is a very stylish song indeed, and even if this honest edge is the product of hours of tweaks and honing, edits and mixing, it still sounds…well, real, for want of a better word. And that is as it should be.
Dependant On is the story of a young man coming of age and trying to squeeze the most out of life. Not so much a boy meets girl narrative, more a boy meets girls, lots of them. And booze. And drugs. And sex. And then with a few kinkier pathways to be navigated as well. Image Iggy’s Lust For Life meets Lou Reed’s Walk On The Wild Side rebranded for the British suburbs!
Although musically it stands on the shoulders of giants, and what music doesn’t, and comes at you with a slightly nostalgic twinkle in its eye and a wry grin on its lips, it is also a wonderful piece of underground pop or alternative rock or whatever terms the kids are using these days for music which sits outside the mainstream. It swaggers with confidence, is loaded with sonic attitude, bounces with buoyancy, grooves gracefully and is full to the brim with contagious melodies.
For more up to the minute references, you need to start throwing around names such as Anton Barbeau an artist similarly able to forge past with present into sweet, slightly psychedelic pop. But even that tells only half of the story, such is the originality of this poised pop-rock piece.
A third single, a third sound, a third real winner. The great thing here is that across this triptych of 7-inch gems, Tash Hagz has given us three very different songs, ones which are separated by subtle shifts in tone and texture to whole different generic springboards. But, like all artists worth their salt, there is a consistency that binds them all together into his unique signature sound.
So, musical appetites truly whetted, calling cards delivered, mission statements posted. Can we have a full album now, please?