It often feels that the last decade has scene a growing chasm between the “mainstream” and “underground” music scenes in Britain and it also often feels that Tim Ten Yen – who writes pop songs but moves in underground indie circles - is a man caught between these two camps, lacking the major label clout to dominate the airwaves whilst being misperceived by sections of the independent media as an exercise in post-modern irony.
Which is a massive shame as he writes joyous, catchy and indescribably wonderful songs that are simultaneously utterly universal and entirely unique. Over the past couple of years I’ve introduced Tim Ten Yen’s music to a variety of people – both hardcore music lovers (from a variety of backgrounds) and casual fans – and the overwhelming majority have fallen in love with it too – it seems his songs can’t help put a smile on people’s faces. Once you combine this with the fact he’s as charming, engaging and charismatic a live performer as I’ve ever seen it’s a winning combination.
Sea Anemone is the absolute pick of the bunch – on first listen simply a fantastic piece of throwaway pop but further listens reveal it to be a complex and moving contemplation of mortality. It’s utterly life affirming stuff and up there with the finest songs of the decade. At one point Tim Ten Yen sings “I don’t want what I don’t deserve”. On that basis he’d be utterly justified in wanting international stardom.
[Album: Everything Beautiful Reminds Me Of You]