The Ting Tings – Sounds from Nowheresville
If you’ve spent any time listening to the radio over the last few years there is a good chance that you’ve heard music from the Ting Tings. Who exactly are they you may ask? For many the bells only start ringing after mentioning their 2008 punk-pop hit song “That’s Not My Name.”
RELEASED: February 2012
RECORDED: 2009–11 Berlin, London, Murcia and Ibiza
GENRE: Indie rock, indie pop, dance-punk
PRODUCER: Jules De Martino
1. “Silence” 3:47
2. “Hit Me Down Sonny” 2:51
3. “Hang It Up” 3:12
4. “Give It Back” 3:36
5. “Guggenheim” 3:57
6. “Soul Killing” 3:17
7. “One by One” 3:46
8. “Day to Day” 3:34
9. “Help” 3:01
10. “In Your Life” 2:58
Sounds from Nowheresville is the two-man band’s second studio album, which predictably starts off as a dance-inspired follow-up until it takes a complete tangent half way through, delving into different genres instead. In an act of sheer defiance the duo, Jules de Martino and Katie White, scrapped half their album half way through the recording process, prompting them to replace it with 30 minutes of music, songs they claimed had a lot more depth and emotion.
The results are a cocktail mix of vocals, bassy-pop music beats and melodies. It’s not unusual for White to sound like a cheerleader/rapper on one track and emerge as Fergie meets Gwen Stefani on the next. Whatever your preference, White clearly has the talent and the chops to croon a haunting melody, clearly noted in “In Your Life”. It’s hard to deny her vocal abilities when you consider the different types of vocal styles she offers here.
“Silence”, “Hit Me Down Sonny”, “Hang it Up” and “One by One” echo the ideas of their previous works, while songs like “In Your Life”, “Help” and “Day To Day” embrace a side to the Ting Tings we’ve never seen before. “In Your Life” is haunting and Noirish, reminiscent of something off a Kill Bill Soundtrack. “Help”, a simple tune with repetitive lyrics and deep 80s electro synth sounds clearly conveys the depth and emotion they referred to. “Day To Day” on the other hand could easily be mistaken for Natasha Bedingfield-style pop.
Nowheresville is heavy with 80s and 90s Prince influences, which become increasingly evident in the guitar solos, and perhaps even in the chanting. The heavy bass rhythms are overlayed with odd percussion throughout, especially in “Soul Killing”, with sounds that mimic bed springs.
The group has been under a lot of fire regarding this album, and their decision to expand their musical footprint, but Nowheresville is solid proof of their musical gifting, keeping a good balance between the dance floor-ready tunes and those that are more on the experimental side. Whether fans react to the album positively remains to be seen, but if this album is anything to go by they have definitely gained a new fan.