No Snare

I saw Tender Forever perform one lazy weeknight last summer, and listening to her new album, No Snare, brings it all back.

Melanie Valera–the sole member of this Franco-American pop project–was wearing red sweatpants, talking about her breakup, and flinging herself around so much that I chose to drink my PBR in a corner, a safe distance from the stage. On this new album, her lyrics are sad, introspective, and melodramatic, but she incorporates some danceable beats on a number of tracks, including "Like the Snare That's Gone." Despite the many layers of electronic strings, flutes, and rumbles of timpani kettle drums, when she sings, "I knew it all before/I knew the time it takes for a heart to soar" with her overarticulated French accent, I have to wonder if this album isn't best experienced over some cheap beer on a warm night, with the benefit of seeing a petite woman sweating and falling to her knees on stage.