Album Review: The Dandy Warhol’s Tafelmuzik Means More When You’re Alone is a four-hour oddity

Indie icons, The Dandy Warhol’s have released an unprecedented four-hour album titled Tafelmuzik Means More When You’re Alone, paying homage to the type of soundtrack that would typically score a mid-16th century banquet. On it, the stalwart band experiments with all kinds of instruments, presenting one of their most ambitious – and strangest – concept projects to date.

Singer-guitarist Courtney Taylor-Taylor reminisces “At some point during one of our dinners we noticed that the emotionally buoyant nature and ambiguity of it (Tafelmuzik) was perfect. We began organising it for long multi course meals. This gave us a loose framework and really led us to look at the long flow of a three to four hour musical trip”.

Kicking off the album is “Its the End O”, a song that took me to a time walking along Machu Picchu in Peru, sitting atop a majestic hill. “Mind Yer Mind” is what Marie Kondo would play whilst sorting out your wardrobe, and “Have A Smoke” will get you into a meditational zone, before “Hot Vegetable” snaps you out of any trance. It’s this latter burst of energy, built from pumping repetitive loops, that is perhaps praying to the sun gods of Machu Picchu. “Zip Rolls Another” has a smidge of talking in it, and the tune is reflective of older Warhol’s music.

Clearly the ambience works, shaping moods and morphing settings as only music can. But while pieces are meticulous, the constant change is easily exhausted by indulgence.

It’s defiantly a step aside from their catchy lyrical tunes the band is famous for, delivering on the album’s odd concept. There are songs for the initial entrees, main meals, and desserts not to forget the drinking that would occur at all moments. Ten instrumental backdrops whilst chilling at home, feeding the family or even video calling friends and family. It’s a treat, and a transformative one at that, but the lack of cohesion is glaring.

Tafelmuzik Means More When You’re Alone is out now via the Dandy Warhol’s Bandcamp music.dandywarhols.com. $1 from each purchase will go to Sweet Relief Musician Fund, a charity who provide financial assistance to musicians.

TWO AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

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