Tandem Felix, the Dublin-based project of Dublin-based project of songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer David A. Tapley released a second album today.
There’s a New Sheriff in Town was written and recorded between 2020 and 2022, was recorded in Portobello, Dublin and was co-produced with Stephen Dunne. It’s the followup to 2019’s Rom-Com.
Guest contributions such as B.J. Cole (who played pedal steel on Elton John’s ‘Tiny Dancer’), Ian Romano (Daniel Romano), Neil Dexter (Spies), and Joseph Shabason (Destroyer, The War on Drugs) with Tapley playing every other instrument.
It’s the sound of textured and layered songwriting with a fog of alt-rock atmospherics, with nods to country and guitar music forebearers like Grandaddy, Sparklehorse and Wilco.
Below, David A. Tapley offers his track-by-track for the album, which you can buy on Bandcamp, and there’s a new video by Liam Farrell for album standout ‘The Kitchen’ shot in the Lord Edward below too.
1. Finger On The Button
‘Finger on the Button’ is probably the song that I am the happiest with that I have ever written. That’s probably why I chose to open the record with it! It’s a murky recording with various levels of fidelity, so that might mask it on the first few listens but I always like to skirt the line between happy and sad, funny and dead serious. If I’m proud of one thing on the record, it’s that this song exists.
2. There’s A New Sheriff In Town
We recorded this in March 2020 as the pandemic was looming. Paddy’s Day hadn’t quite been cancelled yet but we were certainly aware that something might be happening. This was the last time I was in a room with any other musician for months and it’s great to have captured that. The song itself came about fairly quickly, one of those songs where the title is written before the lyrics. That helped dictate the direction the song took.
Speaking of the pandemic, this is a song I wrote in 2019 when I was struck down with a run-of-the-mill head cold, but I imagine it’s hard to hear the lyrics and not think it is COVID [inspired. I have the receipts. I was ahead of the curve on this one. I toyed with the idea of changing the lyrics as a result, fearing it would be lost amongst a plethora of other pandemic related songs, but I think because it’s so accidentally on the nose, it was best left untouched.
4. The Kitchen
A lot of this record was about trying to set a mood rather than just tell a story. This was one of my first attempts at doing this, painting a picture of this decrepit kitchen where everything is falling apart and the chef is losing his mind. Think The Bear, but if it was taking place in a houseshare in Rialto.
5. Message of the Afternoon
A thing that I think cinema still hasn’t been able to show properly is a relationship developing over a phone. We can see and hear phone calls, but sending text messages is something that is difficult to capture in a visual medium. This song is a lyrical experiment to see if music can do what cinema struggles to: one side of a telephonic relationship.
6. I Don’t Feel Welcome
The oldest song on the record, a leftover from the Rom-Com sessions. This is the one song that has that more straight-up storytelling method that I’ve tried to move on from with this album, but I liked this song too much to leave it off. I have been playing this song at solo shows for a long time and it’s always a fun set of lyrics to sing.
7. Watching TV For the Hell of It
I have recently got a TV and I thought I would never use it for anything except for Match of the Day. However, much to my surprise, I have found that I have started watching a lot of television again for the first time since I was a teenager; a lot of morning TV and real normal stuff like that. But I am deriving so much pleasure from it, just watching TV for the hell of it. I also wanted to get the word Columbo into a song.
8. The Name of the Game
There’s a great Todd Barry joke about going to see an up-and-coming indie band and looking at their CD at the merch stand. He flips over the CD and sees that ‘Eight Days a Week” is one of songs and says to the singer “Oh great, a cover song”. The singer replies “Oh no, that’s an original”. I kinda love when songwriters sometimes just blatantly take the title of a much more famous song. Sorry Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad!
9. The Losing Streak
Sometimes there’s one song in a batch that you can immediately see as being the album closer, and once you identify it as such, it’s impossible to even consider any other song. ‘The Losing Streak’ is a few songs in one, but every part of it to me screamed “the end” right from its inception; from the length to the lyrical content. It’s a bit of a slog to sing, and probably more so for an audience to have to listen to due to its length and repetition, but that’s the challenge sometimes. Slog it out!
Tandem Felix Irish Tour Dates
Cleere’s, Kilkenny – Fri 27 Oct
Coughlan’s, Cork – Fri 17 Nov
Whelan’s, Dublin – Thurs 23 Nov
The Record Room, Limerick – Sat 25 Nov