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Tam Vantage "Life in High Definition" CD $18 (L&L095) NEW!! Add To Basket.


Tam Vantage (AKA Tam Matlakowski) makes his Lost And Lonesome debut with the vivid, brazenly ambitious album Life in High Definition.

Having self-released a string of EPs and singles, the Melbourne musician — known for his time in Pop Singles and The Stevens — has now applied his erudite Go-Betweens/Church jangle to a collection of songs linked thematically by social perception and human interaction in the digital age.

The album kicks off with the single 'High Definition' — its intro riff, dark and foreboding (the distant cousin to T-Rex's 'Children of the Revolution' perhaps), is the first sign that something’s brewing, and by the time he’s singing of being on television in sunglasses and a tie, "And only God knows why…", there’s a fair chance Tam's sarcasm-shooter's cocked and he's taking aim at society's unyielding fascination with celebrity culture.

Against a backdrop of chiming guitars, lonely minor key sojourns and lush, optimistic string arrangements, Tam Vantage speaks clearly and tenderly of his despondent confusion in the golden age of irony and disposable sentiment; the characters and situations portrayed on Life in High Definition toy with notions of where technology has dropped us off — social status, ego and detachment on one hand, love, vulnerability and independence on the other.

Featuring guest performances by local music-making folk of the highest order (including members of Twerps, Teeth & Tongue and St Helens), Life in High Definition's eloquent warmth was captured perfectly by producer Simon Grounds (Bird Blobs, Bushwalking, Laura Jean).

1) High Definition 2) The Only One 3) Half Asleep 4) 100 Worlds 5) Do You Remember? 6) Signals 7) Digital 8) The Boy Who Always Wins 9) Sympathy 10) Let's Leave 11) Fall In Love


"Tam Vantage opens his debut LP forcefully, with the snarling guitar and dramatic synth riff of ‘High Definition’. Bolstered by a chorus of female backing vocalists, he places a hand on his hip and, in an arch sing-song, spits: ‘You don’t know what it’s like to break / to take and take and take / to take the dive then hesitate / to just break free when it’s too late’.

A Melbourne musician, Tam Vantage (Tam Matlakowski) has done time with inspired eccentrics the Stevens and as lead singer of Pop Singles, whose only album sounded something like the Field Mice by way of Flying Nun. His new solo record picks up where the ‘Setting Sun’ EP left off, summoning a gothic jangle reminiscent of the Triffids and the Church, held together by a spiky, post-punk rhythm section. In a local landscape dominated by the jangle obsessed, Tam Vantage has staked his own ground.

Tam’s a talented lyricist, and ‘High Definition’ stylishly evokes the 80’s preoccupation with ‘plastic eyes and magazines’, and the masters of TV. Skew the references a little bit and he could be referring to the fantastical Instagram culture of Gen Y. ‘Well, you’re living in somebody else’s dream,’ he sings, ‘and I know how cold that can be’." — (single premiere)