We have long since given up trying to figure out what Tranqua Lite are on. Their blend of trop-pop and dirty 70s prog is mind-boggling, sounding complex yet familiar.
They’re lovable but sort of unknowable, like a slightly batty distant relative.
Yet it’s immediately obvious what makes them so likable. Their melodies are great, their harmonies are killer. They’ve settled on a pinched, art-rock guitar sound that’s faintly Vampire Weekendish. Pair this with pulverising beats and tricky tempo shifts and you’ve come close to a rough sketch.
‘I Need One Leg For Balance’ is just the latest in a string of fantastic singles. What’s more, each release has seemed like an important stepping stone, the band growing only more focused. By this point, the quintet are finely honed, and exceptionally good at what they do, which is make vaguely arty noise.
Why the video is permeated with the recurring image of a single leg wearing Nike SB was only our first question, from which many more came. The video – wherein the band are abducted and replaced by lookalikes – is brilliant. It has a woozy one-take feel, and also confirms that there was some pretty sweet tapping going on in the riffs which we were entirely ignorant to.
However it’s overall theme of constantly shifting chaos is perfect for Tranqua, since their music epitomises a sort of jittery and tightly-coiled energy. ‘I Need One Leg For Balance’ constantly wrong-foots you, avoiding easy structures in favour of whiplash progression and a coda that sets your head spinning.
Balance has never really been Tranqua Lite’s thing – they’re all about chaos, though ‘I Need One Leg For Balance’ is tight as a drum.
Follow Tranqua Lite here.