Tampa’s debut album “Belated Love” is brimming with memorable moments and lyrics; it’s difficult to narrow down my favorites.

The ability to take familiar pop/rock sonic landscapes but, make them definitively your own, is a delicate and tricky balance, which Tampa achieve to great feats. There are elements of some of the 00/10’s greatest artists in these songs, without sounding like an exact replica of anyone. Nic’s simmering, melodious tenor sometimes reminds me of James Mercer from The Shins or Avi Buffalo or Spinto Band, My Favorite Fiend even, early MGMT.

A band needs to have something that sets them apart. Maybe it’s a gimmick, like they all dress in furry costumes or, they all have the same last name, or sometimes… like New Brunswick’s Tampa, they just write fantastic songs with musical and lyrical skill which raises the bar above the others.

“Belated Love” showcases Tampa’s dexterous ability on their instruments and versatile songwriting.  Some songs make you dance, some songs make you think, and every song, I mean each and every single one, makes you feel something.  There’s an honesty and vulnerability in Nic Leblanc’s voice that makes you believe every word he’s singing is true. He’s the only one who knows the truthfulness of each line, but the point is, he’s convincing. There’s nothing worse than someone attempting to pose as something they’re not.  This band knows their strengths and plays to them.

I love the harmonies during “Fold Yourself.”  A reflect mid-temp song, with a beautiful repeating coda to end the song: “It’s just a winter in yourself it’s cold.”  This somber track leads into the instrumental “Interlude Pt.1”; these two songs act as a bridge between the album’s masses of indie-pop masterpieces.

Get the album and be sure to add it to your backyard party playlist.

The album is available on CD if you have the opportunity to catch them live in concert and digitally on their Bandcamp page.

Check out: Hot Minute, Bad Hangover, Fold Yourself, Belated Love

Steve Murphy

A bit of a Renaissance man, Steve Murphy is a singer-songwriter, author, and journalist based out of London, Ontario. An avid vinyl collector and audiophile, his personal collection of albums is wide ranging and in the thousands, including four released from his band Westminster Park.