Tuff Love are the sound of rainy mornings spent in cafes at the threshold of adulthood. Bonfires on the beach at summer’s end. Friends cracking inside jokes and living outside the lines. Alcohol and fights and record shops and vintage clothes. From The Pastels to The Vaselines, Glasgow specializes in this brand of melancholy, bittersweet jangle-usually served with a side of noise. Continuing the port city’s legacy of gritty melodic fare, Julie Eisenstein (guitar, vocals) and Suse Bear (bass, vocals) deliver the type of ambrosial fuzz-pop that makes college breakups bearable.
Self-recorded and released on well curated Scottish indie Lost Maps, Resort compiles their Junk, Dross, and Dregs EPs. Disregard the self-deprecating titles; these are fifteen slices of noisy perfection. The effortless psychedelia of Carbon resembles the chiming material REM and The Go-Betweens churned out on the reg. On Duke, angelic backups perch atop thick guitar riffs-much like The Breeders at their peak.
Over the course of Resort, the reverb-soaked innocence of the band’s early output evolves into a streamlined sound without sacrificing emotional vulnerability. And while contemporaries like Beach House and Best Coast get by on enigma and kitsch respectively, Tuff Love understand that sincerity and song-craft are their secret weapons. The twisting, shape-shifting Doberman and Rivers Cuomo-esque Cum (complete with jaunty ¾ rhythm and 50s meets grunge dissonance) reveal a band rapidly gaining confidence. Along the way, Eisenstein and Bear harmonize in dreamy intervals, transcending descriptives like beatific, mind-expanding and soft focus.
Last summer, Tuff Love supported shoe-gaze legends Ride on the latter’s first UK tour in twenty years. That legendary band followed up their early EPs with 1990’s expansive, seminal Nowhere. Expect nothing less from this DIY powerhouse. “Take some rest, take some respite,” they sing on the 60s tinged single Crocodile. Given their productivity and critical acclaim, such a break seems unlikely. Why stop now? Poised at the magical intersection of youth and experience, Resort confirms what many already know: Tuff Love are easy to adore.