by Christian Redl

Rating: 4/5

Song To Look Out For: Guggenheim

Living in a generation notorious for self-indulgence and gluttony, minimalism is always appreciated. One band in particular has mastered the art of making the largest impact with the fewest sounds and accompaniments: The Ting Tings. Their sophomore album, Sounds From Nowheresville, embraces the idea of “less is more” with great style and flair.

The Ting Tings blend together many different genres and influences that also implement this minimalist view towards music, including punk rock and hip-hop. Much of this is owed to Katie White’s edgy vocals, chock full of attitude and reminiscent of Patti Smith. White raps, shouts, and sings all evoking different emotions that mesh perfectly with each song. This album is just pure fun.

White’s inner Patti Smith is most notably heard on the track ‘Guggenheim,’ and is quite possibly the best song on the album. This song begins with a chord strum followed by a funky bass line, which White raps over with great amounts of sass and seduction. All of a sudden, the song erupts with a chunky drum fill and beat and in response, the vocals pick up the slack and match the intensity.

“Soul Killing” harnesses The Ting Tings inner punk with chords resembling The Clash, and adding a bit of jazzy flair with piano and horn accompaniment. This punk inspiration can be found throughout the entire album, which gives the album focus and direction.

Later on in the album, The Ting Tings slow things down with an acoustic pop ballad with “Day To Day”. An inspirational song with relatable lyrics make this a hit, and the addition of a string quartet to the chorus and bridge gives this track a whimsical quality that helps the listener come down from the high intensity of the prior tracks.

The band does not stop there, however. White resembles Nancy Sinatra on the final track of the album, “In Your Life”. A polar opposite compared to the rest of the album, this song is a reflective song with reverberated vocals and no rhythm section. Instead, a haunting violin and moody acoustic guitar weep slowly to the sound of White’s impressive vocals.

Sounds from Nowheresville and the Ting Tings just get it. The songs are short, sweet, and to the point. The album only last a little over a half-hour, but delivers brilliant tones and sounds that maintain the fundamentals of punk, pop, and hip-hop in one well produced record. If you don’t already have this album, buy it. You won’t be disappointed.