Tanlines gets back to their PGH basement roots with latest EP, “Highlights”

Published On June 11, 2015 | By Megan Tomasic | Giveaways

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Experimental pop duo Tanlines is headed to Mr. Smalls Theatre on June 26 to perform their latest work, “Highlights.” Starting out as a collaboration between two friends in a Pittsburgh basement, Tanlines began as a remix project created by Eric Emm and Jesse Cohen. The guys involved friends who would sing over the music they created, and the project quickly formed into a two-man band, with their first EP, “Settings,” released in 2010.

Soon after, the band toured Europe on behalf of their newly released EP. When the duo returned, they found that their home studio had been sold, leading to the maturation and displacement of the band. Regardless of this obstacle, the band continued to move forward and released their second album, “Mixed Emotions,” (mixed by Jimmy Douglass) in 2012.

“Highlights,” released May 19, began in much of the same way as the band themselves did–in a basement in Pittsburgh. Due to a literal computer explosion, the duo was left without the samples and sounds of their past works, allowing them to start over and gain a more alive and realized approach. They found themselves returning to the simple process of writing songs with guitars and drums. After deciding on the top ten songs for the album, the duo turned to producer Chris Taylor who had them record in an empty church, capturing the sound of the band beautifully.

The band recognizes “Highlights” as “the album where things started making more sense.” The album holds themes of desire and love while relationships grow and change, allowing for reflections on the past. It is influenced by their time touring for “Mixed Emotions,” where the band spent time in the States becoming influenced by Detroit techno synths, lots of guitars, and New York hip-hop drums; thus, leading them to create an “American album.”


Photo Credit: Tanlines

A recent review of the album stated that Tanlines keeps with their earlier work while adding more guitar-led songs that allow the album to live up to its title: “The humid Balearic impulses and tropical rhythms of their slightly more danceable debut are more subdued here, though these warm, contemplative pop songs feel no less sunny or pleasing.”

Tanlines will be at Mr. Smalls Theatre (400 Lincoln Ave. Millvale, Pa.) on June 26. Doors open at 8PM, and tickets are on sale now. Additionally, we’re giving away two free tickets to one lucky fan. Enter to win them in our giveaway below:

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