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(Steph Bishop & Robert Maril) – Photo Credit: Emilio Mendoza
New York-based LGBT!Q+ indie-folk/pop duo Tender Creature is comprised of Steph Bishop and Robert Maril. They were formerly bandmates in the LGBTQ+ country outfit Kings, but spent years apart before reuniting as Tender Creature.
The pair are preparing to release their debut EP, An Offering, on September 18th. The EP is a six-track collection of pensive, electronic-tinged folk/pop that confronts trauma and transformation head-on.
The songs make it clear that confronting trauma, rather than leaving it to fester, is the obvious choice: An Offering is an exploration of the painstaking work of untangling your hardships, your burdens and your heartbreak. From there, you’ll see your past and imagine your future with unprecedented vantage.
If Tender Creature feels personal, that’s because it is—intensely so. The duo produced, engineered and performed the entirety of An Offering themselves. Bishop, primary songwriter and lead vocalist, plays guitar and ukulele; Maril, the main producer and engineer, plays piano and cello, and programmed the synths. Close vocal harmonies, a touchstone of their work, are a constant thread throughout the EP.
Big Takeover is deeply pleased to host the premiere of “The Quietest Car,” a reflective and poignant NYC-based narrative from the EP.
Ruminating upon the death of one of their former students in the bleak hopelessness after Trump’s election, Bishop wrote the fragile, nostalgic, and slow-burning song that’s accented by the bittersweet weeping of Maril’s cello and graced by achingly beautiful, twining vocals.
“The Quietest Car” finishes with a gentle crescendo that makes no attempt to obscure the sad mood, yet reminds the listener of the inevitability of moving forward—and that we must make the most of our time.