Tumbler are a family band from Epsom in the UK and who have quite an eclectic rock-meets-blues-and-folk style. Consisting of father Richard and son Harry Grace as well as production powerhouse Dave Needham, this new and somewhat thrown together outfit released You Said on September 14. The album’s first single, “Break or Fall” shows itself as a cross section of Tumbler’s diverse style.
Richard Grace had been involved casually in music through most of his life, playing guitar since childhood. He passed down his love of blues and folk greats like Leonard Cohen and Paul Simon to all his children, but Harry, his youngest son, expressed more than a passing interest. He wanted to make music a career, and so this is how the group came together. Father and son began writing performing songs together, and somewhat by chance discovered Needham. His recording studio was as grass roots as the Graces’ sound, but his production was similarly of high quality. The trio recorded You Said in record time, and it released just this week.
“Break or Fall” seems to be most influenced by Grace the Younger composition-wise, as it has a very modern pop style and almost Jonas Brothers levels of perkiness in the vocals. Dad Richard’s blues-and-rock influenced guitars are very present, however, and add a sort of Springsteen-like edge to the track. There is also an unexpected violin sample which adds an element which is different from the average pop ballad out these day. All these elements come together somehow with the lyrics which, for all the song’s pop bravado, are quite ephemeral and psychedelic and not pop at all.
Mixing unexpected styles such as is done in “Break or Fall” seems to be a running theme in You Said. The rest of the album is not quite so pop-driven but still sees most tracks with a sort of hybrid style, mixing bits of different genres which normally one wouldn’t expect to work together. It remains to be seen if this style jumble due to Tumbler’s still searching for a signature sound or whether they plan to continue mixing it up. In the meantime, however, this album shows great promise for the trio and is a solid first release. You Said is available to stream or buy on Tumbler’s Bandcamp page.