I was reminded of an old favorite earlier this week when I listened through a playlist I created a few years ago. The song is “Fader,” and it’s by an indie-pop Australian band from Melbourne called The Temper Trap, a group that does not have as large a presence in the world of music critics and promoters as one might expect. Nevertheless, many of TTT’s songs off their debut album Conditions are likely recognizable to the public, even if the band name is not. Conditions was released in late 2009; ever since then, the group’s first single “Sweet Disposition” has appeared everywhere, from movies like (500) Days of Summer and Eat Pray Love to television shows, Coca Cola ads, and nearly every major hit-based radio station. Other songs like “Soldier On” and “Science of Fear” found success on television as well, though “Sweet Disposition” was clearly the album’s runaway hit.
In June 2012 TTT released their long-awaited follow-up LP, a self-titled album that trended more towards pop than the indie-heavy Conditions did. I caught TTT on one of their first album-promotion tour stops in the U.S., at San Diego’s House of Blues. TTT is one of those bands that have seemingly-impossible vocals flooding their recordings to the point where you start to wonder if anyone can really hit those high notes all on their own. In the case of The Temper Trap, the answer is yes: they can. Dougy Mandagi is a talented vocalist with an abundance of charisma onstage, making TTT a fascinating band to watch perform live. Their presence on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter show a band striving to be as goofy and fun on the road as possible – and excited to then immediately share their stories with their fans.
Let’s rewind a little: back to 2009. “Fader” is the third song on Conditions, the album’s second official single, and a constant concert staple. It has a catchy beat, a fun chorus, and the lyrics are surprisingly deep and thought-provoking for such an up-tempo song. The angels walk with the lonely ones in the cold rain to rescue you. What a great line. This song had me from the first time I heard it, and it’s still one of my favorites from this band.