Amelia Fletcher is as key a figure in twee as Stuart Murdoch or Rose Melberg. She’s had a series of bands like Talulah Gosh, Heavenly, Marine Research, and currently Tender Trap that all share similar sounds and sensibilities. On the third LP from Tender Trap, Dansette Dansette, Amelia Fletcher and company bring another collection of infectious summery pop that is simultaneously cheerful and cheeky.
Like many of the twee greats, below the gentle and precious veneer lays a sharp wit and fearless honesty. On “Do You Want A Boyfriend,” Tender Trap question and answer, “Does he have to please you? Psychologically. Does he have to tease you? Gynecologically.” Fletcher sings from the heart, frequently employing a playful and humorous brand of laid-back feminism. She focuses her lyrical lens primarily on relationships and love. It's a modern update on Spector-era girl groups, neutralizing
the helpless spirit of catering to the male that dominates the
perspective of most of those oldies classics.
“Counting The Hours” stands out with whimsical nostalgia and reverb-rich atmosphere as Fletcher remembers the daily process of pining away after a meaningful love connection. On “Fireworks,” Fletcher is once again lamenting unrequited love while deftly finessing a play on words with the chorus, “I should have know better than to play with fireworks.”
At this point, Fletcher is an elder stateswoman in indie pop and twee, one that created the musical legacy that newer acts like The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, Architecture In Helsinki, and the All Girl Summer Fun Band are all taking cues from whether they know it or not. Many twee-heads may never see anything she does as approaching the heights of Talulah Gosh or Heavenly, but they won’t be disappointed either.