On the surface, they’re charming in their sweet simplicity – effortlessly compelling thanks to graceful melodies, heartfelt lyricism, and syncopated synergy. But the deeper you dig, the more Toronto duo TANDM’s songs seem to transcend time, place, and even stylistic categorization.
The core duo of vocalist/guitarist Maxine Beck-Sinderby and drummer Thomas Franklin first met in their mid-teens and quickly united over a unique creative chemistry. As it happened, Beck-Sinderby’s band was seeking a drummer, and Franklin not only enrolled at the same high-school, but started taking lessons at the same music studio.
“There was this natural progress anytime we would play together,” Beck-Sinderby shares. “That eventually led to the two of us working on some of the songs I’d written, and then into actually writing originals together. It always seems like we know where we want a song or part to go, so we can bounce ideas off each other until we get it there.”
The two carried an impressive musical pedigree into their burgeoning partnership. Both are talented and formally trained multi-instrumentalists, with Franklin having studied under heralded jazz drummer Bill Ransom during his teen years in the U.S. and later with Toronto jazz scene staple Anthony Michelli upon moving to Canada. Beck-Sinderby, on the other hand, took piano, guitar, and singing lessons through her formative years and honed her skills in bedroom studios and open mics, developing a dynamic songwriting prowess well beyond her years. What’s more, she’s benefitted from the guidance of her accomplished uncles: prolific Hollywood composer Christophe Beck (Frozen, Ant-Man) and iconic pianist and polymath Jason Beck, better known to the world as Chilly Gonzales.
“Having formal education in both classical and jazz has been really valuable in coming up with unique arrangements in our more pop-centric world,” Franklin offers. “The better understanding of different genres, the more of a base you have to build on when writing, regardless of the style or complexity of the material.”
TANDM dropped their debut single, “Dreamworld,” in 2018, introducing a sound defined by sparse but seductive instrumentation and Beck-Sinderby’s dulcet vocal style. Their influences are as subtle as they are diverse, weaving tinges of genre-bending modern innovators from Alvvays to Regina Spector to even Vampire Weekend into their work.
Twin EPs Reflections, Vol. 1 and 2 came next in 2019, followed by a string of increasingly impressive single releases and a breakout 2022 cover of Counting Crows’ “Accidentally in Love” that propelled them to hundreds of thousands of cross-platform streams and swarms of attention and accolades from fans and industry insiders alike.
Their forthcoming collection, Sirens, finds the duo teeing up their most engaging and enveloping output to date – a potent distillation of the magical individual components that comprise TANDM’s masterful take on alternative pop but with a newfound polish and elevated production style. The rhythms are entrancing and engaging, drawing the listener into a warm, dreamlike world of stirring melodic dynamism and delicate-but-dauntless vocals.
“We definitely took the opportunity to experiment with a more expansive spectrum of sounds and influences this time around,” muses Beck-Sinderby, with Franklin adding: “It’s still TANDM at the core, but we tried to open things up a little bit and it led to some rewarding places.”
As with each subsequent release before it, Sirens shows a clear maturation and musical deftness that seemingly packs a decade of experience into a few short months, putting TANDM on an unparalleled tangent to consistently higher plateaus.
Their stock is already soaring in Canada and Sweden, performing high-profile festival slots and collaborating with famed guitarist and songwriter Janne Schaffer (ABBA, Bob Marley) during one of their annual trips to the latter. Closer to home, they’ve worked with top-tier producers including Tim Abraham (Laila Biali, Royal Wood), been featured on prominent playlists from the CBC and other outlets, landed spins on SiriusXM satellite radio and high-profile sync placements in popular series, and performed live on Canada’s beloved Breakfast Television.
They’ve also made names for themselves independent of their shared project, with Franklin earning a strong social following for his drum videos as TheRedHatDrummer and Beck-Sinderby drawing big audiences to her SwedishB3rry Twitch channel on a regular basis.
Embodying the next phase of TANDM’s artistic flourishing, Sirens is sure to send their delightfully whimsical, simple-but-substantial sounds further around the world, and fans will surely relish the opportunity to dig deeper into the adept, label-defying pair of artists behind it.