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The Temper Trap: A Sweet Discovery From “(500) Days Of Summer”

The New Now

Film soundtracks are often a great way to discover new artists. Thanks to (500) Days Of Summer, which opens on Friday (July 17), I discovered a great new act called the Temper Trap. The band's "Sweet Dispostion" is featured on the soundtrack--out today (July 14)--alongside classic tracks by the Smiths, Simon & Garfunkel and Hall & Oates, as well as songs by newer acts Feist, Doves, Black Lips, Wolfmother, Regina Spektor, and France's first lady, Carla Bruni. The disc is capped off by the film's co-star, Zooey Deschanel, covering the Smiths' "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want" with her musical partner M. Ward in She & Him.

While all the aforementioned music is ultra-fine, let's focus on the Temper Trap. Here's the trailer for (500) Days Of Summer featuring the band's "Sweet Disposition" followed by the official video clip for the song, which just happens to fall smack dab in the middle of the film's soundtrack album.

That song--with its atmospheric opening--sounds like the perfect music for film and you could see how well it works in the trailer, but it can also stand on its own. It also reminds me a bit of a few '80s acts. Singer/guitarist Dougy Mandagi's wailing falsetto sounds like Jimmy Somerville of Bronski Beat fame and the band's instrumental attack recalls the Icicle Works, but unlike those acts, the Temper Trap hails from Melbourne, Australia, not the U.K. Yet the band recently relocated to London in an attempt to build a fan base there. Nonetheless, guitarist Lorenzo Sillitto said the band hasn't forgotten about its Aussie roots. "It's not that we don't love Australia, but we want to try and give our music a crack in every continent that we possibly can," he recently told Daniel Clarke on the Australian website Music Feeds. "We wouldn't be here today if it weren't for the fans that we have in Australia."

Conditions, the band's full-length, debut was recently released in Australia where it debuted at No. 9 on the ARIA charts. The album is set for release in the U.K. on August 10, but we poor Americans will have to wait until October 13 for the U.S. release via Glassnote Records, the label that is now also home to mighty-fine French rockers Phoenix. The Temper Trap is planning to hit the U.S. with a series of tour dates in the Fall to coincide with the album's release. I'm certain the Tender Trap is no mere one-hit wonder. Check out the video for "Science Of Fear," another track featured on Conditions, for proof.

Lest anyone thinks Mandagi's vocals are due to producer Jim Abbiss's studio wizardry, watch this fan-shot clip of the band performing "Sweet Disposition" earlier this year in its hometown of Melbourne, Australia at the St. Jerome Laneway Festival. If you don't want to spring for the import, mark your calendar for October, when the Tender Trap's Conditions arrives in the U.S. In the meantime you can pick up "Sweet Disposition" via digital retailers or on the (500) Days Of Summer soundtrack.

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