Gently Tender – ICM’s Artist Spotlight

Artist Spotlight

User Avg

Remember 2012-2014 indie? The absolute height of modern indie. It was a time of glitter, the return of denim jackets, and a sense that indie music was being reborn. A scene that saw the rise of Peace, Wolf Alice, Drenge, Superfood, the list goes on. One act, in particular, Palma Violets, garnered a large following for their jangly guitars, cutting bass riffs, and poetic yet loud vocals. Recently people were wondering; what happened to them? That’s where this week’s Artist Spotlight comes in; Gently Tender.

Gently Tender consist of ex-Palma Violet’s members Sam Fryer, Pete Mayhew, and Will Doyle, playing alongside The Big Moon’s Celia Archer, and guitarist Adam Brown. This split also saw Chilli Jesson, another ex-Palma Violets member running his own project Crewel Intentions.

Gently Tender, for some, felt like the return of Palma Violets. The jangly guitars and loud almost spoken word style vocals threw us straight back to the PV days with their track ‘2 Chords Good’.

‘2 Chords Good’ was the debut single from the newly formed five-piece introducing us to their reinvented act. The raw style we came to love was back in full force with some psychedelic overtones while retaining the raggedy indie rock that they do so well. The track is a reflection, as told by Sam Fryer, of a conversation he’d had with a friend in a pub about their new project. “Are you gonna put some more chords on your new album” with Fryer replying a weak “probably, yeah”. The song came from this retrospective look at the conversation with Fryer talking himself back over the conversation and what his response should have been. Overall ‘2 Chords Good’ is an absolutely stellar debut for Gently Tender, with almost country choir vibes mixed into their beautiful indie rock to create a truly fantastic track.

Since then, the band released a new track ‘Aves-vous Déjà’. This is where the band seem to really excel. While ‘2 Chords Good’ was a nice throwback to Palma Violets style tracks, ‘Aves-vous Déjà’ is new and exciting, with far more of the psychedelic vibes to it, a slight brit-pop like undertone, and far more emotional feel. The song lowers you gently in with a steady chord progression and an incredibly beautiful bass riff that you can feel in your soul. The lyrics jump in and suddenly you entirely lose yourself in the song. Its psych-infused-indie feels like a retake on the same genre from the 90s and it’s an incredible reinvention at that. Building up to its full crescendo, ‘Aves-vous Déjà’ really hits hard and puts the nail in the coffin of Palma Violets, sets it ablaze, and from the ashes rise the first-class Gently Tender.


Sam Fryer,
Will Doyle,
Pete Mayhew,
Celia Archer,
Adam Brown