Soft People Release Retro-Flavored ‘Tender’

Indie-pop outfit Soft People recently released a new single, called “Tender,” a song about hanging on to love in a world seemingly repulsed by love.

Soft People is made up of Caleb Nichols and John Metz. Initially, the two met when Nichols recruited Metz to play drums for his Oakland-based indie band Grand Lake. The two began dating shortly after Metz signed on, and married a few years later. Soft People started out as a bedroom recording venture in Atlanta. After relocating to San Luis Obispo, California, they dropped their debut LP, followed by performing locally, while founding a tape label, called Sandwich Kingdom.

Since then, Soft People has performed at The California Central Coast Pride Festival and opened for American Idol’s drag vocalist Ada Vox.

Nichols says that “Tender” is his shot at writing a Morrissey-like song, after Morrissey had completed a successful course of psychotherapy. Pat Spurgeon of Rogue Wave joins the duo on “Tender,” providing the drums.

“Tender” opens on a contagious drum shuffle flowing into a retro new wave-flavored disco melody reminiscent of The Cure or even The Smiths. Jangly guitars infuse the tune with gleaming colors riding atop Spurgeon’s crunching buoyant percussion and a fat bassline establishing the energetic rhythm. An oozing organ-like synth gives the music a glossy creamy stream of pigmentation, imbuing the tune with penetrating depth.

Uncomplicated, yet tantalizingly superb, a lustrous ‘80s-laced spangled guitar solo suffuses the harmonics with tight singeing accents, as the bright and breezy vocals flow overhead.

“I thought that I was afraid to die / But naturally I was just afraid to be alive / That branch that you cling to / It’ll bend it’ll bend / Until it breaks / And what then.”

With “Tender,” Soft People offer up a tasty sonic journey into the heady sounds and textures of ‘80s power pop, along with scrumptious vocal harmonies.

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Written by Randy

Randy Radic is a Left Coast author and writer. Author of numerous true crime books written under the pen-name of John Lee Brook. Former music contributor at Huff Post.