Tears In X-Ray Eyes is the brainchild of singer/songwriter/producer/multi-instrumentalist Tim Closs and succeeds in bringing a much-needed intelligence, compassion and humour back to pop music. With a unique sound which has been described as "hauntingly glamorous... the sort of thing you'd hear round Massive Attack's house on Christmas Day" (playlouder.com) the band continues to carve out a niche somewhere very left of centre.
"Wonderfully Made" is a mini-album collecting all 8 songs from the band's two most recent EPs: "my strange love" (released in the UK in August 2002), and "sleep like a dream", (released in the UK in April 2003). The mini-album is one of the first releases on new US label "Chocolate Hearts".
Conceived in the summer of 2000, first release "Stained Glass / Don't Crush The One You Love" (test tube records, December 2000) made quite an impression for a white-vinyl-only double A-side, with NME's Jim Alexander declaring it "lovelorn lyrical sharpness not heard since Morrissey took a sharp right-turn into irrelevancy". A handful of solo gigs followed and word-of-mouth started to spread. NME made it to London's 12-bar club, calling it "far above the lone, unrequited boy norm... vulnerable, heartfelt and passionate".
"I was pretty surprised by the response", Closs confesses, "I didn't expect NME to start writing about it and coming to gigs so early on. It made me much more confident and determined not to be distracted from the sound I wanted to create". Comparisons ranged from The Smiths to The Flaming Lips. "I was really happy that people already seemed to understand what I was trying to do - write classic pop songs but twist them as far as they would go".
Second double A-side "Open Wide / London's Most Unwanted Child" (test tube records, April 2001) captured the student audience and confirmed Closs as a truly original songwriter ("shield your tender skin/don't rush headlong in/don't read those teenage magazines"). Sessions on college radio followed and it ended up in the top ten of several college radio playlists.
Shutting himself in his North London bedsit studio over the summer, venturing out only to enlist the talents of bass player Cameron Miller and drummer Anthony Christmas, Closs added the finishing touches to a debut album which fulfilled the promise of the two singles. "Half-Life" (test tube records, February 2002) is ten bittersweet songs of melancholic beauty. Those in-the-know raved, with What's On calling it "a work of pure genius... dark without ever being bleak... buy a copy not only for yourself but for everyone you've ever loved", while the band performed live as a 3-piece to a growing number of fans.
Following a session on Radio 1's "Blue Room" show, the band ventured back into the studio, resulting in 2002's enchanting "my strange love e.p". NME wrote "if robots ever fell in love it would sound like this", and the e.p. was played enthusiastically by Xfm, BBC London Live and BBC 6Music.
April 2003 saw the release of a further EP, "sleep like a dream". This was playlisted on London's Xfm for four weeks, and the band played numerous UK gigs and live radio sessions to promote the release.
The band's 2nd album is now complete and awaiting release in mid-2004.