In the wake of haters slating Tara Palmer-Tomkinson’s debut single, Grazia's Polly Vernon speaks out in defence of the budding songstress...
At some point during my first listening to Tara Palmer-Tomkinson’s new song Five Seconds, I got confused about whether I loved it in a knowing and ironic, ‘here we are at the nadir of popular culture, let’s just resign ourselves’ sort of a way – or if I just loved it. At this point in time, having re-watched the Youtube video on at least 15 occasions, I no longer care. I think Five Seconds is magnificent.
Cliched, naïve, lyrically flawed, saccharine and unoriginal in its sentimentality, musically mediocre (give or take TPT’s piano playing, which is top notch – and so it should be. As TPT herself well tell you given half a chance, she is concert level), aesthetically hilarious – and so much greater than the sum of its parts. It’s being predictably maligned on all the usual channels (Twitter) and by all the usual suspects (people who think they could definitely do something so much better - if only they could, y’know, get around to doing anything at all); so I would like to speak up in its defense.
Shush now, TPT detractors. Five Seconds has drama, tragic undertones, swelling strings and a vid which features not one, BUT TWO, horses. It’s also got: our heroine swinging on a swing in couture; a hat trying-on session; a splashy swimming pool scene; some cavorting with amale model, and a closing sequence during which TPT solemnly replaces the lid on her piano. This is probably a metaphor. What does it all mean? Well: it might be about heartbreak, it might be about press intrusion, it might be about the pain of existing in a gilded palace of glamour when you’re a bit empty and lost on the inside; or all of the above. It’s definitely got immense pathos, and also: did I mention the horses?
Ultimately, I think my love for Five Seconds stems from this - TPT means it. Every word, every piano chord, every note! In a pop world dominated by cynical bids to twang at our heart strings/ elate and captivate us, TPT dishes up something sincere, heartfelt and therefore affecting. (It’s either that, or because I’m obsessed by the way TPT clenches her jaw and gazes solemnly into the middle distance when she sings the ‘five seconds’ bit.)