Tamaryn – The Black Ryder, Dream Boys
Event on 2013-05-03 20:30:00
This event is 18 and over
Following a spate of EPs and singles comes the debut album by Tamaryn, entitled The Waves. "
After collaborating with producer Rex John Shelverton (ex-Vue/the Audience/Portraits of Past), Tamaryn left New York and settled in Rex's home of San Francisco to record their first full-length. "[Rex and I] met in New York City when I was living there in the early '00s, and he was still playing with Vue," says Tamaryn. We became close friends and stayed in touch, then after a while we started sharing ideas for songs, then collaborated across country, traveling back and forth between the coasts." These activities culminated in Led Astray, Washed Ashore, Tamaryn's first EP, "a collection of my favorite music that we made during that period."
But where Tamaryn's earlier material was rooted in traditional goth-psych overtones, The Waves represents an incredible step forward in terms of her approach. These nine songs combine driving pop and lush balladry with layered, guitar-driven atmospheres, against which Tamaryn's voice, languid and restrained, melts against its surfaces. "In Rex, I felt I had met someone who was the right sort of player, and that we had the right chemistry to make something as good as I'd wanted. I knew that if I wanted to make an album I could really be proud of, I'd have to move to San Francisco, and focus more intently on the music we were making."
Rex's thoughts on the making of The Waves dovetail with Tamaryn's presence and drive to create something timeless for the present day. "I've been thinking of the voice as fog, wind and smoke flowing above and through the waves of strings and rhythm," he says about the plangent, ethereal qualities of The Waves: "I've really been into the idea of a 'minimalist wall of sound' and using the most sparse arrangement possible, all the while creating a semi-translucent, mysterious dreamscape [which] keeps the dynamics of the playing subtle enough so the listener never wakes from the dream or is jarred from the story."
On the construction of these tracks, Rex resorted to a pure, unfiltered approach. "I wanted to invoke an orchestra with little more than an electric bass guitar and multiple tape delays; to mimic the sound of a rain shower using tambourines fastened to other cymbals. There are no more than a few guitar/bass within each song on The Waves, and no pedal boards, no digital effects processors, no keyboards, synths or piano. The wall of sound we create comes from multiple tube powered spring reverbs, assorted tape delay machines, and room mic-ing." This workmanlike approach has simultaneously freed the artists from technology's trappings, and helped them to focus on what they can bring to the record. "I'd like to think that, at first listen, the simple arrangements of these songs set the mood, tell the story, and keep the spell unbroken," he says of their creative process. "After further listens, the hidden complexities within reveal themselves, without resorting to flashy embellishments or accompaniment."
That approach is reflected in the nature of their work together, which finds the two artists working in tandem with one another until the right mood has been located, then committed to tape. The Waves was recorded entirely in Tamaryn's and Rex's practice space, yet shares none of the lo-fi trappings with most current, self-produced efforts on the indie frontier. "We're inspired by a wide range of bands and images, but we have tried to create our own sound by processing the spectrum of our influences and melding it with what we have to say musically. These songs are mostly bittersweet," states Tamaryn, "but it's not just sad music. I'm more interested in duality, exploring feelings of loss and loneliness but with a positive resonance in them somewhere."
From the outset of this collaboration, Tamaryn's work has carried with it a strong visual component, be it elaborate photography and record artwork, or extravagant videos, shot to accompany singles pressed in minute quantities. "I've been experimenting with projecting certain images from the outset. For The Waves, I've pulled back from my earlier dalliances with more dramatic projections. It's left things a bit more vague and impressionistic. I'd like to try and keep things a bit mysterious if I can. I've always come at this work wanting the imagery to reflect that the music is heartfelt and has depth and emotion." The artwork and videos supporting The Waves lend themselves to these notions. "For this album, I shot all the press photos in Nevada and Utah, in places like the Valley of Fire. I'm interested in emotional landscapes coming across in our music, inside and out. But most of all, we just wanted to make something really beautiful that people could experience over and over again, and find themselves lost within."
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