Review: Lana Harris
|There are very few musicians about today who can craft such an accurate visual portrait of their music as Tara Simmons has done with her new EP, All You Can. The cover depicts a childish collection of objects – colourful magnetic letters, a doll with a crocheted dress, plastic representations of party foods, but on closer inspection… there are dismembered doll limbs in display jars on the wall, an unconscious hamster lying inert on the worn table. The tainted innocence portrayed fits Tara’s music on All You Can all too well. Track three, ‘Rosemary’ begins as a gentle folky song before swelling to a dirge like chorus and revealing itself lyrically as the deconstruction of a discourteous woman. Track one, ‘The Fundamentalist’, has reverential overtones, with its choral back up vocals and organ chords, but I wonder if Tara is playing with her|
tongue in her cheek with a title like that, especially with the touches of banjo that decorate the song. This unusual combination of supporting instruments is typical of the EP, which also features cello and double bass, both instruments that create dark spaces which lure the listener in. The darkest of these spaces are found in ‘I Cannot be Saved’, a swelling melancholic tune with cellos and trumpets intimately entwined in its fatalist tones.
All You Can contains complexities not usually encountered in the singer- songwriter genre, from the variety of instruments sampled to the way Tara delicately coaxes her voice from whispers up into expansive elevations, and the intricate way in which she has sewn these elements together. If you fancy watching this sonic weaver at work, Tara Simmons will be winding up her tri state tour with a final reveal at the Visy Theatre – Brisbane Powerhouse on December fourth.
– Buy Tara Simmons music at iTunes