The last time I saw Tamaryn was at a Denny’s in Austin, Texas at three in the morning. I had seen her, in all her pink-haired rock star glory, earlier in the day at the 2013 Austin Psych Fest – where she and her band had put on quite a good set of shoegaze. I wanted to say hello to them, thank them for the set, and ask the lovely Tamaryn if she’d like to be interviewed in the future for Kick Ass Music Women, but I probably would’ve fainted at the first bat of her eyelashes, and I didn’t want to disturb them while they were trying to figure out what the hell “Moons Over My Hammy” is.
If I’d had the courage, and they’d already placed their orders, I would’ve talked a lot about Tamaryn’s excellent record – Tender New Signs. It starts with a great introduction to Tamaryn’s haunting vocals on “I’m Gone.” Have no fear. The title of that track isn’t indicative of her attitude toward the rest of the record. “While You’re Sleeping, I’m Dreaming” is one of the most rocking songs about a relationship going south I’ve heard in a long time. Her main collaborator, Rex John Shelverton, puts down some serious guitar work here. This is a song fans at the back of a stadium will cheer for, and they will have no trouble hearing it.
I don’t know if “Heavenly Bodies” is a song about sex, but I like to think it is, especially with the sensual vocals and instrumentation throughout the entire track. Tamaryn and Mr. Shelverton establish their shoegaze cred on “No Exits,” a lush song that I’m already imagining playing in my car while I’m traveling late some rainy night in a town I don’t know looking for a Denny’s. “The Garden” is even lusher (with a title like that, go figure) and has more excellent guitar work from Shelverton. It drifts in and out like a spectre walking through walls while Tamaryn’s voice is the one you hear coming through those walls when you turn off the bedroom lights. “Violet’s in a Pool” (Not the flowers. Notice the apostrophe? I think it’s about a dead girl.) moves along at a hypnotizing pace and would be perfect for the soundtrack of David Lynch’s next movie.
They can be peppy, too (and I think Tamaryn’s choice of hair colors is a secret message relaying that). “Prizma” is a wonderful song that will have your fingers and toes tapping. “Afterlight” is perfect for a sunrise run or awakening your lover after a long night of lovemaking for another go-round.
You should give this record several go-rounds. Let it drift over you like an unseasonal fog on a warm October morning. Have it playing when you pull into that Denny’s parking lot after a long road trip where you passed one too many ghost towns. You’ll discover it’s the perfect soundtrack for such things.
Miss Tamaryn, Mr. Shelverton the next All-American Slam Special is on me. It’s the least I could do for giving me such a good record.
By Nik Havert
Nik Havert is a writer, DJ, harmonica player, martial arts instructor, comic book publisher, crime fighter,music lover, cult movie enthusiast, and modern day Renaissance man. He hopes to shark cage dive sometime in the next few years and enjoys travel and good natural root beer. Visit his website athttp://www.picklepress.net.
“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.” ~ Maya Angelou
“Woman is the Wonder of the World.” ~ Billy Joe Shaver