Having barely sat still since the release of her debut album Spilt Milk in February, Brisbane chanteuse Tara Simmons has followed up quickly with a brand new EP called All You Can and will hit the road in November to launch it in style.
Like many an artist, Tara Simmons has previously slotted into the category of The Fanatical. The Fanatical being those who labour over their art; moulding, chipping, twining, adding, taking, shaping – stepping back and then changing it just a little more. This club has served her well; delivering two EPs, an EP compilation and a debut album that pricked the ears of many by stepping to the left of the singer-songwriter mould with a unique brand of cello and sample-driven intricate-scatty-folk-pop.
Simmons’ number one aim for release number five was to, well, not spend two years making it. But how to do this? Well you write a song a week for six weeks, then narrow it down to five, hire a producer, smuggle a truck load of gear into your friend’s workplace afterhours for an unauthorised two day visit, cut most of the tracks live, add a few bells and whistles and Bob’s your uncle, or rather; All You Can is Tara’s new EP.
Featuring the poptastic title-track and lead single, the EP brandishes a complex mix of fearless directness and enchanting sensitivity that is hard to put a ‘file under’ sticker on.
Her nonchalant breed of cool effortlessly wraps layers of harmonies around an ever-present beat-driven frame. Laced with cellos, double bass and the occasional brass instrumentation, it’s both calming and compelling all in the one package.
While the more earnest side of Simmons remains on display here, one need only look at the artwork to see hints of the slightly awry individual lurking beneath a refined exterior. Look a little further, or rather, listen a little more closely and you’ll hear tales such as the confrontational analysis of a casual acquaintance, nestled in an unassuming country styled folk song ‘Rosemary’, while the upbeat sway of title track ‘All You Can’ disguises the distressing realisation of life catching up with you.
All You Can sees Tara venturing further than ever into pop territory whilst still maintaining her experimental nature that she is now well known for. As always the process started with Tara alone, creating beats and samples on her trusty home computer and has evolved into a full band experience of cellos, keys, synth, drums, double bass and even a little banjo amongst less recognisable sounds.
She will play just three shows in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne in the most suitable of venues and will be joined by a rotating cast of characters that are shining in their own right: Boy and Bear, Donne’, Lani Lane and good friend Scott Spark who will also launch his own EP at the same show in Brisbane.
Friday, Nov 20 | Raval (Sydney)
with Donne’ and Lani Lane
Tix: $12 (pre) / $15 (door)
Friday, Nov 27 | The Order (Melbourne)
with Boy and Bear
Friday, Dec 4 – Visy Theatre (Brisbane)
with Scott Spark (EP Launch) and Donne’
Tix: $15 (pre) / $18 (door)