Tamaryn @ the Echoplex on 04.26.19

Okay, I’ve got one more post for the night. Looks like I had a bit more angst-driven energy than I anticipated – i.e. the day’s aforementioned cavalcade of bullshit seems to be the right fuel for the inspirational fire. So here comes another one …

The third and final post of the evening goes to Tamaryn, and her spirited hazy-gazy echodrone wall of sonic delay overload at the Echoplex on 04.26.19. It’s only taken two weeks to get this one up, so I’d call that an improvement of sorts. At least, it’s not a month late.

For those unfamiliar, Tamaryn is a New Zealand transplant who resides somewhere in the states. She crafts artsy mood music that teeters between shoegaze and synth-pop, all heavily effected and dreamy as all hell. She’s got four albums, the first two, “The Waves” and “Tender New Signs,” being some of my favorite late night guitar-based music to put on at low to mid volume. Unfortunately, she doesn’t perform that material anymore. They mark the start and end of a collaboration with California guitarist Rex John Shelverton. I’m sure there’s more to that story. But I doubt I’ll ever know.

Her return to the Echoplex, of which I’ve seen her three times now, focused on her latter two albums “Cranekiss” and “Dreaming the Dark,” featuring collaborator
Jorge Elbrecht, who also opened her show. This phase of Tamaryn is a curiously expansive one, meshing the shoegaze wash of old with synth-pop and gothic undertones. It’s experimental and artsy, overwhelming and overpowering, yet strangely accessible and slightly hypnotic.

I’ve been a longtime fan of Tamaryn, as you can probably guess. She was featured in one of my earliest posts from when I first started this blog last year. And I’ve been looking for an opportunity to offer more coverage of her music. Then, this show came along, which also had her performing with something other than total darkness, which is how she used to show up on stage. Now, I can actually see what she looks like.

The big difference between this and past performances, at least since “Cranekiss,” is that she no longer uses a live drummer. That seems to have proven somewhat of a curse, particularly when the drum machine craps out, and kills the momentum of the performance. That happened during the title track “Cranekiss,” which had two false starts, before finally settling back into working order. But that caveat aside, it all still sounds great. She has a guitarist and bassist, so all the six-string feedback remains live, noisy, and well. In the below footage, you can only see the guitarist from the angle I was standing. The Echoplex stage tends to have limited viewing angles due to the narrow and deep nature of the stage.

Speaking of footage, I’ve got seven tracks featured from the hour and fifteen minute set, five from “Cranekiss” and two from “Dreaming the Dark.” Admittedly, I wasn’t all that familiar with the latter, newer LP, with the exception of some cursory listens. So I left my proper introduction to her live performance, of which she would undoubtedly feature a number of tracks. I’ve included the title track “Dreaming the Dark” and “Angel of Sweat,” both of which possess a more gothic flavor to the synth-gazed wash of sound. Audio quality is about the best I can expect from the Echoplex. But the video, for the most part, is clear.

Tamaryn performs “Dreaming the Dark” at the Echoplex on 04.26.19.

Tamaryn performs “Angel of Sweat” at the Echoplex on 04.26.19.

And then I’ve got five tracks from “Cranekiss,” which I obviously have a greater familiarity with. There’s the title track, which I actually cobbled together from two takes. That’s where the drum machine crapped out. And I’ve got the upbeat “Sugarfix,” plus a trio of slower, moodier pieces, which I’m really loving, “Fade Away Slow,” “Intruder (Waking You Up),” and the slightly faster “Last.”

Tamaryn performs “Cranekiss” at the Echoplex on 04.26.19.

Tamaryn performs “Sugarfix” at the Echoplex on 04.26.19.

Tamaryn performs “Fade Away Slow” at the Echoplex on 04.26.19.

Tamaryn performs “Last” at the Echoplex on 04.26.19.

Tamaryn performs “Intruder (Waking You Up)” at the Echoplex on 04.26.19.

Lastly, here’s the setlist as playlist for Tamaryn’s Echoplex performance on 04.26.19. It’s a pretty solid collection of material from her latter two albums, which serve as a great introduction to this current phase of her aural artistry. And if you like these creations, I’d recommend going back to “The Waves” and “Tender New Signs.” Other than that, I’m all tapped out with words. So enjoy and good night!