Album Review: Show Me Spirit ’til the End | Tara Simmons

This album blasts the prodigious talents of Tara Simmons into the atmosphere, powering a musical legacy filled with contemporary electro-synth pop and enthusiasm. Tara has previously released two albums, three EP’s and a several remixes being a singer, songwriter, cellist, keys player and producer, as well as fronting the Brisbane electronic ensemble YesYou.

‘Achromatopsia’ and ‘Four Leaf’ provide a delicate abstract for the album with succinct lyrics – an example of where less is more to dwell on the sustained sparkling tones of Tara’s vocals.   ‘Mess It Up Again’ and ‘Athens’ have Susanne Vega-like vocal and instrumental arrangement qualities, and ‘Twice Your Size’ flips to a musically ethereal mash of voice sound bites.  ‘Devotion’ is the hidden little gem in this album.  Tara’s delicate vocals are accompanied by a simple pulse of acoustic piano with fragments of operatic Kate Miller Heidke layers. ‘North’ is pure pop-o-rama drama, straight from the land of Pet Shop Boys, and ‘Beg and Plead’ would be a perfect film soundtrack containing brilliant break up lyrics; “Nobody wants to hear the same song,” all accompanied by a raw drum beat loop and an orchestra of alienesque synthesizer sounds.

The serene song ‘Baby Won’t You’ is the calm before the storm once every-one hears ‘Let’s Go’ – a track that will have everyone hitting the dance floor with arms waving. It’s the stand-out psych-up jump-on-your-bed hit song. ‘Ghosts and The Silences’ beautifully bookends the album with snare drum grooves and the liquid silver voice of Tara Simmons.  Every song on this album provides the listener with a new chapter of electric soundscapes rich with a buzz of meditating bass, swathes of synthesizer and string pop bites complete with Tara’s relaxed vocals.  This sublime production was mixed by longtime collaborator and friend Yanto Browning and made possible by industry and musician friends and family.

‘Show Me Spirit til the End’ is poignant because it was Tara’s final creative output and the single ‘Let’s Go’ honours the first anniversary since the Brisbane artist’s passing in 2019.

This album reflects a life of creativity, collaboration, tenacity, self-efficiency and an abundance of Tara’s sweet voiced notes to not only remind friends and family, but to project to a continuous stream of new listeners.

The single ‘Let’s Go’ is out now, and the album’s release date is Friday 20 March.

IMAGE (c) Sophie Richards

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