Album of the Day: Tamaryn, “Dreaming the Dark”
By Anna White · March 20, 2019
San Francisco, California
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San Francisco, California
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Vinyl LP, Compact Disc (CD)

Listening to New Zealand-born Tamaryn’s Dreaming the Dark feels like a borderline spiritual experience—which makes sense, given her upbringing. Though the singer-songwriter hesitates to use the word “cult,” her communal childhood was anything but traditional, an environment which instilled within her a deep sense of music’s ability to heal. This ethos permeates Dreaming the Dark—there is an echoing depth at the album’s core that feels similar to New Age drones, which comes fully to the fore “Fits of Rage” and “You’re Adored,” where Tamaryn decelerates from the album’s otherwise steady pace.

Tamaryn’s vocals are saturated with emotion: “Embrace your desire,” she sings on album-opener “Angels of Sweat,” the song’s anthemic chorus covered in a sheen of oscillating synths. Dreaming the Dark’s swirling guitars call to mind shoegaze pioneers Cocteau Twins, but with unambiguous lyrics and the raw power of a Top 40 hit. Dreaming the Dark is true to the singer’s characteristic retro-sensibilities without feeling dated—Tamaryn takes ‘80s dance pop and melts it down, casting the molten remnants into a danceable album with a lyrical honesty that gives it a contemporary resonance.

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