ALBUM REVIEW: TARA SIMMONS – IT’S NOT LIKE WE’RE TRYING TO MOVE MOUNTAINS

There are two obvious things that you notice after listening to Brisbane chanteuse, Tara Simmons’ sophomore album, It’s Not Like We’re Trying To Move Mountains. The first is that this gal is not afraid to experiment a little. Here, she drops her previous genre of down-tempo pop songs for something a lot more sample-driven, soaring and electro-sounding. The other is that she loves people and singing about them because although the she offers ten personal tracks, these seem as much about Simmons’ relationship or thoughts about the individuals as they do about the fine lady herself.

“Weekend Of Hearts” opens up with a more upbeat feel, with everything from a self-confessed, 80s diva vocal to some rolling pop co-written along with Hungry Kids of Hungary’s Dean McGrath. It boasts an infectious, pulsating rhythm that continues into “Where Do You Go”. The latter could be by Catcall and is about the feeling of never knowing when you’ll run into an old flame.

In addition to the ex, another important person to Simmons is the one that is the subject of “Honey”. This song is an angelic, piano ballad that is like a less quirky but sincere, Regina Spektor number. It starts with a flourish of skipping piano and builds up to a haunting crescendo as Simmons emphasises how lost she’d be without this special individual in her life.

On “Found” Simmons details “Where Do You Go” part two, otherwise known as what did happen when she ran into the ex with some synth-driven pop that has a casual, swaying vibe. This slower feel is also apparent in “Love Attack”, which sounded like a gentler number by The Breeders and an almost 180-degree turn away from “No Sleep Tonight”. This later track has an African influence that is all water, tribal drums and sweeping plains as the listener gets lost – in a good way – in a dream. Lovely.

Tara Simmons set herself a challenge with this record. Having previously self-produced and recorded her debut, Spilt Milk, this time she worked closely with producer, Yanto Browning (The Medics, Kate Miller-Heidke) and made a conscious effort not to repeat herself or her sounds. The result has paid dividends with ten tracks that are light and airy, electro-infused pop that would appeal to fans of Metric and Ladytron or closer to home, Elizabeth Rose.

It’s Not Like We’re Trying To Move Mountains is a warm record in every sense. The hooks soar along with her sweet and perfect, feminine vocals that carry these personal tales to another level. It’s hard not to like this layered and cohesive record and hopefully this is a sign of the brighter things she is yet to accomplish or the bigger mountains she will one day overcome.

Originally published on 15 November 2012 at the following website: http://www.the59thsound.com/tara-simmons—its-not-like-were-trying-to-move-mountains-15112012.html

Visit The 59th Sound’s homepage at: http://www.the59thsound.com/

 

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