All good music should take you away from where you are. You could be the happiest person in the world, but sometimes you’re going to want to escape. There are some bands/singers that always take you to a place a person/nothing else can. This is not a reflection on those you know, it’s just one of those things that happen. You can’t explain it and maybe you shouldn’t try to. There’s this “magic” to it that isn’t found anywhere else. Some have the answers at the bottle of something, but I don’t believe that. It’s in music, for me. Always. Maybe not always answers, but options.

Tamaryn have a new record out called Cranekiss. My love for Tamaryn is huge. If I could try to describe what the music means to me, I’d have done it by now but there really aren’t words good enough. When it was stated that Cranekiss was going to be nothing like previous releases, it didn’t bother me. When you love a band/singer, you don’t care what they do so long as you can still believe in it. For me, I have every faith in Tamaryn based on their previous records. I could never doubt their talent or ability to create something no less than beautiful.

I played Tender New Signs religiously, thinking nothing Tamaryn would do could ever top that. I always knew that regardless the music would be stunning, but I didn’t know if it could be exceeded. My uncertainty and constant curiosity never fails me with music, so I’m obviously delighted that Cranekiss is quite frankly one of the best records to have been released this year.

Hands All Over Me sounds like early Madonna. Here’s the thing, I can’t stand Madonna. Aside from Borderline, I can’t stand anything she has ever done but I fully appreciate and know exactly how important her early work is. It was something new and strange, and that’s why it clicked with so many. As she got older, the music got worse. Hands All Over Me sounds like something Madonna could have put out. If she did, I probably would call myself a fan. It’s a shame because she’s part Italian like myself, so I feel I should like her. But I think Berlusconi is a prick so my theory isn’t always ideal.

I’ve read reviews about Cranekiss before I heard it. I didn’t like some of them because they were unfair. I hate reading negative reviews of music I like, anyone does. There’s something about it that just makes you want to lay into the writer and call them names, I know. Why write about something you don’t like? There’s enough negativity in the world, just watch the news. Tamaryn makes music that makes you feel good and she really goes to town with it on Cranekiss.

I love the euphoric glow of Last. For now I’ll call this as my favourite. I love her vocals so so much. I don’t really like high pitched vocals, but the way Tamaryn hits those notes just makes you feel so fucking alive and grateful. I just can’t get my head around why her music isn’t played everywhere and why the whole world isn’t in love with her. This isn’t just music, it’s a form of art that is showcasing someone really pushing themselves.

I’m really shite at writing reviews. I can’t pull myself away from something I love in order to see it differently, but the thing with Cranekiss is that it feels like I am listening to anyone but Tamaryn. I feel like I’m listening to a new artist, and I guess for me Cranekiss is like a symbol of re-birth. Just starting over, because sometimes you just have to. I read that her shows now consist of new material and people were getting annoyed because they wanted to hear the old stuff. I’m just annoyed I missed out on seeing her show when she was in London. I don’t care if she decided to sing the back catalogue of Chris De Burgh, I’d just want to hear her voice. I’m trying to make the point that, her new stuff is so so good and it doesn’t matter that the older material isn’t played anymore.

If you want your heart breaking, or to just feel something I urge you to shut off and listen to Keep Calling. It is eerie and chilling. Her voice is so delicate on it, you can’t help but keep so still as you listen to it. I’ve probably missed the point completely with what Tamaryn was set out to achieve with Cranekiss. But I think what she has done is easily make one of the most beautiful records I have heard in a long long time.

On Cranekiss we get to hear just how strong Tamaryn’s vocals are. There’s no more hiding her, she’s unleashing her voice onto us and it takes you on this ethereal trip that you just want to last for an eternity. You get the sense that maybe she’s found a style she’s totally happy with on this record (not saying she previously hadn’t, far from it) and to be honest, does it matter if anyone else doesn’t? She’s truly excelled herself on Cranekiss, she well and truly has. I could try to find you a bunch of records to compare Cranekiss to or find other singers she sounds like, but honestly itr would be worthless. Why? You know why. There’s no one else I can think of, and it’s just sloppy journalism to use comparisons all the time. I mean sure there’s a part of Softcore that sounds like A Forest by The Cure but I’m not going to focus on that, it’s just one tiny moment. The whole record is a breath of fresh air to a stale scene. I feel like I’m listening to someone new, finding a band for the first time and just knowing I have to listen to everything they have ever done.

I wanted to go further than say this is one of my favourite records of the year, or that it has pushed boundaries. I don’t know if I can. But I really understand what Tamaryn has done with this record. It’s a resurrection of sorts. Maybe I’ve got that wrong, but I know how much I love this record and I know how beautiful it is. I hope that’s come across in my tirade of words.

In short, this is a gorgeous record and all lost souls will be soothed and found when listening to Cranekiss. It is beautifully produced, and you can really sense the love and care that has gone into making this record. Itr deserves a listen, over and over again. I’m hopelessly in love with this record.

AZAR SWAN-And Blow Us A Kiss.




There are some records that when you hear them, you know that in 10/20 years from now someone is going to name it as a record that made them want to make music or to just do SOMETHING good. You can probably list about 5 now, right? I have a solid 5 that I could list if I was musically talented. I’m hopeful that someone, one day is going to drop Azar Swan’s new record in that kind of list.

I love music that is weird. It doesn’t matter what kind of music it is, I just want it to sound weird and I want it to make my brain do weird things. And Blow Us A Kiss by Azar Swan is probably the most beautifully weird record I’ve heard in a long time. I’m pretty sure those who listen to them will automatically think “ZOHRA SOUNDS LIKE KATE BUSH.” No. Just listen to her voice real closely and you’ll hear nothing from anyone else in her voice. It is truly beautiful. Zohra (a gorgeous name) has this wonderful tone that eases you, but not like a comfort blanket. She kind of psyches you up to feel like you can do anything and/or that whatever is eating you just isn’t worth it.

My favourite so far from the record is For Last And Forever. The start of it sounds like something real sordid and depraved. As you get deeper into the song, you feel like you are in some dingy, dark, basement bar being stalked out by some possessed woman. Whatever gets you through, I can think of worse. This isn’t bad at all. Her voice lures you in instantly on every track but there is something about For Last And Forever that feels really sinister, it’ll be the one I play to death for sure.

Judge a record by its artwork. If the artwork looks a little strange, then buy it. Fall in love with, and keep doing it over and over with most record purchases you make. I’ve done it many times and the bands I’ve done it with have become bands I constantly listen to and really adore. There is something thrilling about buying a record that you know nothing about aside from the fact that your eyes are hooked on what they have seen. Sometimes you’ve got to go with your eyes and not head/heart (or bank account.)

I’m really bad with putting music into genres, I find it pretty daft you know? Music is music and there is too much of it for any of it to be lumbered with a unnecessary description. If I like something, I like it. If I don’t, then I don’t. Azar Swan take bits of all the creepy stuff I listen to and have made a truly ethereal and creepy record. Zohra’s voice pierces through you in the most pleasant way possible. I remember when I first heard Zola Jesus years ago. I was in awe that a person’s voice could do that or have such power. The same feeling comes to me again when I listen to Azar Swan. Oh, and yes they are a duo but that plays no part in my opinion of them. I know I love duos, but Azwar Swan are something else. They’re the type of band you would need to say playing in an abandoned church or in a neglected cemetery. Their music feels like it was made for a horror/thriller film. Their music isn’t going to relax you in a conventional way, and I think that is part of the charm and why they are a sheer joy to listen to.

Zohar’s lyrics have the power to rip into your gut and really make you think; just go back and listen to their first record Dance Before The War then ease yourself into And Blow Us A Kiss. You can flail your limbs about to their futuristic sounds if you want, but start off with laying on your bed and blasting it through headphones. Really connect with the song In The Garden. There’s something in Zohra’s voice on this song that makes you really REALLY feel it. It’s a gorgeous song. Blank Space is a haunting gem that you jut keep hitting repeat on, it feels ritualistic.

I feel uncomfortable writing reviews because I don’t think I can do it. All I do is blab on about how it makes me feel and all it conjures up. I have no right to talk about the production on something as I don’t know anything about it!

So what I am trying to say is that, Azar Swan have just put out on the most exciting and eerie records I’ve heard all year. It’s a pleasure to listen to, and they are evidently one of the most interesting bands around.

And Blow Us A Kiss is released via Zoo Music.