Genre: Pop, Indie
Region: Melbourne, VIC
Members: Tara Minton - vocals, harp, Jack Leftly - keys, production, Luke Shore - drums, Leonardo Caltabiano - double bass, Daniel Lynders - bass, Tim Di Stefano - guitar, Tom Benson - Saxophone
Influences: The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Sting, Jamie Cullum, Norah Jones, Life!
On April 2nd, Tara Minton will release her debut album, 'I harp you'. We're loving her delicate folk-indie-pop with lots of stories that tap into our own experiences and lives.
It is much better-recorded than a lot of harp discs, which is all the more impressive when you consider that the album was recorded in a garage in the middle of the very cold Australian winter. Tara's car was outside with the engine running, and they all had to leap inside it between takes to warm up.
"When I was ten, my mother put on a video of the Marx Brothers' Monkey Business. I already played piano, but I immediately decided I wanted to play the harp. My mother wasn't keen, so I refused to speak to my parents at dinner until they gave in. Every time they asked me something, all I would do was play air harp instead. Eventually they got me a small harp. After a while I progressed to an Erard. It was a beautiful harp, but 124 years old, and the pedal mechanism was nearing the end of its days. Eventually I had to get a harp that worked: the Camac Athena I have now.
My BA is in music theatre and classical piano, and it was after I got my degree in 2007 that I moved to Melbourne and started writing songs full time. I had always done so, not so seriously or intensively, but in the end I realised that I could express myself best through my songs. I'm full of admiration for those classical artists who can make Clair de Lune sound like you've never heard it before, but I need my own material.
I began by writing and performing a cabaret in April 2008, 'It's not rock'. This sold out at the Butterfly Club in Melbourne and was a good bridge between music theatre and live music gigs. By 2010, I'd given up my day job as a piano teacher to write songs full-time.
Through the bass player Daniel Lynders I met my producer and keys player Jack Leftley at the start of 2010. Together we recorded "Glow", written with guitarist Tim Di Stefano, and on the 1st of August 2010 the song reached number one overall on the Triple J Unearthed charts, where it held its position for a fortnight. We then went on to record "I harp you." The album features eight songs written on the harp, telling the tales of transformation from a naive girl straight out of arts school to an artist with a deeper emotional maturity and worldly experience. The last song on the album titled "Gumby" is an ode to my harp, my anchor throughout the journey!"
"I harp you" will be launched on April 2nd, with special guests The Steel Birds, at 8PM. Venue: Spensers Live, 419 Spencer street, West Melbourne. Tickets cost $12 through www.moshtix.com.au, or $15 on the door. The album will also shortly be available on iTunes.
You can hear a sneak preview (and offer a review) of 'Play with me', the album's first track, on triple j Unearthed.