Review: Tara King th. – Hirondelle et Beretta

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(Cassette, Moon Glyph, 2013)

With a cover looking like a poster for a vintage crime film, the Paris based group Tara King th. (“th” standing for “theory”) seem to aspire to be the ultimate 60’s baroque/psychedelic pop revivalists in the category of both music and visuals – as stated on the Moon Glyph page, the album is the soundtrack to their own photographic series (check out the music videos they made for this cassette on YouTube, that’s some top-notch 60’s nostalgia right there). Add to this the wonderful vocals in French and we might be getting an overlooked gem of 2013.

Hirondelle et Beretta plays like both a homage and an anthology of most prevalent musical ideas in France and the United Kingdom – ranging from airy chansons to cinematic masterpieces and proggy interludes, all encased within the amber-colored psychedelic time capsule, which is intended to sound like the tape was unearthed after almost 50 years from some dusty record label archive. Actually, it could’ve been described like that on the Moon Glyph page and I would believe it!

Tara King th. brings out all the instruments that once were the staple of pop sounds and got forgotten over the decades: like the wonderful harpsichord, making presence on nearly every track, bringing a lighthearted, baroque feel to the already atmospheric album. Or the clarinets and flutes, perfectly arranged and never out of place. Add some early, delicate synth work in the vein of early 70’s Pink Floyd (“Drole D’Oiseau”) and the bliss gets more and more intense with every second. Most importantly, the duo have a knack for writing incredibly catchy, infectious pop tunes that stick in the listener’s head after one or two listens – like the opening masterpiece “L’Envol” that could easily be an opening theme for a classic film or TV series or the Farfisa driven 3-minute eargasm “L’Enquete”.

Out of all solid stuff released by Moon Glyph, the new cassette by Tara King th. stands out. Because of length, because of the ability to perfectly channel the spirit of the 60’s (it’s like “Mad Men” of music, seriously), because of the whole concept, which doesn’t end only at music and dares to extend further. Highly recommended!

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