Tamaryn at Knitting Factory

by Eliza C. Thompson

Mexican Summer is turning out to be the record label to watch of 2010. Though some of their CMJ showcase choices this year seemed a little, ahem, questionable, it’s hard to argue with the people who brought you Best Coast’s Crazy for You. If there’s any justice in the world, San Francisco group Tamaryn ought to become the next M.S. breakout act (except I’m pretty sure they’re not going to be so into Twitter).

The band is officially composed of lead singer Tamaryn and multi-instrumentalist Rex John Shelverton, but for their shows they enlisted a little help from a drummer and a bassist. The only light on stage came from the psychedelic video projections shimmering behind the band, which definitely set the visual mood for the band’s fuzzed out dream-pop.

Tamaryn herself was decked out in her goth-girl best—black lace, black tights, and black bangs. She never said a word to the audience, and didn’t even really look at us. But of course, staring off into the wild yonder certainly suits the whole lady of the canyon vibe she’s got going on. Her antisocial tendencies didn’t seem to bother anyone though, because her voice is LEGIT—it’s one of those rare kinds that sounds even better live than it does on the album. Her set wasn’t long (it was CMJ, after all), but it was the absolute standout of what was otherwise a very weird showcase. I’m still waiting on the explanation for Robert Lester Folsom. Anyone?

One of my friends described Tamaryn as a better Beach House. That’s not exactly right, but maybe you could think of them as Beach House with a marked interest in downers and the occult, or Mazzy Star with better haircuts. But say whatever you want to about the band’s shtick—Tamaryn’s got the pipes to back it up.

photo via Spinner


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