Tara Rice
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Tara Rice

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Alternative Folk




"Tara Rice’s Haunting EP ‘Panorama’"

Tara Rice's new EP, Panorama, would have served as the perfect soundtrack to the summers at Lake Geneva where Mary Shelley wrote her classic novel, Frankenstein.

The six tracks are gothic, romantic, and evoke images of haunted castles on high cliffs. Best known as a singer in the cinematic art rock group 5th PROJEKT, the fiery red-haired songstress’ solo effort proves she is a gem of a vocalist. An emerald, in fact.

Lyrically, Panorama opens on a strong note with, “Vaccinate my loneliness with cigarettes and wine/Then invite the ghosts inside to help me keep the time.” It is clear from the first note that Rice “Vampires,” the second track, has thankfully nothing to do with Twilight, but instead, uses the mythical creature as a metaphor for emotional draining. Rice spouts, “Sure are a lot of vampires in here…Feasting on my bleeding heart/I don’t want to be a part/Of this game.”

The “creatures” theme- specifically werewolves, ghosts, and monsters- is common throughout the six tracks; a consistency that comes from Rice having written all six tracks herself. In engaging these types of rich metaphors, she references the darkest parts of ourselves-our fears and our inhibitions- and brings them to light.
Tara Rice’s Panorama was released on August 6th through Organik Rekords. It can be purchased online. 5th PROJEKT will be releasing a six-track EP, Gamma-Wave-Rhythm, on September 14th.


"Tara Rice – Panorama (Organik Rekords)"

Tara Rice is a Toronto based singer-songwriter, and her new EP, the six-track “Panorama” is frequently soothing, sometimes spiky, and more often than not, quite lovely. Produced by Rice and Sködt McNalty, the pair have put together a collection where every musical piece seems to have fallen into place. That’s no mean feat when we consider Rice’s range of influences and the often-conflicting approaches she takes to her music.

If you’re looking for a neat label to file Rice under, alternative folk-rock seems to be the consensus opinion, but it really only tells part of the story. Take the opening track “Stones”; the instrumentation includes cello, and something percussive, which I can’t put a name to, but maybe East Asian, or wholly synthesized. The effect is ethereal and haunting, and taps into a gothic romanticism, which brings to mind artists like Mazzy Star and All About Eve. And I should mention, Rice’s voice is stunningly good – pure, with infinite emotional depth.

“Stones” is followed by “Vampires”, where we hear a whole new aspect to Rice’s repertoire. The track begins and ends relatively sedately, the metaphorical bloodsucking tale is told in quirky pop tones, but the middle section is almost feral – guitars squall and vocals distort – and the effect is thoroughly arresting.

“No Harm” embraces a darker side, and “Oh, Tim” will remind some of the peculiar narratives that used to appear on early Kate Bush album. “If You Were My Monster” digs deep into old world mythology and is elevated with barbed rhythms, and final track “The Emerald Horizon” returns the listener to earth – literally - with plentiful natural imagery.



Panorama - 2013



There could be another way to think about it. Possibly another truth. Just a slight perspective shift, a deeper dig into what we think we know, an investigation into the rumour, and suddenly worlds emerge. Old dirt is overturned and fresh earth is uncovered. That red devil who is seen as so evil? Maybe he’s a horned god, assimilated from an old religion who represents free will, music, nature, dancing and love. That famous vilified stoner? Perhaps he had a PhD, and researched the chemical alteration of consciousness in a controlled setting to better understand the nature of human behavior.

‘Panorama’, the 6-song EP from Toronto-based artist Tara Rice, ponders such prospects, and gently urges the imagination to reach for new interpretations; a peeling back of the story, layer by layer, in an effort to give way to a holistic, panoramic view.

Though the majority of the music was written, recorded and performed by Rice in her Bloor Street apartment, the mood of this alternative folk-rock album transcends the concrete city vibe. The songs, along withTara’s multifaceted, distinctive voice, sweep and shape-shift through genres and influences (a bit of PJ Harvey grunge here, some Sandy Denny folk there). At times summoning whimsical, psychedelic pastoral vistas, and at other times conjuring crisp, cool, dark autumn forests in times of myth, Panorama’s music pulls the listener into an evocative and welcoming world that is wholly its own.

Rice’s voice has been described as haunting and otherworldly, ebbing and flowing symbiotically with her propensity for bending genres. Throughout ‘Panorama’ we can experience a heartbreaking vulnerability expressed in one moment, playful inquisitiveness or sensuality in the next and then the hiss of barbed vitriol. Yet somehow, it all seems to happen at the right time, delivered with emotionally wide-ranging lyrics and melodies that endure in the soul.

Tara is currently booking Canadian tour dates in support of her new EP, Panorama. You can also find her singing with her longtime love, the cinematic art-rock band, 5th PROJEKT (www.5thprojekt.com).

Since I’ve been involved in the TO music scene, Tara continues to be one of my favourite vocalists.
-Lonely Vagabond

You will be mesmerized by the luscious beauty of Tara Rice’s vocals.
-Charmaine Merchant, The Spill

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