“Dreaming The Dark”; the long anticipated follow up to 2017’s “Cranekiss” isn’t exactly what I thought it would be, but that might be a good thing. Tamaryn has continued to change her sound throughout her career, exploring new territory as she goes; which has made her an artist to stay connected with and to watch. I tend to get bored with artists who don’t somehow grow and change. Some listeners want that “standard” band sound, but I appreciate never quite knowing what to expect.
This album is even more firmly synthpop than “Cranekiss” was; which teetered on the genre as well as dreampop. There are still many dreamy elements presents in “Dreaming The Dark” but it has an overall more 80’s throwback and dance vibe. This album also seems much more personal, delving into Tamaryn’s psyche with different topics for each song. “Cranekiss” seemed to be a sexy, romantic album overall; at times seeming like a very steamy love letter. “Dreaming The Dark” covers more territory and is done in a very calculated way, making those different threads still weave themselves into a cohesive complete set; a solid album in it’s entirety.
The early released singles, “Fits of Rage” and “Angels of Sweat” seem to have lots of nods to strong female indie rock vocalists who came before. I got impressions of Tori Amos, Kate Bush, and even Bjork upon listening, given the certain ways in which Tamaryn chose to deliver her vocals. Regardless of if you hear those echoes or not, there is a fierceness and tenacity that has not been as present in Tamaryn’s prior work. There are some great collaborative moments here as well, as The Horrors worked with her on “Path to Love”; as well as provided a remix to that song, and Jorge Elbrecht is still very much involved and helped to produce the album.
Other stand-out tracks include “You’re Adored” which Tamaryn shared via her Instagram page is an ode to her beloved dog, Tennessee; who had been struggling with cancer and sadly now has passed away. It’s a forelorn lovesong asking someone to stay when you know that they are fading away. The closing title track also stands strong and is the perfect summary of “Dreaming The Dark” as a whole.
As I mentioned above, this album wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be, and upon initial listening, didn’t strike me a hard as “Cranekiss” did. However, I am finding the more time I spent listening, the more I appreciate it and it’s absolutely growing on me. Maybe I’m not quite ready to move away from those beautiful, yet frivolous love songs and dig a little deeper.