Canadian singer-songwriter Tara Beier was born in Vancouver of Philippine, Austrian and British heritage. Originally trained as a classical pianist, she began her career as an actress and documentary filmmaker, working on the short 2014 indie film 'Covered', a native rights docudrama centred around a re-creation of a 1964 Buffy Sainte-Marie interview and performance, which became the catalyst for Tara to perform and write her own songs. Since then Tara has established herself on the Canadian music scene and has more recently moved to Los Angeles.
'The Hero & The Sage' is her first full-length studio album, and represents a remarkably mature debut. Expertly produced by Bret Higgins and backed by a bunch of Toronto's best session musicians, it's a collection which will defy the most determined pigeonholer. There are echoes throughout of 70s acoustic based acts such as America, Bonnie Raitt and, perhaps inevitably, Joni Mitchell, but there are also more modern indie, pop and alt.country influences at work, resulting in an eclectic and contrasting assortment of songs.
'Mayan Sun' sets the tone, building from a solo guitar and vox opening into a multi-layered anthem, with atmospheric lead guitar breaks and a pounding tom-tom backbeat set against an strummed acoustic guitar backdrop. It's a 'Horse With No Name' for a new generation.
'Give It Up' in contrast, is a three minute pop song which one can easily imagine Madonna churning out, while 'Guns Road' is a rumbling, percussion-heavy theme song straight from a TV western soundtrack. 'Freedom Island' is a less fussy, piano and voice, torch song with moody organ accompaniment, and 'This Innocence' a lively, radio-friendly, banjo-backed ditty. 'Cellar Door' and 'She's Gone' are surprisingly upbeat numbers given what has gone before, the latter in particular revealing Tara's indie influences. An assured debut.
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