One of the perks of being the Managing Editor of Baeble is that I get to pick which shows I go to, and it takes a really special upcoming act to make me come out to certain venues in the city. The Bitter End is one of those venues I don't usually make my way to, but the first time I heard the New Tarot, I knew I needed to see them live and I caught a kick ass set from the Walker sisters at that storied venue
. I've been hoping to hear more from them since I caught that set in April, and of course I was going to say yes when they asked me to premiere their latest EP, Stella
. With its combination of garage, pop, psychedelia, and trip-hop, the New Tarot have only continued to impress.
From the opening number "On Baby" with its claps, twangy guitars, and sinuous vocal hooks, Stella
establishes that the New Tarot are an act not bound by the limiting strictures of genre. Though the song hits a lot of 90s alt-pop pleasure centers, it also showcases the band's willingness to push the limits of pop without sacrificing the elegance of melody and catchiness that makes a great pop song great.
And on the rest of the EP, the Walker sisters (Monika & Karen) continue to push their craft forward while also repositioning what pop-rock can be. The title track, "Stella," is one of the hardest-hitting tracks on the record from a hook perspective but its avant-garde edges shine brightly with the song's clever onomatopoeia and ode to cats. "Ghost" features some of the most impressive and emotive vocals of the New Tarot's career yet, and "Memory" finds the band embracing some of the trip-hop/house-esque production that fans of their earlier EPs might recognize.
The New Tarot continue to grow, and I can't wait to see where the next leg of their journey takes them.