Boomkat Product Review:
Bristol's Tara Clerkin Trio materialize somewhere between lo-lite jazz and faded, smudged trip-hop on "In Spring". Sad and beautiful narcotic chamber pop that's sure to hypnotize fans of Leila, Tirzah, Cucina Povera or even Third Eye Foundation.
There's a gusty air of relaxed melancholy that wisps thru "In Spring". The mini-album follows last year's ace self-titled debut, and turns that record's fizzy jazz-pop down to a whisper, focusing in on soft phrases and fluttering loops. It's a smart move for the Bristol-based trio, whose wobbly, pensive songs now hover closer to the loping burn'd out dub-soul of Leila or Tirzah's psychedelic, romantic bedroom pop.
The jazz influence is still present, particularly on the lengthy opening track 'Done Before', which bursts to life with a whimsical piano improvisation that carefully makes way for Clerkin's assured but introverted vocals. Looped horns and scraped strings are turned into near-ambience as the piano rolls into a loop, adding a soft rhythm to an otherwise free-form jam. But 'Night Steps' obscures the instrumental palette and Clerkin's words with chunky breaks and a fog of space echo.
'Memory' is dissolved even further into the atmosphere, all muted woodwind and organ moans that erupt into a half-time drum warble, backed by bass that can't help but remind us of DJ Shadow's classic "Endtroducing" in the best possible way. If trip-hop is back in 2021, "In Spring" recalls the genre's most low-key and thus enduring moments, while harmonizing with the wyrd-world narco-pop abstraction of contemporary forces Cucina Povera and Leila Sakini.