Some things are best experienced when you let them wash over you. The Andrea Tariang Band’s new 6-track offering, titled My Time, is a testament to this. The Pink actor’s commendable debut is laden with soulful harmonies and nuggets of life advice. Her band, too, showcases its extensive compositional chops as the EP sits between pop, soul and jazz.
Tariang’s saccharine vox creates an ambient soundscape which invites the listener to sit with her in a place of vulnerability. These tracks feature meticulous songwriting and a range of themes, like love, loss, and finding oneself. Whether it’s a minimalist ode to love or a power ballad, Tariang’s band does it all with finesse.
On the opener ‘Beautiful,’ that features Gregory Ford Nongurm, Tariang croons about stopping to smell the flowers: “It’s a beautiful day to go outside and have some fun”. A number about appreciating the smaller things in life, its upbeat composition also celebrates this idea. The minimal production showcases the lyrics and keeps the message centre stage, while the guitar is clearly the star of this track.
The next track, ‘Crazy Thing’ also featuring Nongrum is a giddy but understated love song. The vocal harmonies in the chorus complement Tariang’s parts and the guitar outro adds to the idyllic mood. Perfect for solo Sunday lounging or your next spooning sesh.
At the halfway mark, the EP becomes more percussion-heavy with ‘You’. Along with the groovy bassline, Tariang makes it almost impossible not to bob your head to this track with her soothing vocals. Sonically, it comes across as a throwback to early 2000s R&B hits by artists like Jojo.
If the first three tracks were a cautious start, the band finds its footing in the tracks that follow. ‘Floating’ is arguably the stand-out track of this compilation. This jazzy tune is both on brand and immediately arresting, with layered melodies of guitar and saxophone that slip in and out effortlessly between Tariang’s musings. Lyrically, she explores a more difficult territory here, like grappling with change and the search for one’s own path. Yet, she encourages the listener with poignant images of the natural cycles of change around them. It’s also a tender tribute to Karan Joseph, the guitarist who passed away in 2017, and with whom Tariang wrote the song.
Ultimately, it’s a sombre ditty with an uplifting message. She implores the listener to look outwards to see inwards: “memories melt like winter snow”. The piano interlude is sure to whisk you away to your happy place. It’s a number that will encourage you to welcome change as an inevitable part of life.
If Tariang gives airtime to the honeymoon phase, she introspects equally about the aftermath of a relationship. ‘My Time’ enlists Meba Ofilia on vocal duty for an unapologetic empowerment anthem that salutes the spirit of staying true to oneself. With the use of the electric guitar and synths, the arrangement is a twist on textbook soul. Reminiscent of artists like Luther Vandross, it still manages to sound fun, fresh, and modern. The titular track is also one of the EP’s strongest.
This collection is best experienced alongside quiet introspection and in the lap of nature. Throughout the EP, Tariang is herself at one with nature, looking to it for reassurance and guidance.
This is a set of songs that will centre the listener and have them revisiting it at different junctures in life. The themes are universal, and the soundscapes are an inviting mix of old and new. It’s equally enriching, whether you’re listening for a mirror to your own experiences or simply to get lost in the sound. So find a meadow, a beach, a forest, a hiking trail and immerse yourself in these coaxing tunes.
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