Tamar Berk has today released her long awaited album titled ‘Start at the End’. And we also have the bonus of an exclusive interview with Tamar about the new album as well as a great conversation with a legend of an indie artist.
Having just come fresh off the heels of the 31st Annual San Diego Music Awards as a multiple nominee, Tamar showcases a clear evolution of an album with ‘Start at the End’. I have no other way to say this than this is a beautiful album. Done as a series of life-stories and as a therapeutic diary, Tamar makes each song a personal and relatable journey that we can all not only relate to, but learn from.
And in this interview, we talk with Tamar about those life-stories and how they molded into what became a very personal and introspective set of songs.
I also have to apologize to you, the listener/reader, because we had a technical glitch with the phone call, which disconnected, and corrupted some of the audio file! Most of it was recovered, however, and most of the interview was saved!
Check out our other features with Tamar Berk HERE.
Tamar Berk was born in the home of the Rock n’ Roll hall of fame Cleveland, Ohio, before later cutting her teeth in a number of Chicago and Portland bands and releasing music on a number of cult indie labels such as Thick Records, Minty Fresh and Kill Rock Star. Most notably, she was a founding member of the Chicago power pop group Starball in the 90s, but Berk now resides in San Diego, where she recorded both her debut LP The Restless Dreams Of Youth and now this new album Start At The End.
Soon after the release of her debut album, Tamar began writing songs for her follow-up album but with no release date or plan in mind. She had notebooks of lyrics and began recording new demos and discovering some older songs she had put aside. In June of 2021, her father died unexpectedly and she struggled to keep from falling into a deep depression.
“When my dad died, I realized I didn’t understand the purpose of anything,” says Tamar about turning to music to express and work through her existential crisis. That required her to Start at the End… with one door closing, others opened, and the cycle of life renewed on an album of introspection, but also action taken, moving forward tentatively, the journey chronicled step by step like a book of short stories, with her characteristic blend of ‘60s psychedelia, ‘70s punk and ‘80s power pop, leavened with subtle strains of folk and country.
Start At The End, is entirely self-produced by Tamar Berk, and features drummer Matt Walker (Morrissey, Smashing Pumpkins) mixer Sean O’Keefe (Beach Bunny, Fall Out Boy) and bassist/engineer Matt Thomson (Maita), along with other contributions from guitarists Chris Davis (The Penetrators), Rob Wrong (Witch Mountain) and Chris Marsteller (The Loons), and bassist Allen Hunter (The Eels), Most of the album came to life in Tamar’s home studio, recorded while in quarantine, with her on guitar, bass, harpsichord, piano, strings, organ, synth and percussion.
Featured image by John Hancock.
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