• Sat, Feb 24, 2024
Reviews

Tarini's Excellent Debut EP 'From These Cracks A Flower Grew' Is A Keeper

9.0

album Reviews Nov 24, 04:33pm

Indie goodness!

There’s a quality to Chennai singer-songwriter Tarini that makes her stand out; she’s a hell of a writer. This is on display on every song of her debut EP ‘From These Cracks A Flower Grew’, a release that does nothing wildly innovative but ends up being a wonderful listen anyway. In a way, this is every bit as impressive as acoustic indie music that takes risks.

And that’s because getting the basics absolutely right and experimenting with the form often yield equal results. In fact, the former might even work out more often.

The above sentence is the most concise way to describe the four songs on this EP. They are acoustic-based, they have relatively simple vocal melodies, and they have relatively standard structures. Now, we have noticed a variety of opinions on the singer-songwriter template online; mostly the following:

  • Yeah, someone’s done it before
  • Yeah, it’s simplistic
  • Yeah, it’s fine, but how does it push Indian indie forward?

We will therefore discuss this review in this order.

                                                                  

“Yeah, someone’s done it before”

That’s true. In fact, Indian independent artists doing acoustic guitar-based music about love and healing is close to being its own genre at this point. The difference with Tarini is that she seems to actually care about her sound. The production on this EP is warm, expressive and full of feeling. Chords ring out, her vocals are bell-clear, and the drums actually have some weight to them when they enter the fray. It’s good stuff.

 

“Yeah, it’s simplistic”

That’s true. There are points where the music Tarini wants to make suffers from a lack of playfulness. Take the wonderful opener ‘Hello :)’, a classic ballad. The chords are bittersweet, the vocals are pop as hell (harmonies and all), and the vibe is immaculate. However, there’s a point where a pop setup needs a pop payoff, and that doesn’t happen here. However, it does happen on the very next track ‘Like I Do’, a song that dials the pop factor up to 11 and benefits greatly from it. In fact, the two songs are so well crafted that they will appeal to both legions of pop listeners (happy and not so happy).

 

“Yeah, it’s fine, but how does it push Indian indie forward?”

By being good. This, perhaps, is the most learn-able part of the EP for newer artists. ‘Chose You For You’ is a standard 6/8 ballad that works primarily because it gets everything right. Good mix, good hook, and so on. ‘Winds Of Change’ follows a classic rock template in a world that largely doesn’t know what classic rock even is, but it works too. Why? It gets the simple ideas right. Easy to sing to, easy to play to. It’s the concept of ‘competence’ executed correctly.

 

So, is ‘From These Cracks A Flower Grew’ new, cool, or inventive? No, it’s not. But Tarini exhibits something every young artist should work towards, which is commitment and quality. She knows exactly when to lift her songs up, when to do a scale change, and when to simply have fun. It’s an approach we don’t find often in today’s age of manufactured hits; one would hope this release does well enough to remind people that music can still be made and not built.

If you want to hear her play all this live, give her the DSP plays on your streaming platforms and tell your friends. As you should; it's the indie way.

Stream: https://linktr.ee/tarinins

 

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