US rockers Tarah Who? are a fascinating flashback to 90’s rock with anthemic singalong choruses and a raw, grungey edge.
The trio of Tarah G. Carpenter (guitar and vocals), Matthew Peltcher (bass and backing vocals) and Paul Costanza (drums) aren’t afraid to do their own thing with their unique brand of intense, engaging rock.
The driving force behind the band is lead singer Tarah, who grew up in Paris but decided to travel to Los Angeles to explore its music scene. Having grown up playing drums and bass, she answered an ad on Craigslist (US-based messaging board) that stated “looking for an artist to perform original songs at a warehouse party downtown.”After performing solo for the first time she got the taste for it and began playing under the moniker ‘Tarah Who?’ and ten years on she’s been joined by Matthew two years ago and Paul six months ago, and the trio is going from strength to strength.
Tarah said: “It’s all very personal. I write about life, situation, my perception of certain events etc… The music comes naturally with the feelings of the lyrics. I usually have a strong emotion and I really need to explode inside, but instead I do it on a piece of paper! It takes about 10 minutes and that is the song. The music comes naturally. I don’t overthink it, I never read back or change anything because this is how I felt at the time.
“We don’t follow any kind of songwriting rule, we play how we feel. And for the most part we have no idea what we’re doing. Paul is the only one of us that has been to music school, Matt and I are playing notes… which ones? we don’t know, but we like them at that time!”
Tarah Who? have taken influence from the likes of Nirvana – which definitely comes across in their music – as well as the likes of Depeche Mode, Joy Division and The Cure. The awesome Cough Drop, from this year’s EP Federal Circle of Shame, reflects this, with big Nirvana-esque guitars and heavy bass supporting Tarah’s edgy vocals and anguished cries of “self-destruction.” Check out the video below:
The brilliantly named Bitchcraft, from the same record, brings us more of the same, with a short sharp burst of grungey rocky brilliance, with big screams as the song kicks into a blast of guitars.
If you love raw, grungey rock with big, heavy, fast-paced guitars and driving drums then Tarah Who? may well be your new favourite band you didn’t know about. Tarah’s vocals flitter between raw and heavy, through to emotional and moving, and perfectly juxtaposes the rocky support.
Rainy Day, from 2014 album Little Out There, is possibly my favourite track the band has published, it’s a little more chilled out and polished than some of their music but it’s a really fun singalong track. But the pace and raw energy is there in abundance in the form of Too Much Thinking, which builds into an awesome guitar solo, and the super cool Lower Your Tone, which has strong overtones of Nirvana-esque grunge.
Describing their music Tarah told us: “I can’t help myself from writing, so I think the best thing about being in a band is to see how those songs grow from just being words on a piece of paper, to becoming that chorus everyone remembers.
“I love being in the studio and start with the drums, then the bass, the guitar, the vocals and suddenly you have a final product. I love sharing the new songs, playing live, and hear or watch people listen or dance on the songs. I like to see their emotions from how I felt to how it makes them feel. I love the connection I have with my bandmates, we are like a family and we spend so much time together! Yeah, bands are cool.”
But despite these sentiments, Tarah suggests her life isn’t necessarily evolve absorbed in music. She said: “When I don’t play, I usually prefer silence. If I listen to music, I like to get away from the musical genre I like to write in so I am not too influenced by them. I hear a lot of people telling us that we sound like a lot of people, it is always interesting to me because 80% of the time I probably have heard of them but I have never listened to them.”
Tarah Who? are in the process of writing and recording a new album, and hope to shoot a music video really soon, which they’re really excited about – and so are we!
Tarah explained: “We like to take it one step at a time. Of course we would love to be touring the world with the big bands and so and so. As long as we keep being true to ourselves and our music, it is already a big success.”
We agree that they’re already a big success and urge you to check out this really fun, rocking band. You can follow Tarah Who? on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and listen to their music in the usual places, including on CDBaby, YouTube and iTunes.