The Tara Lynne Band distinguish themselves with their unique blend of vocal harmonies. They’re the only Brooklyn rock band with a three-person frontline, bandleader/guitarist Tara Lynne joining voices with singers Zac Gilbert and Jerielle Morwitz. Ironically, the most powerful voice in the band belongs to bassist Sarah Mucho, better known as the electrifying frontwoman of eclectic, literate string band the Sometime Boys; she also contributes harmony vocals here. As you might expect from a group whose core shares a theatre music background, their sound is bright, shiny and cheery, often with a droll sense of humor. Lynne’s songs are a sort of dreampop-flavored take on early 70s, Bob Welch-era Fleetwood Mac, and also draw heavily on hippie rock influences from that time, the band’s signature harmonies soaring along with occasional piano or organ over a lush bed of acoustic guitars. Their new album Time Lapse Orchids is streaming all the way through at their Reverbnation page.
The album’s title track sets wry stoner allusions over drummer Tami Johnson’s trip-hop groove; like many of the songs here, it grows more hypnotic as it goes along, the guitars eventually dropping out for a string synth, then popping back in again. Where a lot of drummers would play The Tourist as a backbeat shuffle, Johnson keeps an elegantly tumbling drive going: “A thousand careless whispers to a wall/ Drink the Kool-Aid, close your eyes and fall,” the voices intone.
Let Us Away has a bouncy sway with echoey electric piano and some very cool, contrapuntal guy/girl vocals. They work that trick again on the album’s funniest original, a country tune titled Whiskey Soaked Revelations, looking at a late-night barroom romance in the sobering light of day: “I’ll never send you roses or teddybears from California, ’cause i know you’d throw them out.” Lynne and the band assert. And they use the device again a little later on Better Than Me, which sounds like the Grateful Dead with a Bushwick accent.
The album’s catchiest track is Koi Boi, Neil Young acoustic Americana updated for the teens. Other than that, the most straightforward rock song is the anthemic closing cut, Awake in a Dream, with a gorgeous organ solo midway through. Ode to Temptation reaches nebulously for anthemic heights before it morphs into a stoner jam; likewise, The Veil hints at a vintage Dead ba-BUMP groove, with lush harmonies and surreal lyrics. And the funniest song here is a deadpan country cover of Billy Idol’s 80s hit Eyes Without a Face – the harmonies are so off-key that it’s impossible not to laugh, then there’s a hip-hop break that’s almost as amusing.