Teething is a new EP released on 10th May 2018 by self-taught singer and multi-instrumentalist, Tarantina. Described as ‘dark polished pop’, Tarantina claims to have been influenced by Portishead and Leftfield (with whom she has been touring), among others, the former certainly come across in this collection, which features her first four singles, and a brand new track, ‘Reeling’.
Opening track on the EP, ’I am a Loner’, is how you’d imagine Amy Winehouse would have sounded if she had taken a different musical path, and had listened to trip hop instead of jazz. The theme of the song, “I can never want you back”, “I spy you in your kitchen/You’re making her tea,” also conjures up images of Ms Winehouse lamenting over another failed relationship.
In comparison, ’1/9’ offers a more powerful, than soulful, delivery that sits in a more bass driven soundtrack that appears less ‘influenced’ than the opener.
‘Fables’ uses simple piano key strokes, echo, to create an atmosphere that kicks in with a strong bass-line that breaks up the song. It is an eclectic mix of beats and sounds. It jumps from one sound to another, but does so seamlessly, and without it sounding too contrived or thrown together, is one of the standouts on the EP.
‘Rainbow’, another track that sounds heavily influenced by the darker side of 90s trip hop, in a similar vein.
‘Reeling’ differs vocally, and sounding less like the aforementioned Winehouse, yet musically, this again has shades of Portishead to it, and flatters the genre. It is based on the poem by Philip Larkin, ‘This Be the Verse’ (you know, the one the teachers didn’t want to teach you all about at school).
If you’ve never heard of Tarantina, this is a great place to start. It’s brooding and dark in places, the tracks get stronger as they progress, and she finds her own style and set up. Definitely one to watch out for, if she continues to progress as she has done throughout this collection.