Tara Beier is a musician and filmmaker with roots in both the US and Canada. On her new six-song EP, California 1970, the title gives hints to her retro indie rock and folk styling. Drawing from the full range of her influences, from traditional folk and blues to classic rock and psychedelia, Beier bridges past and future sounds while offering a lyrical perspective both personal and universal.
Based in Los Angeles, Beier produced California 1970 at legendary L.A. studio The Village Recorder, joined by guitarist Adam Zimmon (Iggy Pop, Shakira), drummer Tripp Beam (Moby), bassist Eliot Lorango (Sea Wolf), and keyboardist Sasha Smith (Ariana Grande, Linda Perry). Additional sessions were held at former Guns N’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum’s studio.
Tara Beier shared the story behind the creation and inspiration of California 1970 with Stories Behind The Songs:
I have always been curious about what it would have been like to live in California during the ‘60s and ‘70s – the time of free love, lots of drugs and great music. When I moved to L.A., I would go to different places to try and connect to that. I tend to fall in love with places the way they used to be. “Hollywood Angel” was written in Topanga. “Wild China Tree” was written in East L.A. and was inspired by the gentrification going on in the neighbourhood. “Diana” was written when I was living in the Valley – it’s about a teenage runaway I knew.
My lyrics can get pretty deep so I wanted to juxtapose that with lighter, more upbeat instrumentation. “Prize Winner” is a song I wrote about growing up and not knowing who I was. I was spending my whole time trying to please others and I never asked myself what I really wanted. “There I go cold shivering bones, up the ladder again” is a line that means a lot to me because it’s about the constant grind of getting back up on that “diving board” to impress a person for conditional love.
I like to take my audience on a journey through the song. It usually starts with struggle, then we work through it and end on positive note of hope. The only obstacle we have in life sometimes is ourselves and a lot of my songs are about trying to work through that.
To come up with material that is truly honest you have to be raw, and, as humans, we have so many layers. Sometimes, when I know that some of my layers are gone, I rush to write because that’s when I know it will be meaningful. Then we tend to close back up as human beings. It’s totally normal and part of our survival. If I had a wish, it would be to be completely raw and vulnerable all the time. When I perform, I feel it’s an opportunity to be truly myself, without the layers.