This is an acoustic EP that was recorded while Tara was waiting for "Come Down" to be released. It contains songs from "Come Down", re-recorded acoustically. It also features two songs from the actual album(Untrue & Don't Blame Me). This EP is recognized in its own right by radio stations all over America and Europe.
DOWN AND OUT: THE COME DOWN EP (Ryko)
Tara does indeed sing like an angel. The dreamy guitar accompaniment found here will wake the Mazzy Star set in hopes of a Hope Sandoval resurrection. Tara Angel might be right at home twirling around in soft focus videos, but she also has a strong Suzanna Vega style delivery, one that puts the voice ahead of the music just in case you were wondering exactly who is in charge. Good stuff, but unfortunately only a small teaser for now.
Metro Times Detroit
Tara Angell - Down And Out: The Come Down EP (Rykodisc) :: Hide the razorblades because if ever a record lived up to its title, it's this one. This dour dish makes Marianne Faithfull sound like Toni Basil cranked to the gills on a helium speedball.
Tara Angell's music is a collection of classically poignant songs - combining the Southern Gothic tradition of dark humor and years of experience studying the great North American songwriters of the 20th century. Angell's diverse lyrical influences include literary heroes Flannery O'Connor and James Purdy. She grew up listening to Neil Young and classic rock n' roll groups of the '70s, like Deep Purple and Creedence Clearwater Revival. Musically, her leading inspiration is dedicated to these early years of listening. Her songs are deeply sensitive and they come from life spent in and around New York City's underground culture, which is where she has lived for many years.
With guitar in hand, her sexy attitude and pure deter mination garnered notice within the New York City music scene. Club owners, musicians and music-lovers found themselves drawn to her songs and her sultry voice, and simply needed to hear more. She decided to make a complete record when Joseph Arthur agreed to produce. The dilemma of course, was finding money to make the record. Tara decided to take a chance. She took out a bank loan and consequently faced the risk of serious debt. In 2002, her album, Come Down, was completed. It was recorded and mixed in only five days. She took her record to Austin where she was accepted to perform at SXSW. Ryko Disc VP of A&R, Jeff Rougvie, immediately offered her a record deal after seeing her show - a rare opportunity for any one of the thousands of performers who go to Austin, Texas each year in search of finding a home for their music.
When Tara and Joseph Arthur went into the studio to make Come Down, there was an immediate chemistry and trust. Joe was so dedicated to producing this album within the means of the budget, that the pair worked round the clock, with a no-holds barred attack at creating a cohesive body of work with this record. Come Down opens with a mysteriously dreamy forthright song titled, "Untrue." Other tracks like the witty "Bitch Please," the raucous tough-girl pop of "Hollow Hope," the naked honesty of the balladic "When You Find Me," and the finality of the last track, "The Big One," are all meant to be heard sequentially. This natural progression gives the listener a dozen different reasons to want to hear Tara Angell again and again, from beginning to the end. The songs stand up by themselves, too, but this album offers a wider experience for the listener.
With regard to her live show, Tara Angell likes to mix it up. She performs solo/acoustic, as a trio, with a full band, and sometimes with an electric guitar in hand. Recent collaborators include Tony Shanahan (GE Smith, Patti Smith), Eric Della Penna (Natalie Merchant, Joan Osborne), Brian Geltner (Johnny Society, Joseph Arthur, Dave Pirner), James Mastro(Ian Hunter, Jayhawks)Jason Darling (Leona Naess), Brett Falcon (Gaunt, Servotron, Bad Wizard), Rene Lopez (Joseph Arthur, The Quick). She's supported several artists including Joseph Arthur, David Poe, Robin Guthrie, and Jesse Malin. She's performed shows with Rebecca Hall, Craig Wedren, Laura Cantrell, Duncan Sheik, Fastball, Josh Rouse, Martha Wainwright, Frank Bango and Jeff Klein.
While Tara has been compared to other acclaimed female artists, she has a comfortably classic alt/rock edge that sets her apart from everybody else. NY's Newsday called Tara Angell, "unstoppable" Angell sounds like a mix of Lucinda Williams and P.J. Harvey." Producer/artist extraordinaire, Daniel Lanois, claims, "Come Down is the darkest and truest record I've heard since early Black Sabbath." And as Ron Sexsmith said, "Come Down is a beautiful record that is dark, heartbreaking and tough at the same time."
Praise for Come Down:
4 Stars in Uncut Magazine March 2005
4 Stars In the Sunday London times 20 Feb. 2005
"... Lucinda Williams must enjoy her world-weary vocals and obvious love of late-1960s Stones (from the pop-shuffle of Hollow Hope to the slow, country twang of Untrue); the uber-producer Lanois, meanwhile, must rate the beautifully flawed production -by singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur -that (almost incredibly) was the result of only five days in the studio. That working week created one of the most fully realised debuts you'll hear for a long time."
From the Harvard Independent
CD Review: Tara Angell, Come Down
"It's as if an Angel, well, came down."
The Harvard Independant
By Kelly Faircloth
Thursday, February 17, 2005
It would be difficult for me to classify Tara Angell's debut album into a precise genre. Sometimes indie, sometimes almost alt-country (see the Lucinda Williams recommendation on the cover), Angell stands out as the rare artist who says exactly what she wants to say in the best way of saying it, without regard for labels and formulas. Citing James Purdy and the stark, uncompromising prose of Flannery O'Conner as influences in her own writing style, Angell is at turns reminiscent of Lucinda Williams, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and others. She doesn't come across as merely replicating the styles of these greats, either - the echoes of these artists are fleeting as she defines her own style, with a gritty roughness to her voice, calmly even in tone but undeniably firm. Angell doesn't scream, doesn't rage. She recognizes and accepts, presenting us with serious, solemn music in such a way that she helps us to see and deal with shadows and darkness.
The CD opens with "Untrue," which baldly declares in the chorus, "I am untrue." The song seems confessional and soul-bearing, a head-hanging song. Angell pulls no punches in opening with this number, setting a tone of straight truthfulness. The next song, "Hollow Hope," stands out for me as bearing the most striking similarity to Lucinda Williams's work on Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. This song picks up the pace of the album, in an almost defiant way, acknowledging the emptiness of her hope in a way that isn't self-pitying or pathetic.
One of the strangest and most interesting songs on the CD, an example of Angell's variability and depth of emotion, is the oddly light-hearted, rather sly "Bitch Please." Smack in the middle of the tracks, the song features a chatty interchange, punctuated with giggles, between a man and a woman in the recording studio, with Angell's vocals overlaid on top. Angell takes an amused look at relations, treating the listener to another side of her personality, different from the seriousness shown on most of the album. Another highlight is "Uneven," taking a hard look at love, the need involved and the highs and lows of being with or without someone you love. Perhaps not the thing to listen to with your significant other on your Valentine's Day outing, the song is steadily thoughtful and thought-provoking, with great music supporting and fleshing out the lyrics.
Perhaps my favorite track on the album is the uncompromising "When You Find Me." The opening to the song vaguely resembles Dylan's "If You See Her, Say Hello," as Angell's vocal styling combines with an effect that makes her sound like she is in an empty room, lending the song an especially solemn sound. The track has an honest, laid-bare quality to it, without any dissembling or "let's just be friends." Angell straight-up declares "I am never gonna love you" in a way that isn't cruel, just truthful. This theme of revelation of painful but necessarily recognized truths runs throughout the album.
From the Guardian UK:
Tara Angell, Come Down
by Betty Clarke
Friday February 18, 2005
"...Angell's voice has shades of Patti Smith, Marianne Faithfull and Juliana Hatfield, but her attitude is one of a teenager who delights in death stares, drunken melancholia verging on pained hysteria. Words are uncomfortably drawn out, phrases repeated, and the ooh-ooh backing vocals are chilling. This is an evocative debut."
The Buffalo News, 1/05
"Predictions are dangerous business, particularly when it comes to the rather protean world of popular music, where the sands can shift without warning.
Consider this list of artists to watch at least part wishful thinking. These artists deserve to be heard far and wide, and perhaps a few of them will be. Some, in fact, are already doing quite nicely, thank you. Others will likely continue releasing albums whether they're playing to 50 or 50,000 people. Whatever happens, based on the work of artists like these, it seems 2005 is shaping up to be a pretty healthy year.
1. Tara Angell
...she's landed a deal with Ryko, after an apparently stunning set at the 2002 South by Southwest festival, and is poised to drop her debut, "Come Down," Feb. 22. The record was produced by another artist to watch, Joseph Arthur, and it's full of dark, literate, eminently crafted songs with deep roots. ..
2. And You Will Know Us by the Trail of the Dead ...
3. Cafe Tacuba ...
4. The Dears ...
5. Joseph Arthur ...
6. The Futureheads ...
7. Broken Social Scene ...
8. The Soundtrack of Our Lives ...
9. John Legend ...
10. Ed Harcourt ..."
by Thom Jurek
Tara Angell's debut Come Down is one of those records: one that once heard is instantly memorable. Produced by songwriter Joseph Arthur and recorded in only five days, it is a dark, harrowing, and vulnerable gem by a songwriter who understands the strengths of her many influences well, and filters them all through her own story. Traces of everyone from the Rolling Stones, Lucinda Williams, Marianne Faithfull, Neil Young, Daniel Lanois, PJ Harvey, and indie rock heroes Low slide in and out of the mix, all harnessed by Angell's particular poetic lyrical gift and her ability to write a skeletal melody that grips instantly. "Hollow Hope," pops like an outtake from Exile on Main St.; "Untrue" offers the confessional side of darkness unapologetically yet utterly devoid of venom or pose; "The World Will Match Your Pain," with its ghostly organ and flawed guitar sound, caresses her words from the corner of the heart's own faltering stillness. The ramshackle mix on "Bitch Please," is held taut in the grip of Angell's words. The poignant, narcotic lilt of "You Can't Say No to Hell," is as world-weary as anything Williams has ever put on tape, and the sheer narcotic drone and distortion in "Uneven," offers a taste of darkness so alluring and sweet you don't even want to try it once. This is a recording so naked emotionally and so unapologetic musically it demands attention. Repeated listenings bring out the considerable songcraft gently in the lo-fi aesthetic and raw emotion. A winner.
NO DEPRESSION MAGAZINE
Imagine a rough-voiced woman singing Mazzy Star covers in the apartment upstairs while a garage band practices in the place next door. The disparate sounds spilling into your living room are complementary in a strange way, though they weren't meant to fit together. That's Tara Angell.
Come Down, the New York singer-songwriter's debut, is packed with harrowing songs of dysfunction and vulnerability that exert a dark pull. Many of the tunes sound as if Angell and producer Joseph Arthur recorded onto someone else's discarded tape and some of the abandoned songs bled through into Angell's.
When it works, it's bewitching, especially on tracks such as "The World Will Match Your Pain" and the opening cut"Untrue". It's more distracting on "Bitch Please", which
may have been recorded during a dinner party; there's the sound of people chattering and laughing
and, about three-quarters of the way through, an abrupt explosion.
It's a bit ironic, actually, because Come Down is anything but explosive. The album is a slow build, emotions piling up one after the other until they teeter precariously and collapse under their own weight. And Angell keeps singing, flinging accusations and offering quiet regrets in a voice coarsened by late nights and endless disappointment.
-Eric R. Danton
TARA ANGELL COME DOWN
There is something about sad songs that is so much more hypnotic than upbeat songs. They have the ability to drag you into their mood, to offer some sort of comfort or solace by tapping into someone else's discontent. It's a dreary feeling, but a warm one. Light hearted songs don't carry that kind of weight. They don't quite have the strength to pull you out of a depressed mood, but for some reason a sad song can make you sink in your seat and somehow relate. It is this sentiment that makes Come Down the perfect title to Tara Angell's debut. Her songs pull you, willingly, into a dark and introspective mood, reminding me in places of the melancholy of Mazzy Star, only with a bit more flavor. Her vocals feel tired or lazy but still honest and expressive. It is definitely the vocals that carry the record for me. The backing instrumentation is minimal and mostly arranged to loosely set a mood, something that the vocals can flow over. Words like, "I am never going to love you again," or "If only I had the strength to lie to you," make for a sad honesty that is very inviting. The record as a whole is very consistent in that kind of mood. Even the more quirky tracks like "Bitch Please," which features a rambling conversational track in the background, don't stray far from the warmth and the melancholy of the album. There is still the same contemplative vocal drawl thrown over the top.
Come Down will most likely bring you to a snug place, alone but not lonely. The rhythms and melodies are relaxed and simple but Tara Angell's sad no-bullshit commentary is thoroughly engaging. She has something to say and knows how to say it. The record is sad, but not depressing, it's more of an embrace of the darker qualities in human relationships that often go unspoken.
Tara Angell's music is an interesting beast: it's protective of its hidden contents, because those are the most precious, the most heartfelt and the most interesting elements of sonic exploration. Her voice is sad and lonely, but at the same time (somehow) hopeful.
Angell's music is hauntingly beautiful, dark and mysterious, and it drips with a back-country/barroom vibe that would put any typical bar band to shame. Her voice is reminiscent of Neil Young's, and her lyrics are honest. (Her inflection is Young to the max.) Her songs are simply executed but crafted in a careful way, and that's exactly where the bite is - it's kind of like a sucker punch. Sometimes witty, sometimes sarcastic, and always lamenting, Tara Angell has found a way to forever be good.
IN MUSIC WE TRUST
Come Down (Ryko Disc)
By: Alex Steininger
"...acclaimed singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur, who helps Angell create the type of record you can fixate on for long period of times - road trip, lonely nights, etc... Angell's voice turns the fragile, sweet songs into dark, empowered moments of confidence, assurance, and self-exploration. Coupled with her ability to write strong melodies and dissipating hooks...I'll give it an A-"
Check out the artist's website:
1. Untrue (from the album Come Down)
2. Don't Blame Me (from the album Come Down)
3. Mr. Faith (acoustic)
4. Hollow Hope (acoustic)
5. When You Find Me (acoustic)
6. The World Will Match Your Pain (acoustic)