LISTENING POST: Tamar-Kali — "Pearl" (+ two mixes!)


Two words: Glory Hallelujah.

There's a new Tamar-Kali single available to savor and enjoy.  It gives us a taste of things to come, and whets our appetite for the new album, Black Bottom, that will drop in the new year, probably late spring.

"Pearl" is a great guitar-driven grind, a joyful, exhuberant fury, even though the song deals with loneliness and disillusion.  In fact, "Pearl" could be read as a song about someone fighting against those feelings so that they're not completely overcome by them.  And I get the sense that's very much who Tamar-Kali is: She's not going down without a fight, no matter what.

So, here's the single, which you can purchase on iTunes via the link below.

What's cool is she also includes a Psychochamber Version.  You'll recall that the Psychochamber Ensemble is her all-female string ensemble.  This version makes me think of Clint Mansell's "Lux Aeterna", which was used in the film Requiem For A Dream.  It's the strings. 

Check out "Pearl (psychochamber version)" here.

Finally, there's a dancier remix by J Mage, which features the still-slept on MC Jean Grae.  Now, here's my bit of free advice: I know that Tamar is going to spend the new year setting up and working this album both on the Internets and on the road, kicking ass and taking names, as was the case recently at Indiana University. And as well she should. But after seeing the two of them on the same bill, I'm convinced that the next project for both Tamar and Jean should be some sort of collaboration.  A concept album, if you will, one that involves much more than them simply splitting stage time. 

For some perspective on Tamar, over at, Nicole Moore writes:

What I love so much about T is that no matter how unruly her
performance may be or how unhinged her lyrics, this Brooklyn banshee
never lets you forget she is a woman. That she is the pink side of
Afro-Punk and is committed to all that it means to be a GRRRL. 

And you know what? Much of the above could be said about Jean, except that's she's obviously coming at things from a hip hop perspective. Maybe it's just me, but I'm having a hard time thinking of another woman who could hold her own onstage with Tamar.  A collaboration between the two would be one of huge unexplored potential, one that I hope to see mined after they both finish putting their feet to much collective behind with their forthcoming individual projects.  The two of them on tour together? It would be the black female musical equivalent of Sherman's March To The Sea.  They. Would. Win.

Y'all heard it here first.

Anyway, here's "Pearl (JMage remix feat. Jean Grae)":

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