“I never, ever thought this would be my career,” says award-winning actress/director/producer/writer turned singer-songwriter Tara Beier. Although trained in classical piano for over a decade, it wasn’t until Beier immersed herself in the role of Buffy Sainte-Marie for her 2014 film Covered that she found an identity in music. The process of learning to sing and play songs on a guitar inspired her to write meaningful music of her own.
For her latest EP, California 1970, Canadian-born Beier let the ocean, sunshine, mountains and history of Los Angeles inspire her songwriting. With the intention of writing from a purely honest place, she weaves her personal struggles into universal truths. Positivity is a recurring theme throughout the record with lyrics like “We gotta love a bit better” and “I am enough, just to be alive” repeated like mantras. Surrounding herself with some of the best session musicians in L.A., she orchestrated an environment of musical expression that resulted in the free-flowing, organic rhythm of the record. Produced entirely by Beier at the legendary recording studio The Village, the EP presents airy alt-folk songs with psych-rock influences. California 1970 is the sound of an artist blossoming.
Today, Tara Beier premieres California 1970 ahead of its release date on Stories Behind The Songs:
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.
Follow Tara Beier:
Instagram: @tarabeier Twitter: @tarabeier