Caress is the solo darkwave electronic project from Tara Jane. Today, she has released her full-length debut album Night Call, featuring the bewitching titular lead single. Inspired by dreamy vintage 4AD bands as well as more contemporary dark pop artists such as TR/ST and Kontravoid, Jane fronts LA shoegazers Blood Candy. With Caress, she ventures into uncharted dark synth-driven dreamscapes.
Caress’s music is a mesmerizing fusion that engages both the senses and the soul. Her songs blend hypnotic drum beats with sparkling analogue synths, creating a rhythmic and nostalgic ambiance. This is enriched by reverb-soaked guitar melodies, crafting an atmospheric soundscape that perfectly complements her haunting vocals. The emotions in her lyrics, exploring desire, lust, and pain, resonate deeply, painting vivid narratives that are both universal and intimately personal.
Gaining attention during the pandemic, her solo work, notably a reinvented cover of Patti Smith’s Dancing Barefoot, showcases her unique ability to reinterpret classics with a modern flair.
The lyrics of the lead single Night Call convey a sense of intense and passionate connection. These shared moments are rare and deeply cherished, making the idea of ending them feel almost criminal. And yet, there is a recurring pattern in their relationship. It might imply a sense of inevitability or fate in their meetings, which occur under the cover of night…hinting at secrecy, forbidden desires, or a world set apart from their daytime personas. This is followed by Stranger, detailing a fascination with someone mysterious and dangerous. Next comes Our Afterlife, a number about longing for comfort and closeness, yet expressing desire for escapism and connection. The fleeting nature of the moment is acknowledged, hinting at a belief that the future and afterlife are intertwined.
Themes of fleeting romance and the desire to prolong a brief, intense connection come through in Temporary Lover, emphasizing the transient nature of their love but asserting its lasting impact. Dream Girl depicts a surreal encounter with a woman who exists between extremes of heaven and hell. Her voice, distant and elusive, fades as reality sets in upon waking.
Mortal Flaw draws us into a deep immersion in intense emotions, urging us to take these feelings to their extreme. This destructive love is described as both tender and obsessive, suggesting a complex interplay of passion and self-destruction, culminating in a final, overwhelming takeover.
The lyrics to Unchained convey a theme of intense and possibly destructive passion. The speaker challenges someone to engage with them, not as a vulnerable or lost individual, but as an equal in a potentially harmful relationship…one with a willingness to endure and possibly embrace emotional or physical pain in the pursuit of love. Finally, we close out the album with the melancholy Dark Age, detailing the mysterious and tragic end of a woman, whose death is shrouded in uncertainty. There is a poetic contrast between the light in her eyes and the enveloping darkness, symbolizing her life being overshadowed and abruptly ended.
Night Call was written and produced by Caress and is out now on Negative Gain Productions.
“For the production, I used a variety of synths, mainly my vintage 80’s Korg Poly-800 and Casio CZ-101, which created this cohesive sound.” Tara Jane explains. “I wrote and recorded all of the songs in my old apartment called The Dungeon, where I had only one barred window in this little loft in Echo Park with these crazy high ceilings and my home studio was built underneath the loft bed where I tracked and recorded everything in this pretty confined space.”
With Night Call, she wanted to explore different themes of being drawn to the dark; each song on the album explores a unique subject of interest: heartbroken love spells, cold city nights, obsession, destruction, vampires, her relationship with herself, and experiences as a queer woman.
“I’ve always been drawn to darkness in multiple forms if it’s humor, aesthetic, interests and the album so reflection of that, so I wanted the compositions to be energetic, dark and tender but wrapped in this like cloak of mystery and sensuality which really resonates with my personality and the whole essence of Caress.”
Listen to Caress’ Night Call LP below, and order here.
Caress is celebrating the release of her album at Catch One on Friday, November 24th, with Riki, La Pregunta, and Some Ember.