Tammar: Sensual, Ceremonial Minimalism Tammar's "The Last Line" sounds like the product of a late-night jam session in 1970s Dusseldorf or New York City.
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Tammar: Sensual, Ceremonial Minimalism

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Tammar: Sensual, Ceremonial Minimalism

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Tammar's "The Last Line" sounds like the product of a late-night jam session in 1970s Dusseldorf or New York City. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Courtesy of the artist

Tammar's "The Last Line" sounds like the product of a late-night jam session in 1970s Dusseldorf or New York City.

Courtesy of the artist

Thursday's Pick

Song: "The Last Line"

Artist: Tammar

CD: Visits

Genre: Rock

Tammar's "The Last Line" was recorded in Bloomington, Ind., circa 2011, but its sensual, ceremonial minimalism sounds more like the product of a late-night jam session in 1970s Dusseldorf or New York City: Think Neu!'s propulsive motorik grooves, The Velvet Underground's psychedelic drones and the steely pulse of Suicide's proto-synth pop. It's the sound of mechanized modern ritual, conjuring a strange kind of nowhere feeling. Speeding down a dark highway late at night, you could be anywhere in the world.

The most striking element in the mix is singer Dave Walter, whose abstracted vocals drift in and out of sense like a distantly overheard conversation. His "words" float in one ear and out the other so smoothly, you might suspect you're the one who's drifting, but listen carefully and you might suspect they're more like lyrical Rorschach blots — a clenched-jawed, post-punk take on Lisa Gerrard's operatic glossolalia or Sigur Ros' invented "Hopelandic" vocabulary.

Is he saying "the city" or "the sea"? "Kiss" or "kids"? Liberated from the constraints of literal meaning, Walter's voice becomes another element in the texture of Tammar's music, opening up space for listeners to form their own interpretations or simply enjoy the ride. The feeling, as one of the song's many layered refrains seems to say, is "freedom."