Something Strange Something Beautiful
TAMARA MILLER (www.tamaramillermusic.com)
Leave singer-songwriter Tamara Miller alone in a hotel lobby for 60 seconds and she might just write you a song.
On her 2008 debut (appropriately named 60 Seconds), the Toronto-based, independent musician told tales in short bursts of imagery; for her follow up EP – Changing Lanes – the award-winning piano-pop artist lets her songs guide her journey in a different direction.
The title cut from her debut, which was featured on the hit teen drama series, Degrassi: The Next Generation, was about making it on your own, leaving the past behind, and moving forward. “I believe ‘60 Seconds’ is a journey all of us at some point in our lives have taken,” Miller comments.
The seven songs on Changing Lanes – recorded in Toronto – are about a more personal journey. “It’s about finding a new path, while staying true to who I am,” explains the songwriter, who started playing piano at age six. “It’s discovering what’s best for me and moving forward.”
Juno Award winner David Martin (Hemingway Corner, Edwin, SONY/ATV) recorded and produced the new EP; Martin also performed backing vocals, and co-wrote the song “Something’s Gotta Go Right,” that was recently placed on an MTV show about getting teens healthy across America. Meanwhile, “Stay” was nominated for a 2011 Hollywood Music in Media Award. Most of the soft-pop, piano-driven songs on Changing Lanes feature lyrics from the heart.
Miller’s muse comes in many forms—“anywhere and anytime” — from photos in a coffee table book, which transport her back to a time when she taught music in Italy, to watching a film, the news, or a concert. “It’s like seeing an old diary you haven’t picked up in a long time,” she explains. “All these things inspire me to think; then, I simply need to write. I love exploring. The curiosity in that inspiration makes me want to play music and express what I’m feeling. Creating something that no one else has created in itself is very rewarding and I love seeing where the music will take me next.”
What Miller expresses on her latest record and where the music takes the listener is to a world filled with hope, even when all hope appears lost. “Something’s Gotta Go Right” best expresses this eternal optimism.
“We are all on the verge of something,” says Miller. “Someday, something’s gotta go right … you gotta just stick with it, keep going, and you will get there.”
“Frostbite” — another key track on Changing Lanes — was inspired by the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti; Miller contemplates the power of Mother Nature and wonders whether the inhabitants of this third-world island nation, who were left with nothing, will ever get another chance to make it? “If life was simple ... could’ve been warm, could’ve been safe tonite,” she sings in the chorus.
“It’s really a song that reflects on all our lives,” she concludes. “If life was simple and if love was simple, we’d all be okay, but it’s these challenges that make us who we are and who we will be. We all need the strength to get us through; sometimes we wait and wait, but things change even in the slightest way that gives us hope.”