Sister-fronted ethereal indie-pop band The New Tarot, have made the NYC music scene take notice in just a year’s time. The band comprised of the Walker sisters ( Karen & Monika) has already graced the stages of NYC’s reputable venues including the Knitting Factory and Arlene’s Grocery, playing to packed houses. Having dropped their debut, self-titled EP last spring, the band has become known for their whimsical imagery, catchy tunes and avant garde fashion.
The New Tarot recently released two new singles “Reign” and “Memory Kills” from their upcoming album. Their latest releases exhibit vibey trip-hop melodies and driving pop beats that stay consistent to their lyrical theme; we all live in a world of illusory delusion. Recently, Glide sat down with Monika Walker to learn a little more about the inner workings behind the bands curious minds.
So, The New Tarot. How did you choose this name for the band?
The New Tarot feels like it’s name is self explanatory, and refuses to provide an answer. Why is your name Fred? And all the good names were taken.
The lyrics of your songs can get pretty heavy and deep. Where does most of your inspiration come from? What usually comes first, the music or the lyrics?
It’s tricky to answer, because all the songs are so different. They’re all like little individual spirits we accidentally summoned, either with a melody or a lyrical line and then once they started forming and getting stuck in our heads, they kind of write themselves together, and we just gotta pluck them out into the real world.
The New Tarot is barely a year old, tell me more about the band’s formation
The New Tarot is the philosophical love child of Chaos and universal love. It was born in the 6th quadrant of the 7th dimension, and emanated down to Monika Walker in Brooklyn while she was waiting tables, where it was born as a baby idea in her tiny little head. Soon she met her now manager Richard while she was rapping and playing guitar at 14th street. A year later, they had joined forces, and she had dropped out of college and was getting ready to record an EP. Luckily for her, her sister Karen had just ducked out of her music conservatory due to athletes receiving more government funding than her, and it didn’t take much convincing to get her to sign on. After that, they met Dave and Dan O’Connor, the brothers that make up the rhythm section, and Ryan, our guitarist and Karen’s current beau.
You’re a sister-fronted band. Did you girls write music together growing up? Did you ever think to pursue a career in music together when you were younger?
We wrote a lot of music growing up, we had bands together throughout middle school and high school. Karen taught herself piano at 8, I picked up a guitar at 10, we were both in choirs, music was just kind of what we were, so it felt almost too obvious to go after back then. Always dreamt of taking the stage with each other, but never took it seriously until TNT. It’s beyond our imaginations how things have turned out.
You just released your latest single “Memory Kills” that received wide attention and praise. Can you tell us a bit more about the inspiration behind the song and did you anticipate it to be so well received?
It’s funny, because it is a kind of a downer of a song. Its about mourning someone but refusing to count them as a loss. Kind of a “down-but-never-out” mentality. It’s really about being delusional, and how those delusions kind of hold us together sometimes. Didn’t expect this response, but you never really know what people are gonna like.
Tell us something your fans would be shocked to hear about The New Tarot.
New Tarot fans are never shocked by anything, but they’d be mildly surprised to hear we had other fans.
So what’s next for you guys, any plans for more releases?
We’ve got a lotta new music in the works. I’m hoping to make our next release as close to full length as possible. I’m excited for the new music, I think we’re maturing in our abilities, and our music-verse is starting to become more of a cohesive tapestry; the individual spirits start to form relationships, and you realize there’s a much bigger narrative at play. Hopefully we get a lot more of this soundscape next time around. We also recently filmed something for “Reign” that is caught in a huge post production mess right now, but we’re also filming a lot more stuff for this summer. A video for “STELLA” featuring 100 cats and an old lady is in the works.
Dream collaboration and why?
David Bowie because he’s David Bowie.
What can we expect in the next year from The New Tarot?
All we know is that you can expect many mouthfuls of carbon dioxide accurately and varyingly pitched in the shape of words and song to escape from our lips in the next few years, and let’s hope there are people and microphones around to hear them!