Call her a diva and call her a folkie. Tara Velarde embodies that elusive combination of swagger and sensitivity. She writes songs with a sharp sense of poetics and vulnerability, and then steps up to the mic to her deliver words and vocal melodies with powerhouse pipes. Tara’s world is diva-folk, and she owns it on her upcoming album, Rise, which is out May 17.
Tara’s latest is an artistic watershed, and represents a powerful personal paradigm shift. “It’s not a concept album, but I call it ‘Rise’ because there are a lot of reoccurring themes of personal growth,” the Portland, Oregon-based artist says. “This is me accepting and embracing my own power.”
Tara’s special blend, diva-folk, is an expansive music, spanning soul, blues-rock, a dash of theatrics, and a healthy helping of swagger. Her melding of verve and vulnerability has garnered Tara favorable comparisons to Brandi Carlile, Regina Spektor, and Carole King—great female powerhouses with a lot to say. Live, Tara has toured nationally and internationally, both as an intimate solo performer and fronting a band of world-class musicians.
Tara’s Rise stands tall among her previous releases in that it’s a studio album in the grandest sense. Rather than duplicate her live show, the album is carefully layered with guitar textures, sprinkles of flute, tasteful percussion touches, and lush harmony vocal passages.
Today Glide is excited to offer an exclusive early listen of Rise. While rooted in folk and pop, the album finds Tara tapping into a more soulful sound, which suits her well as she definitely has the vocal chops. It also displays a young artist with a soaring sense of confidence who isn’t afraid to step outside her musical comfort zone and take risks for the sake of the song.
Tara describes the album in her own words:
“This album is all about growth. As an artist, I’m constantly trying to push myself and stretch my abilities, which can lead to incredible rewards, but also make for a lot of struggle and self-doubt. Each of the songs in “Rise” is a reminder to myself of how far I’ve come, whether that be in my relationships, my self improvement, or my songwriting. By remembering how far I’ve come I feel encouraged and assured that I will continue to grow, and I hope that listeners feel the same.”
Photo credit: Stacie Struble