Born in the Middle East, schooled in Miami, inspired in East Asia and settled in Philadelphia, Tamar Dart is nothing if not well-traveled. You can hear that worldliness reflected in her electronic pop project Little Strike. After a nomadic year spent exploring and producing video work in China, Nepal and Thailand, Dart began channeling her creativity into music. The resulting Forever Always Leaving EP not only has a title that could be a mission statement of the universal wanderer, it sounds like Dart pulled rhythms and melodies from different corners of the world and fused them into something altogether new. Soweto guitar stylings, bhangra rhythms, a dubstep sense of bass versus beats. Those references may be entirely different from what Dart is going for, mind you – it’s totally my read on a very nuanced and exciting blend.
I asked Dart how her travels affected her music:
Traveling gave me perspective. Learning about other people contextualized my own culture. For example if you learn another language, you end up gaining incredible insights about your own first language; that’s the beauty of perspective. Traveling and moving around has made me feel lucky to have what I have, and gave me something to say. If you learn Mandarin that means you could potentially talk to a 1.4 billion people, how exciting is that? The beauty of speaking music is that everyone understands you, especially if you’re honest. Including Nepali elephants.
For this week’s Key Studio Session, we recorded Little Strike’s current live configuration – Dart on guitar, sampler and vocals, Peter English on bass. Three of her own songs (the title track to her EP, plus two new tunes – the enchanting “Come Out, Alright” and the introspective “Who’s Side”) made the set, plus a cover of “Papaoutai” by Stromae, another globally-minded, highly eclectic artist.
Little Strike has a solid lineup of shows over the next month: on July 7th Dart visits New York for a show at Silent Barn; on July 14th she’s at Ortlieb’s, opening for Holychild; and on August 1st, she’s at her West Philly base of operations, The Sound Hole, with Sports Coach and Bronze Thesaurus. Below, stream and download Little Strike’s Key Session, and hear more at its Bandcamp page.
Little Strike, The Key Studio Sessions