Tips 2012: Erin K & Tash
If ever there was an act tailor made for TMF, it's Erin Kleh and Tash ter Braak AKA Erin K & Tash. A female duo who deal in acoustic loveliness with a generous dose of quirk, we must admit to falling in love at the pitch stage. Then we listened to 'Coins' - before delving into a YouTube archive of goodies with the likes of 'Jiggy Miggy', 'Sexy Cupcake Ditty' and 'Rat Babies' - and our affection knew no bounds and we reckon just one spin of any of their tracks would see the same feelings develop in you. Delivering memorable lyrics with a surprising line in filth, their anti-folk is as delightful as it is devilishly funny as the following ode to fuck buddies shows.
We caught up with the duo before their 'Coins' single launch party at the Hoxton Underbelly last month to find out more.
Can you tell us a little bit about how you got into music and started as a duo?
Erin K: I trained as an artist and after changing my lifestyle quite a bit, I just started playing guitar and started writing songs. My friend Anthony, who’s an artist, he said he really liked the songs and said I had to get on stage and play them and I started freaking out because I’ve got horrendous stage fright. I threw up after the first couple of performances and I didn’t think it was for me. I had a band that left me for various reasons, then I put an ad out in an alleyway which Tash answered, looking for anything pretty much. I’m not sure what you auditioned for?
Tash: As a backing singer. Basically I played piano when I was a kid and learned guitar in a convent when I was 14. Then I graduated from uni in London and wanted a job so I could stay in London and I went to an alley in Denmark Street to find a job in a band. I was just a backing singer because she already had a guitarist, I never sang solo before so I just pretended I had. Then I kind of convinced her to let me play guitar too.
E: We pretty much went straight in. We rehearsed for a few times. You picked up bass within like a week.
T: Yeah, we had two other backing singers and I just learnt all her previous songs from her old band and then we tried to write together. ‘Coins’ was the first proper collaboration.
Who are your influences?
T: It’s always stumps us.
E: I listened to The Rolling Stones, a lot of 60s music because my mother was a bit of a hippie and I grew up in Texas so I listened to a lot of country music. But I don’t think that comes through, or maybe it does, I don’t see it so much. The closest relating bands are probably the other anti-folk bands, Moldy Peaches, Jeffrey Lewis.
T: I grew up listening to 60s/70s stuff from my mum and contemporary artists that have influenced me are 90s rock chicks like Fiona Apple and Alanis Morissette.
How is the debut album progressing? Are the songs collaborative or is one of you the main writer?
E: We’re planning on releasing our first album in March and most of the songs have been recorded so we’re ready to go. We still have a few that we’re developing. We write together. I think we both come to each other with a song, like sometimes completed but we then alter it, change the lyrics, but most of my songs come about from straightforward experiences. Like ‘Jiggy Miggy’ about a fuck buddy that’s an experience and ‘Sorry I’m Not Black’ about a guy who wanted me to be black, that’s pretty straightforward. [laughs]
What have been your career highlights so far?
T: Being on the radio for the first time, that was exciting. Google ad was cool [watch it here].
E: I think this industry is quite fickle. We’ve had ups and downs and I think that we get really excited about something and then it doesn’t quite… I get quite excited when we just play to a small group of people that get really into it and singing along, that’s always a highlight for me.
Who are you looking out for in 2012?
E: Nimmo And The Gauntletts. We love them, think they’re amazing. Raevennan Husbandes.
T: You know more than me. Somebody’s going to be really pissed off at us [laughs]
E: Saul Ashby. We’re just plugging our friends…
What are you hoping 2012 holds for you?
E: Find a manager is a big objective for me. I just want to focus on the creative side and it gets in the way. We want to go to the States, we want to play New York City next year.
T: Quit my day job. I kind of have quit it, so I’m getting there slowly…
Erin K & Tash's as-yet-untitled debut album is out in March. Find out more about them at their official site - www.erinkmusic.com