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Tarn PK - EP Review: SugarCoated

11 Dec 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
Producer, musician and songwriter Tarn PK, hailing from Poneke Wellington, has been exploring and creating electronic pop over the past three years. Having already crafted two EPs and an impressive number of singles, Tarn PK has just unleashed upon the universe yet another creation in the form of SugarCoated EP, due for release on 16 December.

Titled like a heavy metal song, the opening track Blunt Force Trauma is anything but. A slow synthesised trap beat leads the way, paired to auto-tuned vocal riffs. Skittering electronic hi-hats hold bulk of the rhythm, with cute and dreamy notes sprinkled throughout the song, then all topped with a very bold vocal feature stood right at the front of the mix. High-ends dominate the tune, but the usual rumble of synthesised bass typical of a trap tune was noticeably absent. Interestingly, towards the end, Blunt Force Trauma then takes a dip into breakdown territory, where the vocals become choppy and skittish, and the electronic effects kick in hard to wrap up the opening song.

Simple Love, and the main single Petty both deliver more trap beats and generous helpings of dainty, pointed synth-keyboard notes with prominent and upfront vocal riffs taking most of the listening experience.

What was personally interesting is the second tune Fever Dream is the only one that doesn’t have the same beat and rhythm. There are some 80’s styles invoked, and is actually a delightful little bop, set up with a more low-key club atmosphere.

Songwriting is evidently Tarn PK’s strength, and being able to pull off sweet, dance-able earworms is a good skill for any pop musician to have. Whilst there’s plenty of summer-festival-vibe pieces, there was a reliance on similar-sounding rhythms, and a gratuitous usage of auto-tune.

One reckons exploring other sub-genres of electronic music could be worth considering, as Fever Dream demonstrates Tarn PK’s ability to work with a different tempo and beat. Also, almost every syllable on the EP has been doctored with auto-tune, so by the end of SugarCoated, one feels bogged down with all the inorganic aspects. Letting more of the original vocals shine through could give a more authentic listening experience.

Having said that, these five songs sit comfortably within the realms of electro-pop, with several of the more trap-oriented tunes having the potential to do well pumped loud in the nightclubs of Ponsonby and the Viaduct. Bouncy, youthful, and certainly living up to the name of the EP, the five tracks are certainly sugar-coated and irresistible to lovers of synth-trap/pop.

Give SugarCoated a spin on Apple Music, YouTube, and Spotify from this Friday 16 December!

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Tarn PK

Tarn PK is a Wellington, New Zealand based artist, producer and songwriter.

Having released two EP’s, Fantasy (2019) and Monarch (2021), and a few singles, Tarn is looking to explore new sonic worlds and develop a more distinct style, setting him apart from the surrounding landscape.

The Fantasy EP, has gained over 250k streams on Spotify mainly from lead single Talk to You which landed on Spotify’s New Music Friday and other playlists. The Monarch EP has collectively gained nearly 1million streams over all tracks to date. Tarn’s music has also been placed on global Apple playlists.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Tarn PK


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