REVIEW: IamIs & Tamara Dearing Split 7inch

IamIs & Tamara Dearing
Split Series Vol. 3
Gubbey Records

I love seven-inch records that pair a couple of bands/artists that aren’t exactly on the same wave length. Not as a novelty, just as a quick sample of two not-so-similar acts. On this collaboration, Tamara Dearing and IamIs team up for somewhat of an unlikely alliance. On one hand, you’ve got the singer/songwriter approach with Dearing, while on the other you’re offered a pop song with more of a rock approach. Also worth noting: this record is served on beautiful bubblegum pink vinyl, so that’s a nice added bonus to the effort. I know colored vinyl doesn’t make the songs better, but fuck me, colors are pretty!

Side A belongs to IamIs and their song “Paper Face,” an infectious, rockin’ little pop rock tune. When I say it’s infectious, I mean it for better or worse, as the chorus/hook in this track will stay with you hours after listening. Vocally, I’m instantly reminded of Geoff Farina of Karate fame. Well, sort of. Lots of well-blended vocal harmonies thicken this song up as the guitar and bass playing stick to their supporting roles. To be honest, I wasn’t very familiar with IamIs before hearing this song, but they’ve certainly got my attention now.

On the flip side, Tamara Dearing goes to work with her own song titled “Break Your Heart.” It’s about what you’d expect from her: another well written toe-tapping folky piano-pop song. Not to say this cut doesn’t stand out on its own, she just seems to have used a successful singer-songwriter formula that has continued to work for years. Recommended for fans of St. Vincent and/or Fiona Apple.

Pairing Tamara Dearing with IamIs seems a bit unnatural, but it works for me as a nice, quick two-song sampler. Don’t forget, only 300 of these were printed, so don’t sleep on this! Closing statement: Over the past few years the folks at Gubbey Records continue to quietly put out some of the better records in Louisville including the debut record from Opposable Thumbs and an upcoming 45-song compilation featuring only Louisville bands/artists. This release is no different and implies that the label isn’t slowing down.

Buy the split online here.