Tan Cologne is totally immersed and inspired by the landscape, history and many different communities of New Mexico, the state where they create and reside. Lauren and Marissa, the duo which eventually evolved into Tan Cologne, met and live in the small, high-desert town in Northern New Mexico known as Taos.
Tan Cologne developed their sound through personal observations of Northern New Mexico’s terrain, extreme weather patterns, and the unique land and people. Their debut album “Cave Vaults on the Moon in New Mexico” is an encompassing dimension of their visions and experiences of learning and evolving in New Mexico. The title derives from Taos composer Joanne Forman’s 1987 soundscape.
The hardships and beauty of New Mexico pulse throughout Tan Cologne’s album, creating a swirl of dust, rattlesnakes, cotton candy clouds, and monsoons.
“Strange God” it’s a lovely dream pop ballad in the desert, what’s the song about and what does it mean to you?
the music feels spiritual, and we consider that maybe it is. The song is essentially about beauty and form in nature, how it occurs organically – and then with that beauty, a narrative of something (could be human or not) trying to capture and replicate that exact unique beauty. In the song we use plaster as the material that takes the shape and mold of a dry river bed, but that’s just a metaphor for anything commercialized and packaged. The chorus lyrics repeat “Odd Love, Strange God” reflecting on the claim staking of lands, ideas, cultures, etc. “God”, in this instance, is not inferring any particular entity or deity, just a worshiped experience.
Is there life on other planets?
Oh yes, we believe there is life everywhere, in every cell, invisibility, and planet. Who knows what that looks like exactly, but without a doubt, we believe we are not alone. This is something we continuously research, feel, and in fact, wrote a song about entitled “Alien”. “Alien” is about an imagined time when life changes globally and universally – we may have arrived there now.
How did you come up with the name Tan Cologne?
We wanted to invoke layers of senses, and thought about how “Tan” was both a color, and also human alteration made by the sun, and how “Cologne” is an applied scent and also a mist on the skin. Both desired and not, depending on circumstance. We weren’t completely settled on the name until we shared it with our local art store owner, who took 30 minutes to respond with “I GET IT!…a color…a mist…a scent…” We then bought paint and stamp pads, and left with a band name and art supplies.
What message do you want people to receive from your music?
We would love for people to find beauty no matter where you are, take moments to rest, question what you think you may know, and allow your mind to melt, pause, and observe.
What do you do to relax?
Lauren: We love this question! To relax, I search for the hottest hot springs, read about folk concepts of outer space, play guitar in loops, go on long walks, cook, garden, and smooch our dog.
Marissa: I love to lay in the sun and cool of with well water from the garden hose, I often rearrange the house to clear and enliven the space, I make a lot fires and stare at the light and flames. Together, we draw and paint inside our camper trailer named “Moondrop” and often write and record music as night falls.
So you guys live together?
We live together and a special ritual we have, though not even discussed, is Marissa waters the plants indoors and Lauren waters the plants outdoors. We both report to other the status of the respective in and outdoor plants. Last summer it was the opposite, ha! Somehow this has become our domestic orbit:)
What’s your favorite spot in New Mexico?
One of our favorite places to visit and spend time is Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. We love the springs at La Paloma and have written various songs and soundscapes at the motel there. The water feels like warm silk.
TAN COLOGNE web: www.tancologne.com IG: @tancologne