Premiere: Tamar Berk’s Debut Single “Shadow Clues” Is a Dark & Haunting Daydream

Shadow Clues - Tamar Berk
Shadow Clues - Tamar Berk
A fervent, urgent slow burn of a song, Tamar Berk’s dark debut single “Shadow Clues” demands our attention as it floods the airwaves with feeling.
Stream: “Shadow Clues” – Tamar Berk




A fervent, urgent slow burn of a song, Tamar Berk’s debut single demands our attention as it floods the airwaves with feeling. An impassioned, emotive upheaval, “Shadow Clues” is a vivid wash of alluring alt rock and power pop introducing us to an artist we can’t wait to get to know better over the next year.

Shadow Clues - Tamar Berk
Shadow Clues – Tamar Berk
You know I never know
What you’re thinking
I can stare at you 
All evening
Because all that you learned was a solid stare
And a stiff upper lip and a handshake grip
And a deadpan expression with a frigid touch
Unresponsive to the needles that stab you so much

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering Tamar Berk’s debut solo release “Shadow Clue,” a powerful introduction as well as the lead single off her forthcoming first album, The Restless Dreams of Youth (out 2021). A Portland by-way-of Chicago singer/songwriter whose extensive resume includes ’90s power pop group Starball, ’60s psych band The Pynnacles, Paradise, and more, Berk is now embarking on a long-anticipated solo career out of her current home of southern California. With a seasoned, strong ethereal voice and dark, dreamy shoegaze musical performance, the artist makes a memorable first statement with “Shadow Clue.”

“The song “Shadow Clues” holds a special place in my heart because after I recorded it and mixed the first version, I got so excited that I decided right there that I was going to make a new album,” Berk tells Atwood Magazine. “At the time that I wrote this song, I was living in Portland, Oregon. I was teaching my students about Greek history, and during my research, I was digging into the subject way too deeply for my fifth graders, but I became very interested in Plato’s ideas, his views on education, his thoughts on the perception of beauty, and the mind body connection. I became particularly fascinated with his ‘allegory of the cave’ and thought about how our own perceptions of reality can affect our decisions. This is especially true for what we view as ‘real’ or the ‘truth’. In his allegory, the shadow was such a simple and clear metaphor for his philosophy. If shadows were the only things we ever saw, what would we believe to be real? I kinda got stuck on the idea that shadows could reveal our true feelings and what we might really be thinking. I often misread others because I tend to bring along my baggage and insecurities which often affects my perception. And when it comes to long-term relationships, you might sometimes only have the silence and the shadows left to help you navigate tough situations.

“As far as the song production, I recorded all the guitars, bass and vocals in my home studio in Portland and then asked my friend Matt Walker (Morrissey, Smashing Pumpkins, Garbage) to record drums remotely after COVID hit and I was living in San Diego. It turned into this beautiful, haunting riff-driven song that slowly builds before erupting into a dreamy shoegaze vibe that I just love. It was a super collaborative experience and I loved the final version which was mixed by Sean O’Keefe (Plain White T’s, Fall Out Boy).”

Tamar Berk © 2020
Tamar Berk © 2020

The word “haunting” is such a perfect descriptor for this song that it’s worth repeating. At a time when so much of our own country seems to be living in their own silos, declaring truths as “fake news” and denying reality, “Shadow Clues” feels like an all-too timely offering. Though decidedly more focused on inner emotions than on society at large, the track gives listeners space to interpret it at will; Berk’s lyrics are personal, yet cryptic enough to spark our imagination:

You know I never know
What you’re feeling
Look for the shadow clues
On the ceiling 
Because all that you learned was a solid stare
And a stiff upper lip and a handshake grip
And a deadpan expression with a frigid touch
Unresponsive to the needles that stab you so much

This song is just the beginning for Berk, whose debut album is set for release in 2021. Raw and hypnotic, “Shadow Clues” whisks us into a dark daydream. We don’t know what we’ll find until we get there, but with Berk soundtracking our experience, it’s sure to be a memorable journey.

Stream “Shadow Clues” exclusively on Atwood Magazine!

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Stream: “Shadow Clues” – Tamar Berk



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Shadow Clues - Tamar Berk

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📸 © 2020


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