Melbourne composer Tanzer has released her stunning EP Four Love Songs by Tanzer, which is dreamy, stark and seductive. Conjuring 60s film soundtracks, new-wave divas, and otherworldly exotica, Tanzer takes you on a musical journey of love affairs and heartbreak.

Written and arranged by Tanzer, produced and arranged by Angus Leslie (Sex On Toast) and mixed by Jean­ Paul Fung & Tony Espie, Tanzer takes you behind the scenes for the making of her EP.

What were the driving forces behind this recording?

The sheer unrest that results from going through life with a head full of dramarama heartbreak ballads 24/7. 

Where did you record your EP and why did you choose that location?

 The EP was recorded in seven different locations – largely due to budget and the breadth of instruments we needed to track. The main tracking was done at Soundpark in Northcote, and overdubs were done at any opportunity we could seize – like glockenspiel at VCA and mellotron at Found Sound in Carlton.

How long did it take to make the EP from inception to mastering?

 There were a few long breaks in production due to other recording projects and a death in my family, so four tracks ended up taking around 18 months from inception to mastering! However the timing ended up so perfect – some of the tracking, the music video, and the novelty vinyl wouldn’t have turned out the way they did had we completed the project to the initial timeline.

What challenges did you face while making the EP?

See above!

Tanzer album cover

Favourite moment/s in the studio?

Absolutely recording our choir vocals with a pack of legends at (EP producer) Angus Leslie’s Tonay Studios, and tracking a mellotron for the first time and exploring all its weird and wonderful sound effects.

Do you write the music or the lyrics first?

 The music, every time. My topline remains gibberish for an uncomfortably long time in the songwriting process.

At what stage of the process do you start considering EP artwork?

 Right at the end. I’d thrown out several cover art ideas through the course of the recording, I feel like I get my best visual ideas once the audio is closer to completion. My first concept was a pink chocolate box design with a candy pink heart-shaped vinyl. Maybe next time!

Tanzer record player

How many different EP titles were under consideration and what were some of the other contenders if any?

 There was something so camp and Engelbert Humperdinck-esque about ‘Four Love Songs By Tanzer’ that seemed to match my ludicrous crooner material, so it was a working title very early on. Plan B was “Fall In Love With Tanzer!” I love a demanding title.

Who was the first person to hear your finished EP in its entirety?

 Besides the studio personnel? I’d say my best friend and one-time bandmate Tasty Lopez over in London.

How long generally are your recording sessions and what times of the day or night do you prefer to create music? Do you find different impact the sound and vibe?

 The orchestration on this record is so dense that we recorded every little bit with every scrap of time we could muster – Angus spent hours meticulously crafting layers of guitar and synths, usually very late at night – both of us are completely nocturnal, in no small part due to this record.

What’s the strangest place you’ve ever recorded in?

 I was emphatically discouraged from making music growing up, so recorded my first ever songs locked inside my parent’s car, singing into a pink cassette recorder. Dark!

If you could describe your EP in three words, how would you describe it?

 Sprawling, sparkling, unsettling.

Tanzer – Four Love Songs by Tanzer EP Launch
with guests Sugar Fed Leopards, Karen From Finance, The Huxleys, Benjamin Hancock, James Andrews, Dandrogyny and Sex On Toast DJs
Saturday May 28  – The Toff in Town