With deep synths, quirky lyrics and funky basslines, Tauri hits an indie pop bullseye on her latest single, “Time 2 Kill.”
The 3.5-minute single eloquently weaves accessible elements of indie pop and R&B with avant-garde electronic rock to forge a growing experimental sound emanating from the West Coast.
It’s akin to combining the mainstream appeal of Lorde with the progressive, industrial sounds of Muse and Nine Inch Nails. Throughout “Time to 2 Kill,” Tauri creates a forward-thinking track devoid of pretense.
“We weren’t afraid to get really weird with this one, and a lot of people are responding really well to it,” said Nicole Orlowski, aka Tauri, who co-wrote the track with Alex Monasterio and Liz Gavillet. “This only encourages us to be super weird.”
Weirdness does run rampant on “Time 2 Kill,” but in a refreshingly lyrical way. The track opens with catchy lyrics – “Pen names/Switch blades/Turn real fast/But you’re driving in the slow lane” – and even references an “Easy Bake Oven.”
“It was kind of nightmare to put together actually because we were trying to put it out a lot faster than it ended up happening. We all sat down and spitballed it, and it came from this loose concept of a love story about a trust fund kid,” Monasterio said. “The idea behind the ‘Easy Bake Oven’ lyric relates to somebody trying to get something without actually doing the proper grownup work for it.”
“Time 2 Kill” also features vocals inspired by Bikini Kill and a heavy industrial synth section, which cleverly anchors the two indie pop sections on both sides.
“For such a period of time, we thought the song wasn’t going to function based on how our previous singles had done,” Monasterio said. “They have their moments definitely, but they’re much more contained. They have their tangents, but they don’t necessarily say ‘fuck it’ quite as much.”
Before co-writing “Time 2 Kill,” Monasterio and Orlowski met in an English class at the California Institute of the Arts in Santa Clarita, Calif. They quickly discovered their mutual love of pop music and its accessibility as well as lack of pretentiousness.
At the time, Orlowski had started working on an album and wanted Monasterio to produce it. However, that initial project was put aside once the duo started writing new material together.
The slow groovy “Mess” revolves around a difficult breakup and includes early hints of Tauri’s electronic and industrial sound. The track also emits a strong Taylor Swift vibe in terms of the lyrics and music, one Swift should cover herself.
Meanwhile, “Empty Promises” opens with quick synths and pulsates with a strong R&B feel amidst the backdrop of another relationship on the rocks. It also brings strong electronic and industrial sensibilities.
“‘Empty Promises’ was written a year ago, and I had been sitting on it for a while. It was a voice memo on my phone, and I listened to it one day and thought it should be a song, so I brought it to Alex,” Orlowski said. “The lyrics are inspired by Kurt Vonnegut, so I grabbed one of his books, and took those words from it.”
Originally from New York City, Orlowski grew up writing poetry and drew musical inspiration from Halsey, Lorde and Taylor Swift. After high school, she moved to Los Angeles, enrolled in the California Institute of the Arts, started writing music and carved out her Tauri artist persona.
As Tauri, Orlowski takes her artist moniker from her middle name Victoria and her Taurus astrological sign. It also functions as a concise, memorable and unique name for Orlowski to stand out in the crowded pop music sphere.
“I knew I wanted to write pop music, so I started writing with Alex,” Orlowski said. “We wanted to do something that was pop and that wasn’t boring. Our goal is to add something to the table that’s not already there.”
Orlowski and Monasterio will release another Tauri single soon and continue penning upcoming releases. They also hope to make Tauri’s live debut in Los Angeles soon.
“The plan is to keep releasing things as singles, and we like the flexibility with singles,” Orlowski said. “A song doesn’t have to be constrained to an album concept, and we can create artwork and promotion photos for each single we release. We want to create a bigger body of work eventually.”