Milly Tabak takes a step forward with her second record Honest Woman, a deeply personal follow up to 2017 self-titled debut The Miltones.
A storyteller in the Americana tradition, Honest Woman sees Tabak draw inspiration from her own life and from those close to her on an album of songs about what it means to be a woman.
“I wanted to give a voice to those who didn’t have the chance to be heard. I also want people to recognise their own stories and find their own meaning in the lyrics.”
The heartfelt lyrics combine with a true Americana sound influenced by Tabak’s favourite releases from the Southern States, in particular the heyday of Muscle Shoals studios. Recorded live at Auckland’s Roundhead Studios using vintage equipment and techniques, Honest Woman was mastered in Nashville by Paul Blackmore who was also responsible for Carolina Confessions, an album that has been hugely influential in Tabak’s songwriting.
In preparation for creating Honest Woman, Tabak’s old bedroom on the family farm was converted into a recording studio. She’d spend hours recording songs acoustically and running through lyrics she’d written. The band (Liam Pratt, Guy Harrison, Tom Broome and Chip Matthews)would arrive for weekly meals followed by workshopping sessions. By mid-2019 when it was time to record, the songs were ready.
The live recording process saw Tabak and the band together in Roundhead’s Studio A with Engineer and Producer Paddy Hill. Every musician had their own area, but was able to see the others and jam together like they were playing live on stage. Hill had researched techniques from Tabak’s favourite Muscle Shoals albums and some newer releases out of Nashville.
“People love watching us play live and I wanted to capture that energy and sound on the album. We sound a lot sexier and soulful this time around,” laughs Tabak. “Recording live really captured the movement of the music and all the human elements.”
“I knew I wanted to hear that warmth from recording to tape just like a lot of my favourite records, and with the added bonus of mixing through the Neve console at Roundhead, I decided we would take the plunge and record live. I want people to feel like they’re in the room with the band.”
Known for their high energy live show and brilliant musicianship, Milly Tabak & The Miltones will give fans the first chance to hear Honest Woman live at a special album release show on Saturday 15 August at Auckland’s The Tuning Fork. Tickets are on sale now at Moshtix.
Milly Tabak & The Miltones will also support Dave Dobbyn at Spark Arena on Saturday 12 September.
Honest Woman was released on vinyl via Border Music and digitally via DRM.
Milly Tabak & The Miltones
Honest Woman Album Release Show
Saturday 15 August
The Tuning Fork
Tickets on sale now at Moshtix.