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Make Me a Mixtape: Tamara & the Dreams' Songs for a Melbourne Summer

Make Me a Mixtape is a segment where we interview artists and have them curate a mixtape of seven songs based around a particular scenario, explaining why they chose each song. This week, we chat with Tamara Reichman of the Melbourne-based indie pop trio Tamara & the Dreams, who shares with us her top songs for a Melbourne summer.

Photo by Sian Stacey

Dream pop takes a trip down under with the Melbourne-based indie pop trio Tamara & the Dreams. As the Western Hemisphere endures another cold, long winter, Tamara & the Dreams are bringing dreamy goodness Melbourne's summer months. Frontwoman and chief songwriter Tamara Reichman leads the way as the group released their debut EP, Cracked Phone Screens, on the first day of summer last month. The EP features production from Sam Swain, Fletcher Matthews, Laura Hancock and Calum Newton.

Tamara & the Dreams' dreamy DIY sound is mixed with a sour punch, and reminds us that no matter how pretty the summer may be, no amount of sun will drown out the ambiguous and confusing feelings that linger. Overall, Reichman successfully explores the relationship between our summer expectations with our realities by creating music to capture what’s happening now in our culture, all wrapped up in a few minutes of nostalgia and warmth. For the project's groovy '60s-inspired sound and clever lyrics, that means embracing counter-culture and exploring the new.

The retro-leaning "St Kilda Beach," whose music video was filmed at the titular location in the south-east of Melbourne, sets our scene up on the boardwalk. We can look below and see the waves softly slosh against the rocks. With the sunset on the horizon, the song's gentle electric strum moves us along to explore the juxtaposition between summer pleasantries and uncomfortable feelings. Tamara's mixtape, inspired by a Melbourne summer, pulls us towards the seaside, perfect for a day at the beach, or maybe one avoiding the sun.

Songs for a Melbourne Summer

Quivers — "Laughing Waters"

You know I LOVE songs about specific Melbourne places and their memories and poetry. Quivers just released this album and I listened to it from start to finish on a bike ride. Laughing Waters is a magical place I only went to for the first time this year because I needed a break from the beach. This song has that perfect happy and sad nostalgia that I love about indie rock songs.

Gabriella Cohen — "But I Wanted To"

Gabriella's sound and rock star ethos inspires me hugely. This song sounds like everything I love about '60s and '70s music. Rock 'n' roll lives on with her.

Culte — "Southside"

When I heard Culte play this I was shook because I'm definitely the only person who's allowed to write songs about the south side of Melbourne. Ever since then, I've been obsessed with this.

Banoffee — "Idiot"

I love hyperpop and I love everything about Banoffee. Her songs are so fun and I pour over the lyrics on Genius cause they describe feelings with so much clarity.

Hannah Blackburn — "Tiny Car"

"In your tiny car we drove down to the beach" — the nostalgia, the heartbreak, the quiet self assuredness. I'm in love with this song.

Alice Skye — "Wurega Djalin" (Lonelyspeck Remix)

These are two of my favorite local artists and internet friends. Someone I love sent this to me to describe how they were feeling lately. Listening to it feels like being under clear water.

Maple Glider — "Swimming"

I'm writing this list on my way to the Maple Glider show. Her songs feel viscerally like travel, memories, shady trees and summer rain to me <3.

If you're craving more songs for a Melbourne summer, check out Reichman's full playlist here.

Tamara & the Dreams' Cracked Phone Screens is out now.

Stream the new EP below.

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