The New Tarot
Fronted by sisters Monika and Karen Walker, The New Tarot is on a mission to deliver a philosophical, post-pop take on alt-rock. Using melodic sensibilities and yearning questions, the two sisters have been writing music together from a very young age. Karen is a renowned pianist and spent some time at the Hart School of Music studying composition while Monika plays guitar and has a background in philosophy and artificial intelligence, and is now finalizing her degree in cryptology. Five years ago they began to record and perform together under the name The New Tarot, and eventually, they assembled a finely tuned musical machine, utilizing the awesome abilities of Dave Kahn on bass, and now welcome awesome drummer Derek Broomhead to the band. We are especially excited to now feature virtuoso Brazilian guitarist Andre Vasconcelos. They have released 4 Eps, 7 singles (the latest enjoying substantial radio play and having been featured in the recent internationally televised broadcast of the Miss Universe competition), and have just released their first LP which premiered on Billboard. The album, Book of Promises, evokes a rock opera whose narrative has at its core a message of enlightenment brought to our generation by a character from another World. The New Tarot is based out of New York City, and have headlined many of the area’s popular venues; including The Bowery Ballroom, Webster Hall (studio), Le Poisson Rouge, Brooklyn Bowl, Music Hall of Williamsburg, and dozens more.
“The New Tarot is indie rock for witchy babes. Equal parts mystical and danceable…” -NYLON Magazine
“The group’s intricate melodies and passionate lyrics give a fresh approach to relationships, mental health, and what it means to be “liked” on Facebook.” -Bust Magazine
“Their guitar-heavy synth pop perfectly complements their lyrics about mental health, relationships, politics, and self-worth.” -Noisey
Denver-born songwriter and artist AJ Smith writes with such an emotional honesty and clarity, that you can’t help but get goosebumps listening to his music. The power of his voice turns his nostalgia into your memories, his triumphs into your successes, and his heartbreak into your own loss. He has opened for The Eagles and Lindsey Stirling, performed in the off-Broadway and West End hit Close to You: Burt Bacharach Reimagined, and has been featured on radio stations including iHeart’s DC101, Z100, and Eagle 97.7.
Starting his piano training at 3 and violin at 5, Smith has honed his craft since a young age, whether singing in his church choir or performing as a Young Associate to the National Symphony Orchestra. His unique pop sound is an effectively orchestrated blend of acoustic and electronic instruments: both raw and refined, featuring beautifully patient builds, mesmerizingly unforgettable melodies, and emotionally compelling lyrics.
Smith plays ten instruments and his style is born out of his genre-crossing experiences including touring as fiddler in folk-bluegrass band The Circuit Riders, winning Best Original Performance in NYU’s prestigious 2011 UltraViolet Live Talent Competition (the same contest in which Lady Gaga competed when a student), and charting at #3 in Australia for his club track “Summertime,” praised by BeatMyDay for Smith’s “majestic vocals.”
Having received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees in songwriting and film scoring from New York University, Smith has studied and worked with songwriting greats including Glenn Frey, Roseanne Cash, Phil Galdston, and Barry Eastmond. Smith’s mastery of songwriting led to his recognition by the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Carole Bayer Sager Songwriting Scholarship.