Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 11:25 pm est

Alumnus talks TAUK, latest album

Posted on April 30, 2014 | by Alexa Spieler

courtesy of TAUK

Over a year ago, the four members of New York City-based band TAUK overcame a challenge that they had never before faced — producing a record without a vocalist.

TAUK released their debut instrumental album, “Homunculus,” on April 30. Charlie Dolan, NYU alumnus and bassist for TAUK, noted that creating the album was a difficult process, but also a rewarding one.

“‘Homunculus’ was a big stepping stone for us as a band,” Dolan said. “It was by far our most ambitious recording experience and really helped us to take the next steps as songwriters, producers and instrumentalists.”

Dolan admitted that TAUK does not expect to sell millions of copies and he does not care — the band just wants its music to make a statement about the members and their artistic vision, and that in return it will earn them new fans.

For other bands, moving on without a vocalist could seem impossible, but TAUK opted to postpone looking for a replacement. Dolan said the transition for TAUK was easy because the members of the band have been playing together for a long time. Dolan has been working with TAUK’s keyboardist Alric “A.C.” Carter and guitarist Matt Jalbert for nearly 14 years.

When creating music, the band’s members have never placed a premium on vocal elements.

“[The voice is] just another instrument to carry the melody of the song,” Dolan said.

To create music without a vocalist, the group learned to make melodies with other instruments.  TAUK’s outlook is a positive one, embracing the rewards that arise with overcoming challenges such as their lack of a singer.

Dolan explained that the band’s ability to surpass the difficulty fills him with enormous pride. TAUK’s instrumental product is impressive, despite the fact that music so often depends on words when appealing to audiences.

“[We can] move a crowd without saying anything,” Dolan said.

Moving forward, TAUK continues to build upon the success of “Homunculus” by heading back into the studio. Dolan said the follow-up album is nearly done.

“[The new album] is an expansion of ‘Homunculus,’” Dolan said. “We took our favorite parts of the last record and added a bunch of new sounds and flavors.”

Along with new music, TAUK anticipates performing at more than 16 festivals this summer, as well as several smaller shows.

TAUK will return to their New York roots on May 7, when they will play their first headlining show at Brooklyn Bowl.

A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, May 1 print edition. Alexa Spieler is a staff writer. Email her at music@nyunews.com.


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Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

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Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

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Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

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