Terami Hirsch | A Broke Machine

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Pop: Piano Electronic: Pop Crossover Moods: Type: Lyrical
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A Broke Machine

by Terami Hirsch

Dark, lyrical alternative pop
Genre: Pop: Piano
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Back to the Start
3:28 $0.99
2. Help Me
3:37 $0.99
3. Fable Moon
4:19 $0.99
4. Chains of Andromeda
3:44 $0.99
5. A Broke Machine
3:31 $0.99
6. What I Didn't See
2:48 $0.99
7. Diagram of Love
5:37 $0.99
8. The Collector
4:12 $0.99
9. Battle for Infinite Time
4:08 $0.99
10. Better Times
3:52 $0.99
11. Wasteland
3:28 $0.99
12. A Hundred Flowers
3:54 $0.99
13. I Am Going to Sleep
1:50 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"...the progressive 'girl with a piano' that shouldn't be overlooked." - The LA Music Scene

Like handmade creations, Terami Hirsch's music is constructed with a tempting blend of tender interest and obsessive fixation. Without the advantage of working in a visual medium, this Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter uses her home studio and lo-fi electronics as her art board—forming deeply personal, highly textured alternative albums.

Writing songs since age 11, Terami's early scribbles were intended merely as an emotional outlet—never meant for an audience. However, she was spontaneously inspired and recorded her first album, All Girl Band in 1999. The unflinching, intimate approach of All Girl Band, found an eager following and this encouraged Terami to continue experimenting with the recording process. Following her debut, came To the Bone (2002) and Entropy 29 (2005). Both reflect her emerging interest in electronic sounds, as well as demonstrating more intricate, and evocative subject matters. A Broke Machine is her most recent studio album, and is firmly rooted in the experimental-pop ethos developed over the life of her previous projects.

What sets Terami's music apart from other piano-based artists, is her near disregard for the purity of the acoustic instrument. Preferring to work with keyboards and digital editing software, Terami shapes songs as if they were paper and glue, allowing imperfections to texture her otherwise meditative and cerebral music. This approach is surprising to some—as many people equate digital with polished, smooth sounds. Terami's music personifies the heart in the machine, as she pushes the creative edges of reputably heartless software. Terami explains, "In album production, it's exciting to create unexpected terrain within the landscape of a simple song. By using my computer as an instrument, the whole process becomes flexible and dynamic in ways that continue to push how I express myself on record.”

In 2007, Terami began recording A Broke Machine—her most provocative album to date. Self-produced, the album is intricately mixed by Tommy Walter (Abandoned Pools, The Eels, Glacier Hiking). The songs are detailed and passionate, and written within her self-enforced guideline: “to enjoy the process”. Plucking inspiration from her favorite subjects ("the things we can't have" and "the things we can never understand"), A Broke Machine revolves around issues of the heart.

Terami is an introvert—irresistibly drawn to intensive, isolated creation. For this reason, her live performances are rare, introspective events; which are quirky and surprisingly stripped of the electronics she uses during album production. Her cosy vocals and thorough piano skills highlight the appeal of her music—expressive songwriting and vulnerable charm.

Able to shape hand-crafted, electronic recordings around such delicate and innate songwriting, Terami's music is a profound reflection of what current technology can offer independent musicians—the freedom to experiment. While continuing to delve into both lyrical esoterics and musical expressiveness, Terami strives for a balance between those imperfections that make us human and the ways we look beyond ourselves and continue to grow.

A Broke Machine is available April 15, 2008 on Madstone Records.



to write a review

Elwood Cruz

Stunningly beautiful!
On her new album, A Broke Machine, Terami Hirsch continues to delve deeper into the realm of electronic landscapes with the ever-present keyboards laying the groundwork for the music. An intricately crafted collection of songs, A Broke Machine is a remarkable accomplishment from the independent Los Angeles-based artist and proves once again her talent in writing imaginative and often poetic lyrics and song.

Right from the beginning, with the aptly named "Back to the Start," the combination of electronics, keyboards, and percussion melodiously join together to give these songs much depth and complexity. Terami's voice is noticeably stronger and more adventurous, evident on the soaring vocals on "Chains of Andromeda," and "What I Didn't See," with its driving and forceful chorus.

On "Fable Moon" we hear hints of Terami's more jazzy side with a song that would fit perfectly in a smoke-filled nightclub, while the title track retains her introverted personality in which Terami's wistful performance is accompanied appropriately by a beautiful cello. Definitely a standout track of the album, "Diagram of Love" opens with a haunting beat and minimal piano that progresses into a powerful song that will leave a lasting impression long after its end.

Not to be outdone by the vocals, Terami's skill in conjuring up detailed imagery with her lyrics are showcased throughout the whole album.

A Broke Machine is one of those albums that continues to reveal a new layer with each listen. Unafraid to pour her heart out into the creation of her work, A Broke Machine is a testament to Terami's talent and dedication in producing honest and thought-provoking music. Her ability to draw the listener into her musical world is only further justified with this latest offering. A Broke Machine is Terami's finest work yet.

Sonia Lopes

best cd yet
If you thought Entropy 29 was the best you were going to get from Terami, think again. A Broke Machine, while still keeping with familiar elements, takes a huge and fearless step forward to present us with a unique collection of songs. Lush piano, inventive electronics, strong and self-assured vocals, thoughtful lyrics and intricate melodies and arrangements that will blow you away are some of the ingredients that make up this truly amazing work. This is one of those few albums that will make you want to make the best of your life.


Beyond beautiful!
Unimaginable to me that Terami could transcend the brilliance of Entropy 29... but A Broke Machine is Terami's most beautiful work yet.

This CD takes you to places unexplored and emotions beyond reach~enjoy the journey...

Kapil Kumar

Spellbinding Brilliance
Terami Hirsch's fourth studio album, A Broke Machine(ABM), is an incredible statement of unfaltering dedication to her music. Released 3 years after her previous offering, Entropy 29, ABM explores new avenues and genres while still remaining very decisively "Terami". The opening song "Back to the Start" begins with a melody and drums that set up the feel of the album, but it's the very first line that Terami sings that hints at a promise of what lies in wait in the album vocally. Yes, any person who has heard her previously, fan or otherwise, will immediately recognize a change in her voice. One can hear a new confidence in her range, a better control of the endearing edge we remember from songs like Little Light and Stained. Terami credits this to professional voice lessons, as a listener and fan I credit it to her dedication to create great music. Lyrically, the song defines the album with "If there is a new world, I want to set sail", a veritable mission statement. What follows on the rest of the album is a full delivery on every promise set forth in this opening song.

ABM features some of the most energetic and aggressive songs Terami has ever written in the form of "Help Me", "What I Didn't See", "Battle for Infinite Time" and "Wasteland". These songs drip with an energy and aura that immediately sets them apart from her previous work, and at the same time from other artists to whom she is often compared. Her voice tops off the powerful melodies and mesmerizing percussions beautifully. The album also holds songs like "Fable Moon", "Diagram of Love", the title song and "A Hundred Flowers" which move to a slower beat, while still maintaining the quirkiness of Terami's arrangements of keyboards and drums. "Fable Moon" in particular becomes a highlight of the album by virtue of the mellifluous melody, jazz like bass and soaring vocals. This song is possibly the farthest from anything Terami has done so far, and yet it fits in perfectly with this new vision that is the album. Immediately following is "Chains of Andromeda", closer to the more eccentric side of Terami. It's clear to see that ABM is a genre-bending package of songs from Terami that serve to remove any sense of comparison and similarities to other piano-playing songstresses, giving us something that carves out a piece of musical heaven that is all her own.

The songs I haven't mentioned so far ("The Collector", "Better Times" and "I Am Going to Sleep") are no less than the others, ABM is really one of those rare albums I can listen to from beginning to end without thinking any less of any song in between. In the end, that is what ABM is, an unwavering stream of spellbinding brilliance and I really can't write enough about the immense love I feel for it. This is easily Terami Hirsch's best album yet and I can recommend it to anyone with good taste in music, not just fans of female singer/songwriters or piano-playing women.

James Wilson

Creatively Crafted Songs
A Broke Machine is an amazing arrangement of piano and vocal, working and flowing smoothly along complementing one another, seemingly effortlessly. (I have read in her blogs how hard Terami worked on making this CD - hopefully, she will understand that my use of the descriptive 'effortless' is used in the sort of way...like saying Clapton makes playing the guitar look easy). Her very intricately beautiful arrangement of songs, display Terami Hirsch's talent and sense of independent creative style. What a truely creative treat (my favorite is still A Hundred Flowers). Hope you enjoy A Broke Machine as much as I have. Still hoping to catch one of Terami's live performances on her tour around the US.

Ethereal Voices

As I sit here and try to review A Broke Machine, I find myself speechless, yet needing to write a book about the "ABM" experience. And it is an Experience, pure bliss, pure beauty, and great awe, it doesn’t get any better than this.

I have never been so profoundly touched by a CD before, emotionally and physically. You quickly become lost in the beauty upon first listen. By the second listen, you are completely addicted to this brilliant collection of songs.

I have loved Terami’s previous CD’s. But with A Broke Machine, Terami is at her best vocally, lyrically, and musically. With this release, I have come to the realization that Terami stands alone in a separate category of singer/songwriter: Genius.

A Broke Machine is a stunning work of art:
perfection from start to finish.