Talis Kimberley | Archetype Cafe

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UK - England - South West

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World: Celtic Rock: Acoustic Moods: Solo Female Artist
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Archetype Cafe

by Talis Kimberley

Compelling, whimsical acoustic rock combining innovative, engaging music with lyrical narratives relating why Rapunzel cheats at cards, what Lady MacBeth said to Helen of Troy, and other slices of urban wardrobe, ripe for glorious rummaging.
Genre: World: Celtic
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Archetype Cafe
3:16 $0.89
2. Thin Blue Mean Streak
3:18 $0.89
3. Eleven Candles
3:40 $0.89
4. A Prayer for Santa Lucia
2:34 $0.89
5. Rapunzel
4:25 $0.89
6. The Highwayman
3:49 $0.89
7. Pale Shamen
4:04 $0.89
8. Taken by Storm
2:44 $0.89
9. Small Mended Corners
5:07 $0.89
10. One Big Sea
4:58 $0.89
11. Carrion
3:51 $0.89
12. Harbouring Hopes
4:03 $0.89
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
If you want to know what Lady MacBeth said to Helen of Troy, or why Rapunzel cheats at cards, you'd better listen to this. If you've any passing interest in love, chocolate, werewolves, zebras, the optical illusions of M.C.Escher, mediaeval tapestries, shopping malls, poison, infatuation, seduction, or revenge, you'll enjoy rummaging in the 'urban wardrobe' music that is the product of Talis Kimberley's distinctive and intriguing songwriting.

UK-based Talis has recently completed a successful tour which took her to the USA, Canada, and Germany, performing live and on radio and winning friends and fans at every city where she sang.

She has been frequently nominated for US-based Pegasus Awards for songwriting and performance, and is also a published comics writer, being co-creatrix of "Zen Zebras" (Wild Side comic) and "Dryad" (Venue Magazine, UK), besides adding a comic strip titled "Rapunzel" to the packaging of her recent album and single releases.

Talis Kimberley is a blazingly talented and original performer whose work is now starting to reach the wider audience it deserves. From the poignant to the outrageously funny, via intelligent narrative lyrics and inventive eclectic music, Talis combines witty and polished songwriting with blinding charisma onstage.

The new album, 'Archetype Café', is firmly centred in the alternative rock style Talis has developed, and which suits the narrative style of her songs so well. Here are sly and well-observed lyrics crafted into engaging music with Talis's usual crew - her band, Mythical Beasts - adding a fine assortment of instruments to her stunning voice.

Talis has been performing steadily since starting out solo several years ago at events in and around her home town of Bristol. Soon she was travelling widely and delighting a variety of audiences including festivals (Glastonbury, Bristol Community Festival), Arts Centres, and literary events. With John Jones and Kieran Taaffe, she formed the band, Mythical Beasts, which was rapidly signed to an independent label and recorded their first album.

However, when the project failed to reach release through internal problems at the label, Talis seized the opportunity to re-direct her music. With a new line-up behind her (John Jones, Simon Fairbourn, Tim Walker, plus newcomer Abi Salinger and occasional guests) and an ambitious but realistic set of goals, Talis developed her current eclectic and contemporary sound, gigging solo and with the Beasts. Her engaging and intimate performance style has won her admirers in Germany, America and Canada, each of which she recently visited on the Archetype Café tour..

Talis relaunched her career through Marchwood Media in 1998. She is now steadily expanding her fanbase and contacts, and has a determined and mature attitude to her work.

Each member of the band is a multi-instrumentalist; bassist John Jones sparkles on flute, drummer Tim is a cracking trumpeter, keyboardist Simon is a first class bassoonist and no slouch on the saxophone. Talis keeps mainly to guitar when she's not playing harp or bouzouki. And that's the line-up when Mythical Beasts are travelling light. Classical, rock and roots backgrounds are knitted together in Talis's arrangements, where bassoon and harp offset acoustic guitar, bass and ever-so-subtle drums.

Talis is not only a fine a musician, but a stunning wordsmith. Always prolific, she has now been writing for many years, and American, Canadian and German artists have covered her songs. Talis's extensive catalogue includes tales of modern living and fables full of pageantry and myth, each song full of cunning, literate lyrics which tell stories and weave images, turning phrases that will catch and linger in your memory. Be prepared to change your expectations of female singer/songwriters and let Talis's voice soar and caress its way into your hearing.


"...blew the top off my head. I love it. The sound is great... the writing is beyond words... thank you for putting together such a satisfying album"
Rand Bellavia, USA, of alternative rock band 'Ookla the Mok'

"Unique and exciting sound... intricate and beautiful lyrics"
Tom Jeffers, Canada, radio host & producer

"Talis calls her music 'Urban Wardrobe'... it's a perfect description. Come in & rummage for a while. Each song is distinctive... beautiful voice, strong, clear and passionate. Her songs have the extraordinary ability to touch parts of your soul you usually keep hidden"
Joules Taylor, UK, author of 'The Little Book of Celtic Myths'

"Archetype Café ... conveys a world of imaginative personalities who are not exactly lost for words... dark places in Talis's world that I would not care to visit... also places I would love to go. If she does find out where Archetype Café is now, I hope she'll save a seat for me."
Hilary Robinson, N I, comics writer

"Like the proverbial spider, singer/songwriter Talis Kimberley, one of Bristol's best kept secrets, has that innate ability to create a musical web of lyrical imagery of human feelings and emotions that beckons the receptive listener and entices them in. Talis' latest recording, "Archetype Cafe" is a poignant masterpiece of magical charm, invention and gentle beauty that effectively uses mood and atmosphere to craft a real little 'gem'.

This young musician has an unforced style that is very endearing and one that grows on you the more that you listen to her. On "Archetype Cafe" there are no fillers among the twelve original songs presented by Talis, that focus on lyrics that are both soul-searching and universal. Fans of
Talis are sure to lap up this self-assured and well produced offering, and "Archetype Cafe" should attract the attention of quite a few more."
Lyle Skinner, Canada, music reviewer & radio host.


"Her voice is clear and bewitching, her musical talent manifold"
Peter von Freyburg, Germany, reviewer (trans. J.Honisch)

"A prolific talent... every track was a peach"
Frank Blades, writing in Feedback magazine

"Highly original Bristol-based singer-songwriter... an amazing voice"
Venue Magazine


Archetype Café: Witty, lively, historical namedropping, bassoon showcase with sparkling lyric

Thin Blue Mean Streak: Happy, bitchy song with infectious rhythms and not a hint of apology. So there

Eleven Candles: Intense and sensual

A Prayer for Santa Lucia: Evocative and layered with poetry and imagery

Rapunzel: Boisterous, jazz/rock big energy nonsense

The Highwayman: Narrative song with layered harp

Pale Shamen: Rock/roots number in Fleetwood Mac/Tull-style

Taken by Storm: Tori Amos-esque, strange, passionate folly

Small Mended Corners: Most frequently mentioned as audience favourite, an Everywoman (and man) song embracing change

One Big Sea: Big piano number - very radio-worthy, we're told

Carrion: The mean one: hard edged, big, bad and loud.

Harbouring Hopes: Poignant dismissal with bassoon and harp


"I balance an international rock-chick personas with a domesticated creature who loves baking and moving all the furniture around. I like chocolate; I drink a great deal of tea. I like being five foot tall, really I do. I use henna on my hair and I don't care who knows it. I enjoy occasional fits of arabic dancing, archery, and horse riding, especially side-saddle on a white horse. I am involved with a re-enactment group called the Far Isles Mediaeval Society, in which I am the Head of the School of Bards, and lead a small fictitious hamlet called Muchmead. My favourite drink (after Rose Pouchong tea) is mead, and my favourite food is tiramisu, which, fortunately, I make rather well. I dislike coconut, mayonnaise, prawns, and blue cheese. And yoghurt. Bleugh. I don't keep a regular diary (except the erb-based sort, on my site) because it's all there in my songs. No, I don't always understand them either."



to write a review

Mary Ellen Wessels

Wonderful Lyrics! Interesting music, great singing!
I love this album. Talis has a lovely, delicate voice that still
manages to put a lot of power and emotion into her songs. The lyrics are
fantastic and the melodies and arrangements are varied and intresting.
I especially love "Small Mended Corners" but there are so many favorites on
here that I won't bother to mention them all! Like a favorite book I find myself
eagerly waiting a "sequel!" :-) I just wish she got to the U.S. more often!

Mark Long

Brilliant without a single weakness
This CD was the first Filk CD that I ever bought and I still love it. Talis combines remarkable songwriting, strong musicianship and a voice that is true without being overpure. It is also beautifully produced - not overdone but with the i's dotted and the t's crossed. Very, very fine work. I recommend this CD.


nearly as good as stolen gods, but not quite
Archetype Cafe shows Talis talents as a unique performer with so much to offer -Receiving Stolen Gods should have sent Talis to the stars - Archetype Cafe is a fabulous platform to reprise it,and you've got to hear that fabulous voice for the magick to work.