Metal Mother is the pseudonym of LA-based vocalist, pianist, composer, lyricist, and producer Tara Timberman. At the intersection of art-pop, doom folk, and experimental electronic, Metal Mother weaves synth-heavy arrangements of melancholic melodies, polyrhythmic percussion, and etheric vocals into cathartic songs. Her lyrical themes play with conceptual explorations of death, decay, rebirth, deep ecology, temporalities of belonging, and mundane abstractions of love and romance.
Metal Mother writes almost all of her own material, and plays the role of executive producer for all releases, which include the debut 2011 album Bonfire Diaries (co-produced and mixed by Jeremy Black), the 2013 sophomore album Ionika (co-produced and mixed by David Earl), and the 2018 EP Pagan Jazz (self-produced and mixed). She has also put out singles Everybody Has To Say Goodbye and Forest Anthem and was featured in the Glitch Mob song Becoming Harmonious. She has directed and produced music videos for the songs Shake and Mind_off, as well as a music video for the song Pris, directed and produced by Chloe Feller. In 2019, she released a live performance video of her piano and vocal composition Angel. In 2021, she composed an original score for the short film Watermelon, written and directed by Josefine Petersen. Her works have garnered praise from Vogue, Bust, Vice, MTV Iggy, USA Today, and many others, and she has performed nearly 100 shows throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico.
She is finishing her third full-length album, co-produced and mixed by Samur Khouja.
Raised in a small town in coastal Northern California among the redwoods and the remains of some of the world’s most infamous hippy communes and cults, Tara is a dual Irish-American citizen who fosters intentional and critical connection to her rebellious Celtic ancestry. As a feral runaway in the 1990s San Francisco underground rave scene, her performance background has consistently centered on radical reimaginings of future worlds. In the early 2000s, she was heavily involved in organizing political street theater and environmental actions through grassroots groups North Bay Art and Revolution and Daily Acts. At that time, she also produced a 3-day annual vaudeville circus event called Calliope Wondershow. In a period of burnout recovery, she got a job growing weed in a cabin in the woods and, after being gifted a small Yamaha keyboard, started teaching herself piano and putting her poetry into song. In 2007 she moved to Oakland to pursue music, and shortly after began performing under the moniker Metal Mother. In 2011, she co-founded the music collective Post Primal, which functioned as a resource and support platform and online blog to support queer and underground Bay Area artists. In 2015, she relocated to Los Angeles and, while continuing to work on music, got involved in organizing strikes and direct actions to raise awareness of the climate crisis. During this time, she also pivoted her focus back to practicing piano and composition. While she continues to devote herself to music, she is now immersed in her studies at UCLA. Rooted in her advocacy against climate change, neo-colonialism, misogyny, racism, and xenophobia; her research interrogates hegemonic ways of viewing space, place, landscape, infrastructure, Indigineaty, Nativeness, and mobility. Grounded in feminist and anticolonial environmental theory, her focus is on identifying Imperial landscape narratives, decolonizing geography, queer ecology, ecocriticism, and understanding Black and Indigenous land stewardship histories. Papers she has written are The German Forest as a Site of Metaphysical Nationalism and Class Conflict, The Redwood Empire: Eugenics in Anglo-California Conservation, Feminist Forms of Multi-Species World Making in Post-War Ecologies, and Dirty Devices: Green Colonialism and Smartphone Technology. As she prepares to release her third album, she is simultaneously writing a thesis on Techno-Pastoralism: Tracking Echos of White, Settler-Colonialism in ‘Cottagecore.’
In both her music and writing, she leans into the formative experiences she had as a teenager who struggled with houselessness, street violence, drug abuse, and arrests, and the ongoing challenges of living with childhood trauma from losing her father at age four, and the many tragic experiences she has had since. Having worked as a nanny, housecleaner, server, sex worker, barista, gardener, uber driver, pot dealer, and whatever else she had to do to live while staying committed to her art and ethics, her life’s work is informed by the lived experience of working-class struggles and her fight for a more equitable and safe world for multi-species future generations.