Tara Terra


Emily Blue: Singing to Combat Rape Culture and Gendered Violence

"Due to personal experience and prevalence of rape culture, Emily Blue’s first single “No Pain” off her LP Another Angry Woman explores the themes of rape culture, gendered violence, and womanhood through a somber, sobering melody highlighting the voices of the often silenced victims of sexual assault and abuse. Blue, a sexual assault survivor, is releasing the “No Pain” video and the Another Angry Woman album to help the Rape Advocacy, Counseling, and Education Services (R.A.C.E.S.), one of many social services organizations suffering due to the budget crises in Illinois. Since the 1970’s, R.A.C.E.S has offered a 24-hour hotline and counseling services for victims of rape, and money received from Another Angry Woman will be donated to R.A.C.E.S. through a Kickstarter so that sexual assault and abuse victims continue to be empowered to break the silence as they do in Blue’s “No Pain” video.  "

- The Huffington Post


“'No Pain' is so much more than one person’s story – both metaphorically and literally. All profits from Emily Blue’s Another Angry Woman will go towards funding RACES (Rape Advocacy, Counseling and Education Services), a rape crisis hotline in Blue’s Illinois community Champaign-Urbana that was recently defunded. (The organization’s webpage states: As of June 1, RACES services will be limited to the 24-Hour Crisis Hotline and Medical Advocacy. All other services have been suspended due to the Illinois budget crisis.)

I hold the hands of so many more
who cry in the night and endure it
They’ve had to walk this broken floor
They’ve done all they can to get through it

Nothing can take that away from me
I have so many things to believe in, you know

Rape is not an easy subject, but it cannot be “taboo.” We have to talk about it, so that we, both as individuals and as a society, may confront rape and those who perpetuate it head on.

A body is not a commodity to be exchanged for goods and services – there is no good in a service if it is solely servicing the good of someone else. Emily Blue’s “No Pain,” and the accompanying visual, aims to show this, revealing the strength of those who have risen from the ashes after being so badly burned. It is the power anthem that we may not necessarily have anticipated, but it is certainly one we so desperately need."

-Atwood Magazine

Music: The Undeclared Major for Many in an Eclectic College Town

"Tara Terra, a Champaign-Urbana Indie-Pop band, is composed of University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign students and alumni in their twenties who found each other through music.

Tara Terra Drummer Joey Buttlar is a psychology major from Champaign,  electric guitarist Colin Althaus is an electrical engineering major from Champaign, electric bassist Nicholas Soria is a psychology major from Antioch, IL, and lead vocalist, guitarist, and keyboardist Emily Blue is a creative writing major from Champaign-Urbana—all meeting in the local music scene.

“For most of our high school career, Joey and I actually lived two blocks away. We never met until we played music,” guitarist Colin recounts how Champaign-Urbana’s small, close-knit music community helped bring them together.  

Majority of the members grew up with other local Champaign-Urbana music artists as their influences in their youth.  

Elsinore made me want to be in a band,” Colin explains of the band in Champaign-Urbana that has had success.  Joey elaborates how the band’s accessible lyrics made them attractive to him.

Each band member attributes music as integral with other aspects of their lives and growth.

Electric bassist Nick is musically inspired by R & B and Motown and enjoys the expression music allows.

“I am a very analytical person. Music is the one thing I don’t have to think about,” he says while also highlighting how being on stage takes him out of his otherwise reserved demeanor. He hopes to inspire other music artists who may be shy to not be afraid to go after performing.  

Singer songwriter Emily Blue is inspired to explore elements of rape culture and social justice. She has always considered herself a writer and enjoys exploring her writing as an art form in her music. Her idea of a successful song is “expressing something the way I feel it, something accurate that raises questions about life” and  “having a part of the song that the ear grabs onto whether it likes it or not.”  She draws inspirations from other local artists like Mother Nature because of their bold message, and Grandkids as she identifies with them as a woman.

Drummer Joey speaks of his love of using his instrument as an educational/therapeutic tool for his work with youth. He also enjoys that “percussion is an important anchor for people in the audience.” He adds that he has learned discipline in having to be the anchor while performing. 

Electric guitarist Colin has a church praise and worship background where he learned to use body language and guitar to convey emotion to the audience when he is performing.

“I seek to bridge the gap between the musician and the audience,” Colin says.

Having gone through various members since formation, the band is now rooted in a four member group with a similar collective vision. While two band mates graduated this year, the band members have no plans to stop pursuing music. Tara Terra was recently featured on Audiotree, will be recording their second LP in July with Chicago-based Audiotree and will be touring in August.

“Being a professional has become my hobby,” Joey describes in relation to his evolution from music being a pastime to a pursuit to do it as a profession. Other band mates share similar long-term plans to pursue music as a profession for as long as they can."

-The Huffington Post

Hot Spots

"Music fans won't want to miss Tara Terra, as this band has played the main stage of the Pygmalion Festival and several times in Chicago (including at The Metro).

In addition, both of the band's headliners this past year in Champaign-Urbana have been sold out."

-Muncie Star Press

This weekend in music: Tara Terra to perform at Be Here Now

"They’ve been working on the album with Rick Fritz, a senior audio engineer who has worked with the Beach Boys and The Soil and the Sun.

'Working with someone who has been at it for a long time will definitely bring a different quality to the sound,' Althaus said.

While on tour, they come in with little expectation on what the show and experience will be like. Their main goal is not to be 'big' or famous. They believe that if their music reaches the audience in any way that relates to them, then that’s a sign of success.

'As long as [our] music has positive impact to the world, that’s the goal,' Blue said, 'Once you reach [fame], there's no room for growth.'

The band members, who are just coming out of college or still balancing their workload with school and music, are passionate about making a difference in the world through music and wonder where the road will take them."

-Ball State Daily News

Amanda's 3 picks for your weekend

"Have you missed Daytrotter shows since Daytrotter Downs? They're back with a bundle of alternative-type bands on tap Saturday. Get your indie and folk fix with a lineup including Nashville-based Escondido, country and rock artist Jace Everett, Quad-City band Condor & Jaybird and Champaign-based Tara Terra at Daytrotter, 324 Brady St., Davenport. Doors open at 5 p.m. and music starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door."

-Quad City Times

Read More

PHOTO BLOG: Cullen Omori with Tara Terra and Tigerbeat @ the Accord, Champaign, Il Feb 5 2016

"On Friday, February 5th, Sub Pop recording artist Cullen Omori stopped by the Accord in Champaign, Illinois to play a show in support of his latest album, ‘New Misery’ coming out March 18th. A pair of local acts, Tara Terra and Tigerbeat, opened the show.

Innocent Words photographer Chloe Rose Gerard was there to capture all the music."

-Innocent Words Magazine

Cullen Omori @ The Accord

"After Tigerbeat my favorite local band, Tara Terra, preformed. Let me tell you, this is probably the best I've ever seen them live, and every time I've seen them they have been phenomenal. I could rave about them indefinitely, but all the right vibes were there last night. If you haven't heard their album, Daughter, you need to drop everything you're doing and listen."

-Chloe Rose Gerard

Buzz‘s Most Anticipated Local Releases of 2016

"Tara Terra is a Champaign-Urbana favorite. Pushed by the songwriting skills of Emily Otnes and the production skills of Colin Althaus along with the many other talented members of the band, they all continue to grow as individuals and as a band. On top of their local success, the band also recently recorded an Audiotree Live session, which will be released on January 13th. The Audiotree session will include live versions of new songs (featuring guest vocals) from their upcoming album.

Our prediction is that Otnes, now more experienced and diversified musically, will bring in influence through her experiences in her other projects like Boycut.

“The new record showcases a lot of collaborative writing and arranging as far as the music goes, fun harmonies, and versatility as far as the feel of each song,” said Otnes. “We are experimenting with different textures and are really excited to show off some fun indie-rock bangers.”

Guitarist Colin Althaus also said that they’re hard at work “writing, workshopping and getting ready to hit the studio again.”

-Buzz Magazine

Top live shows of 2015


Church Booty and Tara Terra are up next, Champaign-Urbana. They proved, with their show last Saturday, that they can both pull out a massive crowd and have the entirety of Cowboy Monkey singing along and dancing to their, regardless of the difference in genres between the two. Keep your eyes on both of these bands, because I have a feeling they may be a C-U staple for some time to come." - Smile Politely

Two Nights at Cowboy Monkey

"Pulling in an enormous crowd into the Cowboy Monkey, you could tell things were going to get hot really quick.  Tara Terra continues to grow in their sound, members and power at every new show. With both Colin Althaus and Emily Otnes in the band, there is no lack of excitement. Althaus is arguably one of the best guitarists in the area – especially at such a young age – and Otnes is one of the most successful singer/songwriters in the area. Their undeniable talent is combined with other members like Joey Buttlar on the drums, Alleya Weibel on the violin, Nicholas Soria on bass and bringing in extra vocals from Mariel Fechik of Church Booty. The night was filled with off the wall guitar solos and vocals, combined with the sturdy backbone from the rest of the band. The crowd was jumping, clapping and singing along and one can tell that the band has really hit their pace and is making huge leaps towards their future." - Buzz Magazine