“A respected member of Nashville’s indie pop and rock scene, Tristen is both artful and exacting about her craft. She knows what it takes to transform straightforward gestures into something deeper.” – NPR
Acclaimed singer-songwriter Tristen shares the second song from her soon-to-be-released new album, AQUATIC FLOWERS, which arrives via Mama Bird Recording Co. on Friday, June 4. Pre-orders are available now. Co-written with Lera Lynn, “Athena” finds the Nashville-based Tristen empathizing with the goddess of wisdom and strength who is too often a marginalized female character. It is a deeply felt concept that one can also dance to, thanks to the song’s jangly major chord garage-pop groove. An official music video is streaming now.
“What messages lie within these myths for women? For how long have female characters been sculpted by the hands of men?” asks Tristen. “In ‘Athena,’ co-written by Lera Lynn, I pounded out a major chord grunge song dedicated to the powerful Greek goddess of war, strategy, and men’s domains. I wanted to write a song for the girls–the Athenas–out there who are so often misunderstood. We worship Aphrodite over and over again–woman as sexual being, judged for her beauty, maneuvering with her seduction–but we rarely worship women who are powerful through their logic, wisdom and courage. These women are utilized but underrepresented. You know, nobody likes a bossy baby. Yet this archetype has been with us forever, and Athenas roam the Earth as mothers, friends and lovers, saving us time and time again.”
AQUATIC FLOWERS was heralded last month with the release of the album’s first single, “Complex.” The song was accompanied by Tristen’s self-directed and edited official music video, guest-starring Vanessa Carlton, Stefanie Drootin, Kristy Benjamin, Alise Grysen, and Alyssa Milano.
Tristen’s first new release in more than three years and fourth studio album overall, AQUATIC FLOWERS brims with incisive pop-folk tracks ruminating on the ways we attempt to feel in control in a chaotic world, the past that informs us, and how to let go in order to grow. Produced and recorded with her husband, bandmate, and occasional writing partner, Buddy Hughen, at their Nashville home studio, Tight Squeeze, songs like “Hothouse Flower” and the brightly optimistic “Story of Love” sees Tristen’s exacting pop melodicism and perceptive, poetic lyrics shining through even as shine even when they reach into the darker depths of the human psyche.
“When you have a child, you begin to think about, ‘What do I want to tell him? What’s important to pass on?’” Tristen says. “Stories of love. That’s ultimately where art holds its lasting influence and lives on through generations, despite the corruption and violence surrounding it. All we can do is create a message worthy of our ancestors, heroically honest while working on ourselves enough to break the cycle. At the end of the day, we have to look inward.”
Hailed by Rolling Stone as “one of Tennessee’s best exports,” Tristen has affirmed herself as an ambitious, prolific singer-songwriter and musician, widely acclaimed for her transcendent lyricism and ever-evolving popcraft. Her third and most recent LP, 2017’s SNEAKER WAVES, drew international applause for its homespun melodic power, with No Depression praising it as “a slice of sweet pop perfection. Named after a forceful wave in the midst of calmer ones, SNEAKER WAVES is captivating and imaginative, and at times so beautiful it’s hypnotic.” “From girl-group harmonies and Countrypolitan strings to left-field, Nilsson-worthy power balladry, SNEAKER WAVES ebbs and flows,” declared Rolling Stone, “showing the full range of Tristen’s strength as a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and co-producer.” “Vintage keyboards or retro-modern guitar parts enhance Tristen’s sometimes fantastical, often hilarious, always perceptive vignettes about complicated relationships, artistic ambition and the ever-present shadow of mortality,” wrote NPR’s Ann Powers. “With her flutelike voice and sense of high style, Tristen could be an ace formalist; instead, throughout SNEAKER WAVES, she explores the fissures in memory, the communication breakdowns and the cracks in the mirror that make up a normal, messy life, even for the shiniest, happiest people.”
Along with her own solo output, Tristen has been an active member of the Nashville musical community, collaborating with diverse artists like Jenny Lewis, Wanda Jackson, Steelism, and All Them Witches while also sharing stages with such luminaries as Robyn Hitchcock, Television, and Vanessa Carlton, with whom she co-wrote last year’s critically acclaimed LOVE IS AN ART.
(Mama Bird Recording Co.)
Release Date: Friday, June 4, 2021
Die 4 Love
I Need Your Love
Wrong With You
Story of Love
Some Things Must Die
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