Tasha Breaks Down Her New Album Tell Me What You Miss the Most Track by Track: Exclusive
The post Tasha Breaks Down Her New Album Tell Me What You Miss the Most Track by Track: Exclusive appeared first on Consequence.
Our Track by Track feature gives musicians the opportunity to explain how each track on their new album came together. Today, Chicago indie-soul musician Tasha breaks down her new album, Tell Me What You Miss the Most.
Tasha has released her sophomore album, Tell Me What You Miss the Most. Stream it below.
Clocking in at 10 songs, the follow-up to 2018’s Alone at Last was co-produced with Eric Littmann (Vagabon, Emily Yacina), and marks a strong jump in Tasha’s songwriting capabilities. Filled with homey instrumentals that blend elements of folk and R&B, Tell Me What You Miss the Most is a collection of tenderhearted songs that spotlight Tasha’s newly-honed strengths. It evokes the introspective solitude of crisp autumn mornings, the euphoria of a new crush, or the quiet contentment of arriving at inner peace.
“When I made Alone at Last, I had only been writing songs for two years. I hardly even knew what kind of songwriter I was,” Tasha explained in a press release. “But this record feels much stronger as far as a representation of my songwriter and musicianship. I did feel like I was piloting it in a way that I haven’t really felt before.”
Tasha added, “I was inspired by a distance I felt from myself. The writing was kind of born from this desire to get back to an intimacy, or honesty, with myself.”
Artist of the Month Geese Break Down Debut Album Projector Track by Track: Exclusive
For more insight into Tell Me How You Really Feel, Tasha has broken down the album in our latest Track by Track interview. Read on for details about each of the record’s songs underneath the stream below.
Later this month, Tasha will hit the road in support of Tell Me How You Really Feel, making stops in cities like Montreal, Brooklyn, and Nashville. See all the dates here, and snag tickets at her website.
“Bed Song 1”
Like many of the songs I write, this one started out as just a guitar part recorded in my room on a voice memo (I think the first one was titled “plucky thing EBEG#BE”). It was January of 2020, and I was working through the dissolution of a relationship. The lyrics came to me in pieces the next night, and were inspired by feelings of loss and remembering — that reaching for warm, sweet tendrils of what you used to have with someone, but no longer feel anywhere near to.
I didn’t realize the lyric “Hey I dare you, tell me what you miss the most” would become the album title until a whole year later, but to me, it quite clearly encompasses the feeling of the whole record. Like writing a letter to someone you’ve known for forever but haven’t seen in a long time, asking them: “What do you miss the most?” That moment of shared remembering, bittersweet and comforting. That’s what this song, and indeed the whole album, is about.
When writing this song, I was inspired by the gorgeous breakup songs on Julia Jacklin’s Crushing. I was not even going through a breakup at the time (though I would be very soon), but I enjoyed the process of sitting inside this aching, heart-wrenching hole of feeling a love slip away. There’s almost a sense of panic in that building crescendo, that moment when you realize a relationship really is ending, and you suddenly become aware of everything you’ll have to face alone and readjust to. The way the song suddenly quiets back down after reaching its big, crashing peak, is also meant to recreate how empty things feel after a breakup, after love ends: something big and beautiful and all-encompassing suddenly giving way to quiet.
The first voice memo of the first draft of this song, when it was just a chord progression and a melody of gibberish words, is titled “this will be my fun song,” which I think is so sweet. Lyrically, the chorus came first, and bubbled out of me quickly and easily in one sitting. I don’t have any other songs this fast-paced, or “pop-y,” so to speak, so I really leaned into the giddy, pulsing momentum of this song. It all felt extremely fun and cathartic. I’m certain every lesbian has called someone they love their “perfect wife” at some point, even if just in their head. In the midst of a turbulent, sad time in my life, all I needed was this anthem, this sweet excuse to shout from the rooftops, “You’re such a perfect wife!” — regardless of if she was real or not.
“Sorry’s Not Enough”
In January of 2020, I went to a friend’s house in Michigan for a short, self-imposed writing retreat. It turned out to be a wonderfully productive time, and this was the first song I wrote there, followed by “Dream Still,” “Bed Song 2,” and “Perfect Wife.” This song has actually gone through the most changes of any other on the record, both sonically and lyrically. I had an entirely different lyric and vocal part written for the second half of the song, but for months we couldn’t seem to get the arrangement right, and something just felt off.
I knew I didn’t like it, but the drums and guitar were already tracked, so I had to figure out how to make something new inside of the arrangement we already recorded. One afternoon, in the middle of a two-night recording sleepover at Eric’s apartment (where we recorded most of the album) we played that section on a loop and I paced back and forth through his tiny living room, running through different vocal parts. Eventually, I found something that felt good, and we recorded it, and the song took the shape that it’s in now. Listening back to it, I’m reminded of Eric’s patience, and my own stubborn reserve to make sure this song could become something I really loved.
I knew I wanted an interlude on the album, something to let the listener reset, and reflect on everything they’ve heard so far. Eric and I spent a couple of hours just playing around with sounds on his synths and my guitar, constructing various, pretty soundscapes until we found one that felt right. After recording a few takes of me improvising on guitar, we added in some synth parts, chimes recorded in my grandpa’s garden, and me reading some lines from my journal about my girlfriend (gay!).
After writing so many sad songs, I felt eager to write something a little brighter, a little more hopeful. Thus this song was born, a sunny declaration of what love could be, maybe with someone else, or maybe just found inside myself. A lot of this record traces through old memories, or winds in and out of this feeling of reminiscence on something past… This song is a leap into the future, an imaginative dream of a love resolved and happy. I love the way Vivian’s flutes bring out the whimsy of that feeling.
This was the very last song I wrote for the album, while on a camping trip with my family and close family friends on Burton Island in Vermont. It was a magical trip — we had to row in to the island with all of our gear piled into a rowboat and a canoe, and our campsite sat right on the island’s rocky shoreline. I had my guitar with me, and tuned it to a completely random tuning one day, and wrote this in one sitting while perched on a rock, watching the water. This is the most sparse song arrangement on the record, with only guitar and vocals (Eric insisted we keep it that way), and I think after the blankets of sound we’re given from the whole first half of the record, it really sweeps in like a breath of fresh air. The nature sounds at the very end are lifted from a video I took while hiking the island one afternoon.
The story inside of this song is taken quite directly from real-life events. After my grandma on my mom’s side died, my family drove up to my mom’s hometown — Lake Superior, Wisconsin — with my grandma’s ashes, to scatter them in the water. This song is a reflection on that time, years later, and my way of saying to my mom what I didn’t know how to say then. It’s meant to be a balm, a comfort for her in her grief, but maybe also for anyone in the throes of missing someone, and having to say goodbye. Also I’m so in love with the violin parts Macie [Stewart, of Chicago rock band Ohmme] wrote for this song (and for “Bed Song 1”) — it’s been a dream of mine to have strings on a song and she captured the feeling so perfectly.
“Year From Now”
I’ve always wanted to say my own name in a song.
“Bed Song 2”
This song is in the same tuning as “Bed Song 1,” and after playing around with this guitar part, it became clear that they should be “sister” songs. After the rest of the album was finished, I felt these songs fit best as the opener and closer, and I appreciated the imagery of the album starting and ending in bed, as if it’s taken us through one very long day. I enjoyed letting the guitar take center stage here (my favorite guitar part on the record), as opposed to the lyrics, which pop in only briefly. The final line, “Think I’ll pull her close, think I’ll call her mine” is my own quiet affirmation to myself, the “her” being me. It’s a little reminder that after everything, through loss and joy and missing, I’ll always have my own small heart, my own small body, to hold and call mine.
Tasha Breaks Down Her New Album Tell Me What You Miss the Most Track by Track: Exclusive
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