Rising singer-songwriter TARYN announces her intentions to start anew on the recently released song “Brand New.”
Hailing from Ohio and now based in Atlanta, TARYN pulls from multiple influences. She grew up listening to James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Norah Jones, and Cat Stevens and eventually learned how to play guitar.
In “Brand New,” the familiar sounds of these classic songwriters fuse with modern pop. Attesting to the ease at which she writes, the concept came to TARYN as she was driving on the freeway. Then, in working with producer Joey Burcham, the track was fleshed out, coming to life yet intentionally veering away from bombastic, overstuffed instrumentation. The result pays tribute to TARYN’s influences while distinguishing her in the present, particularly through lyrics intertwining growth, vulnerability, and experience.
With “Brand New” out on July 29, we had a chance to speak with TARYN about the track and her approach as a singer-songwriter.
What inspired you to write “Brand New”?
I think a lot of the inspiration came from feeling stagnant in life. I would sit and ruminate on a past version of myself that didn’t reflect the person I’d grown into, that I continue to grow into. The song represents a feeling of freedom for me – the notion that we have the choice to live in the present moment and gain intuition throughout the process.
In working with Joey Burcham, how did “Brand New” come together?
Joey and I had been working together for a couple years at this point. I remember getting to his apartment and asking if he wanted to lay down something new that I thought of on my drive over. We started with the main vocal, added all the harmonic layers, and then Joey took over on breaking out the instrumental aspect. We both decided on the structure and composition of the mix. There was a great sense of collaboration in this track, and I love that we could work on building it together.
How did you get started with songwriting?
I started playing guitar around 6, started theatre camps at 7 (difficult but great lessons to learn), took classical guitar lessons around 14, and really hit my writing stride after I was in college. Being exposed to new life experiences, adventures, and relationships helped me become a better writer. As the years have passed, I’ve found the sound that I think suits me best as an artist and person.
You mention that you started writing “Brand New” while driving on the freeway. What is your process for writing songs?
“Brand New” did arrive while I was driving – it felt like something in the back of my head screaming, “Express this feeling and use these words”. Sometimes, it feels like an out-of-body influence, sometimes it feels like the words just spill out. Most of the time, I’ll begin with guitar, find a chorus sequence that I like, and start humming something. Once the first stanza comes in, I can get a feel for what the song is trying to say and how I can creatively and concisely get the message across that I think the song is looking for.
This is where the out-of-body part comes in. The song is an extension of me as a person, but it stands on its own. Has its own emotions, intentions, meanings that differ from person to person. The individuality is intoxicating, music is subjective, and I never put pressure on meaning, because most times what it means to me will be different to the person listening. I love that.
How would you describe your sound and style as a singer and songwriter?
I think my sound is a mix between lullabies, hushed tones with a beat behind it that forces your body to find the pocket. I like to make music that makes me feel peaceful but free. I think as a writer I want to be the most open and honest version of myself that I can be.
I can’t pretend to be something I’m not. My biggest goal is to make sure I understand my own message. Singing and writing brings waves of peace over my body – I’ll chase that feeling forever. The added benefit is when other people in your life or people you’ve never met find commonalities in their own psyche about whatever I’m saying, however they need to. It’s community, it’s magic, it’s beautiful.
Who inspires you as an artist?
This list could go on forever – I’m inspired by so many artists putting music out today. Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, The Steely Dan, Queen, Aretha Franklin, Bruno Major, Eloise, Olivia Dean, rum.gold, Kamal, Yebba, PJ Morton, Jordan Rakei, Nick Hakim, Chartruse, Miette Hope, emawk, Jordan McKampa, Lizzy McAlpine, Adam Melchor, Dijon – god, I could go on forever.
My Spotify is my home. I love finding new artists wherever they show up. Really, anyone making music that I wish I could’ve been in the room for inspires me to get better, to keep writing, to find the best versions of what I have and to give them the room to grow – turn the bones into a body.
“Brand New” follows your singles from the past few years, like “18” and “Crying Blue”. Where does it stand thematically in comparison with these tracks?
I do feel like “18” and “Brand New” have similar messages but hold different perspectives. “18” was about not caring what others think of you, realizing that you’re the only you to exist and that the pressure or judgement from others doesn’t need to plague your every action, while “Brand New” is about leaving the past behind and accepting the growth you’ve accomplished over the years. “Crying Blue” was about my father’s cancer and a dream I had about him being in the hospital – it was my first step as an artist in being completely and truly vulnerable.
It was scary but did give me peace of mind and something beautiful to look back on in this life. I think “Brand New” expresses some of these concepts but is more about rebirth and growing the mind.
Do you have any plans to release an album or EP in the near future?
I do have plans to release an EP, either fall or winter of this year, but I’m comfortable riding the single train for now. I care a lot more about quality than quantity, so if I have to take it one track at a time for a while, I will. An EP would come before an album, but I would want to spend two or three weeks in the studio making sure the project was comprehensive and told a story.
Where would you like to see your career go over the next five years or so?
A lot can happen in five years. I think the overall goal is to keep creating music that fuels my soul – to roll with the punches this industry has to offer and focus on what feels right in the moment. I do have plans, but I’ve found that set plans usually change frequently. Based on how much I’ve grown in the last couple years, I’m looking forward to seeing what can happen down the line. Things grow naturally in good time.