Tennessee-bred, NYC-based Tanners is taking the indie world by storm. Her releases over the past year have garnered ubiquitous praise from the likes of Indie Shuffle and POPMUZIK, and her latest single “Venus” got us hooked from the first listen (you can read our review here). Her psychedelic and infectious approach to indie pop along with her love for fashion have garnered a lot of attention as of late, but we wanted to know more about “Venus,” her early musical days, and about evolving as an artist.
First of all, congratulations on the new single! This was the first song I’d heard of yours and I was sold instantly. Can you tell us more about what this song means to you and how it came to be?
T: I’m so excited to finally have her out in the world! I wrote it a couple months after coming back to NYC from a little quarter life crisis trip I took to SE Asia by myself in 2017. I’d recently graduated from college and was feeling lost and really stagnant so I packed up for a month and a half. I traveled through Vietnam, Thailand, and finished my trek in Cambodia where I spent a lot of time on the beach with an incredibly special group of friends I’d met throughout my travels. The skies were so clear at night which made it easy to identify stars and planets. Venus was the earliest to rise and the brightest point in the sky and it became this grounding, symbolic reference point. When I got back I was seriously jet lagged so I would sit on my roof in the early hours of the morning looking up at the (much less clear) sky. I knew Venus wasn’t visible from NYC at the time, but I felt like I had to look for it anyway out of habit.
When we wrote the track later that spring I wanted to incorporate some sort of narrative about this massive, formative experience I’d had while also creating a story-line that’s relatable. So I personified Venus because I thought it might be easier to understand the feeling of missing a person rather than a planet in the sky.
You started writing songs at 18, but your musicianship and production show a lot of maturity and professionalism for only 6 years in the game. Did you grow up making music? Does musicianship run in the family?
T: My brother and I grew up playing a lot of music together. It all started when he convinced me to buy an electric bass when I was 8 so that I could play “Hella Good” by No Doubt with him. We started a band together. He played guitar and sang while I was on drums and background vocals. We gigged a lot and even toured a tiny bit throughout high school up until he went off to college. I also grew up taking classical voice lessons, singing in choirs, performing in musicals, etc so I’ve been making music in some capacity for most of my life.
You’ve mentioned in past interviews that you strive to allow diverse genres to permeate and influence your music. Can you pinpoint any specific musical inspirations or things you’d been listening to while creating Venus?
T: I actually made a playlist on Spotify of all the songs that were on heavy rotation while I was writing/producing “Venus.” You can listen to it here! The heavy hitters were definitely ABBA, Tove Styrke, Funkadelic, Fleetwood Mac, Beach House, Chic, Wings, and The 1975. I’m constantly listening to Bowie and Tame Impala so they tend to always influence my music in one way or another.
While Venus is undoubtedly sonically at home in the Tanners catalog, it definitely feels more aggressive and energetic than your self-titled EP. Is that something you set out to specifically achieve, or is it simply an organic evolution of you as a songwriter?
T: Yeah, I definitely agree. I wrote the four tracks on the EP back in the early spring of 2016 and “Venus” was written last summer in 2017. It’s astounding how much you change as a person within the span of one year when you’re in your 20’s. So much had happened between writing those songs. I graduated from college, started working full-time, went on my little trek, moved apartments, etc so I think the sonic shift was inevitable.
What can Tanners fans be looking forward to in the future? Another EP? A full-length? Maybe some touring?
T: For now I’m playing the singles game… I have a good amount of songs in the pipeline that I’ll hopefully start releasing in early 2019 along with some music videos. No set in stone tour plans but it’s always on my radar. Playing a handful of shows in the next few months, but hitting the road is definitely one of my top 3 goals for this coming year. Until then… ❤
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