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Insanely beautiful: Melissa
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Tristen 1 by danielle holbert

"I always love when women cover songs remembered as being sung by men. I also see no need to change the pronouns. When you hear this song come through your speakers, I sing as a man to a woman, or a woman to a woman, or I can be something in between. It’s up to you.” - Tristen

Peaceful Easy Feeling
Tristen

Why Instant Love?


8

Tristen


“Some artists are interested in being complicated, it’s almost like they’re speaking another language just to the connoisseur of the art,” says Tristen. “I have no interest in that. My style is not to be exclusive. It’s to be inclusive. I’m trying to be as clear as possible. I’ve always been interested in the purest form of the idea, so that it can communicate massively.”

That theme is at the core of Tristen’s music — music that is smart but accessible, meticulously constructed but undeniably infectious.

A native of South Side Chicago turned longtime Nashville resident, Tristen has released two critically acclaimed solo records — 2011’s Charlatans at the Garden Gate and 2013’s CAVES — and toured extensively as a member of Jenny Lewis’ backing band. The folk-oriented Charlatans earned her praise as  “Nashville’s best-kept secret” (The Boston Globe), and the more synth-pop-oriented CAVES featured “tales of greed, alienation and heartache, made poignant but never saccharine by their electronically enhanced surroundings” (Nashville Scene).

Tristen has been singing since she could speak, and writing and recording her own songs since she was a teenager. Now an established touring musician with finely tuned chops and a knack for lashing exceptional melodies to her singularly poetic lyrics, she travels with a practiced backing trio of top-notch Nashville sidemen. Together, they bring Tristen’s lush, expertly crafted arrangements to life, giving the singer room to brandish her outsized vocals and win audiences with her powerful stage presence — performances that channel the rock ’n’ roll eclecticism of David Bowie and the creative prowess of Dolly Parton.

“Performing is my favorite thing to do in the world,” she says. “It’s like meditation for me. I let go. Ultimately, performing is about the audience, the singer and the band, and the shared experience. And at the center is truth and beauty.”

In 2016, Tristen  released her first book of poetry,  Saturnine, a collection of 18 poems that span from the “green carpet hills by San Francisco” to the “cold hard streets of Chicago” and brim with a kaleidoscope of characters. Her   third album,   Sneaker Waves,  will be released July 7 via Modern Outsider Records.

In her own words...

What does INSTANT LOVE project mean to you? 

“I want to sing love to women. The definition of feminism is so often confused. People assume it’s women versus men; we too often adhere to the mentality of the the warrior. I refuse to use the tools of the oppressor. Feminism is --the advocacy of women's rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes--by definition. Uplifting women, does not shift the beauty or demean the men in our lives, we will be tied inextricably as human beings. It does mean lifting women up to their rightful position as equal contributors to society and the human experience.   

In religious theory, dualism is the belief that two supreme opposed powers, divine and demonic beings, caused the world to exist. In our culture, we tend to label things this way: good and evil, male and female, right and wrong, liberal and conservative, light and dark. Is this constricting mindset —that has dominated how we define ourselves— irrelevant? I joined this project, Instant Love, to promote the complexity of love, sex, and gender in the human mind and body. 

Love cannot be defined as right or wrong. Love is an action we make in the real world. Love is something we decide to give when looking at another human being, whether we are at the grocery store, hanging with our grandma, or singing a song. I am celebrating a new world where love is finally love, sex is finally sex, femininity and masculinity, whatever those mean to us, flow openly into the world. That is beauty. 

Too often, we as women are looking to men to legitimize the feminist movement. I must convert my father, brother, boss. I've tried to shift this thought. I think the job of the feminist is to look to women and say, “I see you. How can i be of service to you right now?" And that is Instant Love-- reacting with love. That’s why my song is dedicated to all the ladies out there.” - Tristen 

Why did you choose to record your song "Peaceful, Easy Feeling"?

“On valentines day, I sometimes take requests from fans for covers. Someone requested ‘Peaceful Easy Feeling’ by the Eagles and immediately I flashed back to my dad playing this song for my mom in my childhood. I would sing the high harmony with him. You can hear that on the recording. I always love when women cover songs remembered as being sung by men. I also see no need to change the pronouns. When you hear this song come through your speakers, I sing as a man to a woman, or a woman to a woman, or I can be something in between. It’s up to you.” - Tristen

The Original


Eagles

Lyrics


"Peaceful Easy Feeling" written by Jack Tempchin for The Eagles

I like the way sparkling earrings lay

Against your skin so brown

And I want to sleep with you in the desert night

With a million stars all around

 

I got a peaceful easy feelin'

And I know you won't let me down

'Cause I'm already standin'

On the ground

 

And I found out a long time ago

What a woman can do to your soul

Aw but she can't take you any way

You don't already know how to go

 

I got a peaceful easy feelin'

And I know you won't let me down

'Cause I'm already standin'

On the ground

 

I get this feelin' I may know you

As a lover and a friend

This voice keeps whisperin' in my other ear

Tells me I may never see you again

 

I get a peaceful easy feelin'

And I know you won't let me down

'Cause I'm already standin'

Yes I'm already standin'

Yes I'm already standin'

On the ground