Tristen Sings About How Love Can Involve Masochism And Self-Loathing In New Song


Acclaimed singer-songwriter Tristen shares the third song from her soon-to-be-released new album, AQUATIC FLOWERS, arriving via Mama Bird Recording Co. on Friday, June 4. Pre-orders are available now. “Wrong With You” is classic Tristen in that it’s a song that deals with something deeply emotional while being wrapped in an indelibly sophisticated pop melody. Today’s single release is joined by a compelling official music video directed by Joshua Shoemaker (Alabama Shakes, Erin Rae), streaming now at Tristen’s official YouTube channel.

“‘Wrong With You’ takes a look at a masochist so attuned to their own self-loathing and emotional manipulations that they can’t help but pity anyone who tries to get close,” says Tristen. “The more love they are given, the more skeptical and withdrawn they become. With the backdrop bopping like what I hoped felt like a Marshall Crenshaw tune, in a strange emotional twist, the protagonist knows they are treating their lover badly as some kind of test because, if they can love you through the pain, their love is somehow more true.”

AQUATIC FLOWERS was heralded in March 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. Last month, Tristen released “Athena.” 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.

Tristen’s 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.”

The release of AQUATIC FLOWERS will be celebrated with an album release show hosted by Chris Crofton on Tuesday, June 11. Tristen The Night Away 2 will take place at Nashville’s beloved The Five Spot and see Tristen showcasing new songs alongside special guests and stars, such as Jenny Lewis, Vanessa Carlton, Brian Fallon, Robyn Hitchcock, Ezra Furman and more. For complete details, see the event’s poster below or below or visit Tristen

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

Track List:
Die 4 Love
I Need Your Love
Wrong With You
Hothouse Flower
Story of Love
Some Things Must Die
Say Goodnight