In The Present Moment: A TARYN Guest Blog

One of the biggest pieces of advice that I ended up giving myself was to take the time to sit with everything I wrote, and even if I hate it or I get to the end of it and say I'm never going to release this, just keep writing them and keep the cycle moving. Every 5 songs or every 10 songs you'll find the one where in your heart you know it's fully you and you can be proud of that work. I think that took me a really long time to get to, even after the first release that I did. I think that's why I have so few songs out because I write all the time but there are specific ones - little drops in the ocean of all the songs that I've written - that I truly think are expressing what I'm trying to say, or express who I am as a person musically as well as lyrically and what they mean to me.

I think “Crying Blue” was one of those. Last summer my dad was diagnosed with stage four cancer. I was living in Nashville at the time and the pandemic was already happening. I was working in a restaurant so I couldn't fly home for a weekend just because it was way too dangerous to try and see him if I was seeing that many people publicly.

One morning I just woke up after having a dream about him and immediately I wrote the first verse and the first chorus. I was recording a voice memo to remember it and in the recording I just kept going and my brain wrote the whole second verse and second chorus. I remember it was a weird experience. After I finished it I was like, “Is that done now? Did that just happen in front of me and I was completely unaware?” But it's moments like that where you finish the song and you realize, ‘This is actually me; this is my soul.’

I didn't have to think about this because I was feeling these things and I didn't know it was a reflection of the emotion and honestly that’s why I write in the first place because it's something in my mind. There's conflict going on or there's an emotion that is hard for me to face in conversations with friends or myself and somehow it will come out in the melody or the lyrics in a way that I hadn't thought about before. Then I get to look at it and realize what I was feeling the whole time and it is healing in a way. Yes, I am still sad that this is the situation. No, there aren't really any solutions. But now I have this piece of art that can reflect how I was feeling in that moment and if it connects with somebody else, great. If nobody knows that “Crying Blue” is about my dad and what's going on, then fine. It just gave me a piece of mind.

The same goes for my latest single, “Brand New”. I think we as a society move really quickly and think really frequently about past experiences and future experiences and being in the present is not easy. I wanted to try and create something that is three minutes long that puts me back in the present moment and in my body and realizing that we don't have to carry past experiences into the present or into the future because we change and people change. You can have a clean slate whenever you want and just because you were this way in the past doesn't mean you are that way now. I think growth is super important and the lyrics “Wash my mouth of all the little things// Clean it out and begin again” was about how the way you’ve behaved in the past no longer needs to define you.

I remember my first year of college I was very shy. I didn't really tell anybody that I did music or I played guitar. I wouldn't really play for anyone or sing that frequently because I didn't think it was what anyone wanted to hear. As the years went on little by little I think I broke out of that shell. Even saying I am an artist is still a little bit hard for me to fully embrace, especially because I've worked in so many different areas of the industry now, but I am this person and I know in my heart that I'm this person, so in these new people that I'm meeting and as life moves forward and other chapters are started, I want to feel comfortable bringing who I am into the future instead of carrying that doubt and that fear the rest of my life. That's not functional for anybody and I wanted to try to express that everyone has the opportunity to do that. It can take a long time; healing is not linear and you can bring past experiences into the future without even realizing it, but do mental checks with yourself and try to see the year’s worth of growth instead of focusing on a bad moment. Yes you will have bad days, bad weeks, bad months; but if you look at years of your life, have you grown? How have you grown? How have you come into your own? I really like that message.