Amidst all the craziness of post-Thanksgiving shopping madness, I’m excited to officially announce the release of my new single, “Therapy”.
This November marked three years since I released any original material. Yes—three years. Imagine what you were like three years ago, and how much you might have changed since then. For some, you may find slight changes in personality or habits you may not have valued prior. For others, it may be a complete shift entirely--job changes, a new lifestyle, differing values—an endless potential for change, renewal, and experience. Wherever you find yourself on the spectrum, whether quite a bit has changed in three years or just a little, change is inevitable. My life has gone through some major shifts in the past three years, and consequently, so has my music.
In December of 2014 I led my last Encore at Anderson University, a production with a built-in house band that showcases on campus singers, with a handsome, charming, and ingenious guitar player. *Spoiler alert*, he’s now my husband. I spent my last day of my senior year talking myself into asking Marshall on our first date (which he didn’t realize was a date until the group I “invited” didn’t show up, but that’s for a later post).
Little did I know, the next year was going to be a whirlwind.
I moved to Nashville, Tennessee, starry-eyed and enamored by the thought of music city, in January 2015. Within the span of just a couple weeks, I was knee-deep into a fast-pace weekly process of writing, recording, performing, and re-writing.
In February of 2015, within the span of two weeks, my remaining two grandparents passed away. I don’t remember much of what happened over those two weeks, but I’m sure I’ve repressed the memory over the course of the past couple of years. I do remember coming back to my internship at the Contemporary Music Center feeling drained of any creative ideas and desperate for sleep.
In March of 2015 I went on the CMC tour, nine hour days which included set-up and tear-down of our tour rig, attempting to keep healthy, and performing on numerous platforms. The entire tour I was exhausted, and blamed it on the common cold. When I came home from Nashville that April, a quick trip to urgent care revealed I had been suffering from mono for the past few months.
In May I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Business, and returned home to frantically search for any and all job opportunities in Nashville. In the fall, Marshall was planning to fulfill the same internship I had at CMC in Nashville. Marshall and I had dated long-distance for the whole of our relationship, and I was more than ready to move back to Nashville.
I moved back to Nashville in just a couple months, right as Marshall began his semester at CMC. I wore several hats (as many Nashville artists do): I was a booking agent for a local blues booking agency, built an entire database of venues and network connections for a start-up business in NYC, worked part-time as a sales associate, and was a barista at Starbucks for the two longest weeks in my life.
I was so busy working that I didn’t write any music worthwhile. I moved back home to Ohio in January 2016, empty-handed. As I moved away from Nashville, I started to write again. The music was different than anything I had produced before, as I finally stopped trying to manufacture something that just wasn’t me. I grew up on jazz guitar, classical voice, standards, and the blues. When I moved to Nashville, I wanted to be a folk artist—but the tune wasn’t in my fingers at all. I made music that I believed in, but I remained unsatisfied.
I challenged myself in 2016, to write the best music I had ever written. I drew from my roots, my experience, and the multitude of change my life was still enduring. In March of 2016 I moved back to Anderson, where it all began. I started a job as a studio coordinator at School of Rock, which quickly turned into a full-time vocal coaching, directing, and producing gig.
I drew inspiration from those around me—I was surrounded by good company. I lived in the basement of a house full of friends, my best friend (and eventually Maid of Honor at my wedding) lived just a block away, and my sweet boyfriend was only a few minutes away.
I started to understand the importance of surrounding yourself with lovely things—books, music, and close friends. I found the peace I had been looking for in my own music, and I was falling in love.
In December of 2016 I released Merry Little EP, a jazz-trio cover of some classic Christmas tunes.
In January of 2017 my very best friend in the entire world asked me to marry him, marking one of the most incredible years of my entire life.
This year I planned a wedding, directed three shows at School of Rock, kick-started the summer with a weekend warrior tour schedule (about twenty-six shows), wrote and recorded some jazzy-vintage rock tunes, and got to marry my best friend. My previous apartment also flooded twice in the process, and I made yet another move to Fishers, Indiana.
Early this year, I wrote “Therapy”, a song dedicated to these past few years of transition, change, and renewal. I had undergone change—a major life shift that left me with an entirely new version of Kristen. Sometimes people run from change, dragging their past in tow. “Therapy” is an ode to my past-self, a refusal to let my past define my life even when it haunts me.