Tristen Announces New Album 'Aquatic Flowers'

AQUATIC FLOWERS is preceded by today’s premiere of the new single, 'Complex,' available now at all DSPs and streaming services.

By: Mar. 02, 2021
Tristen Announces New Album 'Aquatic Flowers'

Acclaimed singer-songwriter Tristen has announced the release of her eagerly awaited new album. AQUATIC FLOWERS arrives via Mama Bird Recording Co. on Friday, June 4; pre-orders are available now. AQUATIC FLOWERS is preceded by today's premiere of the new single, "Complex," available now at all DSPs and streaming services. The song is accompanied by her self-directed and edited official music video, guest-starring Vanessa Carlton, Stefanie Drootin, Kristy Benjamin, Alise Grysen, and Alyssa Milano.

"The song 'Complex' casts an eye on someone trapped in a cycle of self-sabotage," says Tristen. "It's about someone who actually feels comfortable repeating the same patterns and making the same mistakes because -- even though they're painful, even though they're clearly unhealthy -- they are, more importantly, familiar. The song asks: how many of us blackout, stumbling forth, blindly operated by the unconscious, the complexes that keep us attracted to our own familiar downfall?"

Regarding the creation of the video, she says: "'Complex' was written in a moment of reckoning, the realization that what I am saying and doing is defeating what I want; it's a song about wrestling with yourself. Although we can be highly skilled at avoiding these moments of retrospect and shame, for many of us, the pandemic completely eliminated the distractions we can use to keep us away from ourselves, leaving many of us stuck between the same few walls, stuck in our own heads. We are hamsters running inside a metal wheel, trying to keep the monsters at bay. I just kept seeing a group of women stressercizing feverishly, even aggressively -- attempting to calm the voices in their heads, trying to keep moving, grasping for feel-good chemicals, hoping to please the inner painter of the shadow--as a cool image that would mark the desperation of making the same mistakes over and over again."

Tristen's first new release in more than three years and 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."

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.

Watch the video for "Complex" here:

Photo Credit: Emily Beaver