Los Angeles-via-Georgia singer/songwriter Katelyn Tarver releases her brand new album ‘Subject To Change’, out now on all streaming platforms and on physical formats on 14 January. The album features already released singles ‘Hurt Like That’ (premiered on Under the Radar), ‘Nicer‘ (premiered on Atwood Magazine), ‘All Our Friends Are Splitting Up‘ (premiered on Flaunt Magazine and the acoustic version on CLASH) and ‘Shit Happens‘. She recently performed some of her album tracks during a Paste session here.
On ‘Subject to Change’, Katelyn emerges as the rare kind of artist capable of capturing the most painful truths through her willingness to bare all with her lyrics, all wrapped up in impossibly gorgeous pop songs. With a record of media acclaim from the likes of The Guardian, Billboard, GRAMMY.com, NYLON, Earmilk, Oprah Magazine and millions of followers, on her new album, Katelyn explores the complexities that come with navigating life through your 20s and 30s.
With lyrics that capture a bracing specificity that strikes every raw nerve, she documents a turbulent period in her recent past, shedding light on all the grief, confusion and a lost sense of self. Infinitely brightened by her radiant voice, the result is the musical equivalent of a brutally honest conversation with a close friend – one that leaves you undeniably rattled but with a renewed clarity and deeper understanding of your own chaotic heart.
Co-written and produced with longtime collaborators including Davis Naish, David Arkwright and Justin Gammella (Ashe, Lennon Stella), Tarver explains her thoughts around the album: “I think a lot of us go through that phase in life where you ask yourself, ‘Is this it?’ It can be so isolating and so hard to talk about, especially with social media and all the pressure to always have your shit together. Life is unpredictable. For all the stories of triumph and resilience, there are just as many stories of failure and getting lost. The addict relapses. The happy couple gets divorced. The one you’ve put on a pedestal lets you down. Finding the love of your life doesn’t solve your problems. You know the expression, the only way out is through? These songs are me making my way through. Giving myself permission to not have the answers. Letting myself feel it all. The pain, the joy, the confusion, the bittersweet in-between…I learned that uncertainty can be an open door. And that change is a constant invitation I want to learn to accept.”
The first song Tarver penned for ‘Subject to Change’, the delicately textured ‘Downhill From Here’ sets the tone for the album’s unchecked candor, an element perfectly encapsulated in the track’s opening lines: ‘I’m done taking advice from anybody under 50’. “That’s something I said out loud to my friends when we were all sitting on the beach—it came from feeling frustrated with myself for always looking outward for someone to tell me I’m on the right path,” Tarver recalls.
All throughout ‘Subject to Change’, katelyn upholds that refusal to compromise her complexity or sugar-coat her narrative. On ‘Shit Happens’, with its lilting string work and luminous piano melodies, she takes a wildly refreshing stance against toxic positivity. One of the album’s more lighthearted tracks, ‘Nicer’ unfolds in shimmering grooves and lush guitar tones as she reflects on her tendency to people-please, and on ‘Year From Now’, she delivers a folk-infused meditation on the healing power of time.
A particularly gut-punching moment on ‘Subject to Change’, ‘All Our Friends Are Splitting Up’ examines the sometimes-daunting challenge of preserving a long-term relationship. Centered on a beautifully devastating vocal performance from Katelyn, the track proves her gift for balancing untamed emotion with exacting self-awareness and even a bit of offhand humor (“I know we process things/A little differently/But I’m jumping off the bridge/While you watch TV”). “No one gets into a relationship thinking it will end, especially not a marriage,” says Tarver, who got married in her early 20s. And those are just a handful of gems on an album brimming with depth and emotion.
Thanks to that unfettered self-expression, ‘Subject to Change’ ultimately instills listeners with a newfound willingness to embrace their own messiness and mutability. “As I was writing and exploring all the emotions that went into this album, I finally got to the point of admitting that there’s so much I don’t have figured out—which is really scary, but also incredibly freeing,” she says. “The reality is that none of us knows what we’re doing; we’re all just trying our best. It’s been a big deal to let myself be open to being in progress like that, and I hope these songs can be a friend to anyone facing uncertainty or change. That’s what they’ve been for me.”
About Katelyn Tarver
With her radiant voice and soul-baring songwriting, Katelyn Tarver delivers a finespun brand of indie-pop that’s both intensely vulnerable and powerfully cathartic. After getting her start performing in prestigious talent competitions as a child growing up in Glennville, Georgia (a tiny rural town where her family owned a candy factory), she moved to Los Angeles at age 19 to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. Also an accomplished actor, Tarver promptly made her TV debut with a recurring role on Nickelodeon’s ‘Big Time Rush’, then began independently releasing her music while penning songs for other artists.