LA-Based singer-songwriter Katelyn Tarver releases her new single ‘Nicer‘, a striking new single and video (directed by Fiori) that unfolds in shimmering grooves and lush guitar tones as she reflects on her people-pleasing tendencies. Premiered with Atwood Magazine, it follows previous singles ‘All Our Friends Are Splitting Up‘ (also on NPR & Flaunt Magazine) and ‘Shit Happens‘ from her upcoming album Subject to Change – out 12th November.
Tarver explains: “The opening line of this song is inspired by my mom scolding me for honking at a car who cut me off in traffic. She was visiting me in LA, and I guess didn’t think the guy who cut me off deserved a honk. “Gosh Katelyn! You used to be nicer!” (meant to be read in a thick southern accent for full effect). It made me laugh, but it also weirdly stuck with me for years afterward. I think because it hit on a part of me that I was trying to get to know. The part of me that isn’t such a people pleaser. Who isn’t afraid to speak her mind a little more. To all the former rule followers and recovering people pleasers, may this song help us get out there and be a dick sometimes if we need to.”
On this new album, Tarver emerges as the rare kind of artist capable of capturing painful truths in impossibly lovely pop songs that strike every raw nerve. Subject to Change’s graceful convergence of pop, folk and indie-rock spotlights spellbinding vocal work from Tarver, whose journey as the title suggests is ever-changing.
With a record of media acclaim from the likes of The Guardian, Billboard, GRAMMY.com, NYLON, Earmilk, BlackBook, Oprah Magazine and millions of followers, on ‘Subject to Change’ Tarver 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.”
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.
In 2014 she experienced a major breakthrough when “Crazy Stupid Love” (a song she’d co-written for British pop star Cheryl) shot to #1 on the UK Singles Chart. Tarver soon made her debut as an artist with the 2017 single “Weekend Millionaires,” a much-buzzed-about track that later appeared on her Tired Eyes EP. Created with famed producer Ludwig Göransson (HAIM, Childish Gambino, Alicia Keys), Tired Eyes also featured “You Don’t Know,” a heart-melting ballad whose viral live video has amassed over 55 million views to date. With her acclaimed EP Kool Aid arriving in 2018, Tarver next acted alongside Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in the fourth season of HBO’s “Ballers,” and in 2019 was selected by Ryan Tedder, Shane McAnally, and Ester Dean as the winner of her episode of NBC’s “Songland.” On her forthcoming album Subject to Change, Tarver embarks on a bold new era in her musical evolution, setting her exacting self-reflection to a gorgeously nuanced sound.
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