This past Friday, Tessa Violet released her EP Halloway to the world. While Maybe Trapped Mostly Troubled, her debut album, is an indie lovers dream, this new release solidifies her place in the pop world. A collection of 5 tracks, Halloway includes Tessa’s signature mix of instrumentals and synth elements combined with her mellow vocals and words that tells vivid stories.
The EP opens up with the first single, which we posted about a few weeks ago, Dream. A song with dreamy instrumentals and lyrics about wanting someone but only having them in your dreams. The song comes with a stunning visual piece, a music video that takes you through different rooms of Tessa’s mind.
Next, we have probably the most mainstream feeling pop song on the record – Not Over You. Opening with guitar, then vocals, and the beat. The song is about being in a relationship that just isn’t working. Tessa sings about trying to make it work and not being over it even though she knows that it’s not working. “I gotta know how you can tweet but you can text me.” Probably the most relatable line, especially in today’s connected society. Tessa released the music video for this song the same day – featuring fun vibes and visuals.
Haze plays third on the EP, a bluesy-indie-mellow track where Tessa sings about being fooled by a guy who is using her. The song is essentially about dealing with depression or anxiety and the repercussions of having to cope with these issues. The feeling of not being right, the Haze being the fugue you feel because of the mental illness taking control. The deep bass seems like it’s dispensing the haze, or maybe that’s my imagination running wild here. Again, the visuals that Tessa’s songs create are all part of the reason she’s so great at what she does.
On My Own reminds me of a classic rock song with modern influences. The guitars and percussion take you through the mind of feeling scared, trapped, and anxious, though the lyrics are quite telling. Tessa sings about wanting more but feeling fine on her own. The anxiety of meeting new people and feeling like you have to try really hard is something so many people go through. Perhaps the feeling of doing fine on her own is not dealing with the anxiety and feeling scared. A sad song, yet extremely relatable.
Finally, the EP ends with I Don’t Get to Say I Love You Anymore. A surprisingly happy sounding instrumental to a lyrically sad song. Just as it sounds from the title, the song tells a story of not being able to say you love someone who’s broken up with you and not being able to get them out of your head. The instrumental makes it seem like things will be just fine, that there is a way to “find [your] voice once more” as Tessa sings.
The EP gives us a huge glimpse into Tessa Violet’s mind. She certainly goes through so much, as we all do. Writing these songs are most likely her way of dealing with the issues at hand. Tessa is quite the story teller, dare I say in the same vein as Taylor Swift, who’s also able to tell vivid stories through her music. Tessa lives in Nashville so perhaps honing in on her craft was influenced by the story tellers of country music – where Taylor Swift also calls home. An EP not to miss, Halloway provides listeners with a fantastic musical journey.