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Tallie Gabriel - Voices Interview


Tallie Gabriel’s work is born out of moments of tender vulnerability. Her music is steeped in warmth and affectionate intimacy—exactly how she likes her heart best. Her poetic lyrics and thoughtful storytelling combined with her lilting voice have drawn comparisons to the likes of Regina Spektor, Ingrid Michaelson, and Sufjan Stevens. She draws inspiration from a variety of indie singer-songwriter and folk predecessors, as well as incorporating the influence of the trad Irish, Bal-musette, and classical motifs that attracted her to the cello and music composition when she was younger. Gabriel is 1/4 of the folk group Cardboard Rocketship.


What is your earliest memory of music? And, how did you get started in music? My grandmother's alarm is her local classical music radio station, but it takes her about two hours to wake up to it once it starts. So my earliest memory of music is probably hearing these grand, epic symphonies and concertos coming from her room from 8-10 AM and having that as a breakfast/playtime soundtrack when we visited. I made up little songs and hummed CONSTANTLY as a child. My mom eventually asked if my sister and I wanted to take music lessons, and I picked guitar first since I wanted an instrument I could sing with. My sister chose violin, and I began learning cello a few years later after I went to see her performance at music camp and became obsessed with the cello section in the orchestra. (The depth of sound they made! And everyone looked like they were hugging their instrument.) It wasn't until years later that I began to experiment with singing while playing cello, and everything seemed to click. What was the first song you ever wrote? What or who inspired you to start writing music? The first song I ever wrote was a one-verse, one-chorus anthem for my favorite stuffed animal toy. I wrote my first kind of good song when I was fifteen -- my sister wrote a piano part and I did the music and lyrics. It was about a really intense crush I'd developed on someone at my school who was moving back to Japan. He didn't even know I liked him, and we'd spoken maybe three times ever, but I was devastated that our love would never see its true potential! (I have no idea what became of him, come to think of it, but I hope he's doing well.) Do you play any instruments? If yes tell us about it. If not, do you work with a band or studio musicians? Do you produce your tracks or work with a producer? I do! I play cello, guitar, and bass. For this EP, I did work with producer Julian Giaimo, who did the percussion and guitar. Halsey Harkins did the piano and backing vocals. I love collaborating with my very talented friends, and the additions they made totally helped shape the songs. What is your favorite part about being an artist (performing, recording, writing, playing)?

To me, there are few things as magical in this world as live music. That audience connection and energy in the room might make performing my favorite (which is very sad these days, since venues are closed), but I also really cherish the writing part. It's so helpful and cathartic to process emotions and experiences through music! Do you have any advice for young women pursuing music?


Make what moves you, and turn to people whose opinion and expertise you really trust when you're looking for feedback and actionable criticism. Remember that people (especially cishet men, sorry cishet men but it you) love to give you their advice and opinion when you haven't asked for it, and you are under no obligation to take it in. Kind of along those lines, it's felt vital for me to not get caught up in what other people think of the art I make. Of course you want your work to resonate, you want people to listen, and it is the most gratifying feeling ever when someone says they were moved by something you've made, when you're able to foster a little moment of connection and maybe make someone feel understood. But I also know my music isn't going to be that for everyone, and that some people will just flat out not like it! And I think it's necessary to make peace with the fact that art is subjective, that your job as an artist is to make from your truth and offer to the world what comes from your heart, and that that's really all you can do. For readers who have never heard your music, can you suggest one or two songs to start with?


Story :)

What do you feel your strengths are as an artist?


I'm a writer and poet and pursued writing really seriously while I actually took a bit of a hiatus from music, so I've always felt strongest about my lyrics. I love metaphors and poetic phrases that don't always necessarily follow a traditional song structure, but they feel so correct in my brain.

Tell us where fans can access your music. Provide 1 or 2 links here:


I'm a writer and poet and pursued writing really seriously while I actually took a bit of a hiatus from music, so I've always felt strongest about my lyrics. I love metaphors and poetic phrases that don't always necessarily follow a traditional song structure, but they feel so correct in my brain.


Find on Apple.


Stream on Spotify.

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