Introducing Get To Know… Tomberlin

Against lush backdrops of piano and guitar, Tomberlin searches for answers in her debut album ‘At Weddings’.

Hello and welcome to DIY’s new introducing feature, Get To Know… With two new acts a week, the feature pretty much does what it says on the tin: getting you a little bit closer to the buzziest new acts that have been catching our eye as of late, and working out what makes them tick.

Last week we got to know Croydon singer-songwriter Rachel Chinouriri. Today we’re with new Saddle Creek signing Tomberlin, who’s due to release her debut album ‘At Weddings’ next month.

Born in Jacksonville, Florida, and now based in Louisville, Kentucky, Tomberlin wrote most of ‘At Weddings’ while living with her family in southern Illinois during her late teens and early twenties. After being homeschooled, at sixteen, she joined a private Christian school that she describes, only half jokingly, as a “cult” and by seventeen she had dropped out, returned home and was faced with a period of isolation and change from which the ten soul-searching songs of ‘At Weddings’ were eventually born.

Listen to Tomberlin’s latest track ‘I’m Not Scared’ and get to know her better below.

Describe your music to us in the form of a Tinder bio.

I’m not here for hook-ups, I’m here to cry.

What’s your earliest musical memory?

I’m not sure! Music was always around the house and I was always around music at church. Most of my family’s home videos of me I’m singing 10 minute long songs I’ve made up. Music has always been present so it’s hard to pin down a specific memory.

Who were some artists that inspired you when you were just starting out (and why)?

Ha, I feel like I’m still starting out but, probably Sufjan Stevens. His imagery and story-telling is extremely vivid and personal, but he maintains mystery at the same time. I appreciate that a lot.

Maybe The National? Matt’s songwriting always pulls me in. I also like that he can’t play instruments, but it doesn’t matter cause he can write stories and make them into songs.

I could go on, but those are two artist/bands that I listened to a bunch when I was growing my own taste in music / songwriting.

You’re from Louisville, Kentucky - what’s the music scene like there? Are there other artists breaking through at the same time that you take inspiration from?

I wouldn’t know! I don’t really participate in a “scene”. I also just moved back here in January 2017. I’ve just been working non-stop and I don’t really seek out that kinda thing maybe cause I’ve never been a part of it. I’ve always lived in pretty rural areas apart from Louisville so there was no scene to be a part of.

You’re releasing your debut album ‘At Weddings’ in a few weeks - can you explain a little bit about the themes running through the album? What inspired it?

Themes: Isolation, change, pain, religious guilt, power, anger, true love, self-control, and righteous rage.

What inspired it? My life and heavy isolation.

Who is your dream collaborator and why?

Frank Ocean! I’m bad at choosing one person for any question like this, but I think Frank is really just an avid listener of music and that makes me happy that someone with so much influence in the world right now really just still loves music. There are a lot of people out there that work in this industry and they don’t give a fuck. Frank gives a fuck. Also Blonde destroyed my life (for the best) and he released some of the most beautiful singles last year. He takes his time and it shows in the best way.

Musically or otherwise, what are you most looking forward to in 2018?

Touring! Excited to see faces and meet people who are listening to the record. I really have always appreciated the connection that the internet has given me to people that listen to my music and it’ll be nice to see people irl! And two of my best friends are in my live band and I’m just excited to play this record with them :)

If people could take away one thing from your music, what would it be?

You are not alone out there!

‘At Weddings’ is out 8th August via Saddle Creek.

Tags: Tomberlin, Features, Interviews, Neu, Get to Know

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