Reflecting on A Japanese Fever Dream with Talltale

>> Canadian electro-pop artist Talltale has recently released a thoughtful and inspiring EP, 'A Japanese Fever Dream.' We were fortunate enough to hear some of Tatiana Zagorac's thoughts and creative process behind this beautiful and mesmerizing release. Check out her insightful blog post below about how her trip to Japan opened her up to new experiences and ultimately changed the way she created music!

In 2016, I went to Japan for the first time with a group of friends and found myself incredibly moved by the experience. I’d done my fair share of traveling before, but this was the first time I’d ever felt so completely out of my element, and that’s when the seed was planted of an idea for an album about Japan.

In my mind, music and visuals are almost inseparable - one always inspires the other. When I went back to Japan in November of 2017, I really started to nail down which visuals and accompanying musical vibes I wanted on the record. In the midst of doing some writing sessions for J-pop artists, I did a write with Ryosuke Sakai and we ended up making “Shed My Skin” that day. I knew I wanted to keep the song for myself instead of giving it to another artist and I think that’s when I knew that the lyrical content of the record would be about my relationship with myself and my environment instead of my relationship with other people (which has been the focus of all of the previous releases).

I narrowed down the visuals to five main looks and accompanying musical vibes: “Tokyo” I wanted to feel the most comprehensive - heavy with montages to try and capture the blur of being there, and full of excitement musically, with inspiration from artists like Porter Robinson and M83; “Shed My Skin” was visually meant to match the neon busy-ness of evening downtown Tokyo, with the song sounding darker and grittier as well, lyrically reflecting on the process of confronting your dark parts in order to better yourself; “Early Bird” is very sunny and fun, like a lazy Sunday morning vibe. I found myself always waking up with the sun in Japan, full of energy, which is a huge contrast to the version of me at home that sleeps in and constantly feels like she has a hazy brain due to factors like anxiety. I thought it would be an interesting juxtaposition to make a fun, poppy song about the widespread issue of anxiety and depression; “The Fall” is light and airy, both visually and musically. I wanted to use the beauty of the sakura in the video and for the lyrics to sound a bit fantastical. The lyrics are about mindfulness and allowing yourself to jump into things without fear, and I think it’s the most cinematic lyrically; “Tomorrow” is the last song on the record and is set in twilight, reflective both visually and lyrically. Musically, it was really inspired by the vibe of songs like "Serendipity" by BTS and "You're Cute" by Tomppabeats.

As an artist, lyrics have always been the most important thing to me. All of my favourite albums that feel kind of timeless to me are ones that didn’t worry about what was popular at the time and were more concerned about giving you an honest look into the artist’s private thoughts. Like a diary or a conversation you’d only have with your closest friend, their songs feel so intimate. Artists like Imogen Heap have such an incredible way of making the unconversational, conversational. Some people might find some of the lyrics a little bit technical in their language, but I love finding the perfect word with a connotation that stirs up very particular memories in someone. I think that giving listeners a bit of space in your lyrics to fill in the blanks with their own experiences, instead of painting the full picture for them with every detail, allows people to put themselves in your music instead of feeling like they’re just peering into your life.

I hope that the album can serve as a soundtrack to people's own journeys of self-growth, whether those journeys be a physical trip to a new place or a reflective evening walk in their own neighborhood! <<

Listen to 'A Japanese Fever Dream' HERE!

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