We're used to seeing (or hearing) homegrown singer-songwriter Tabitha Nauser dropping killer beats such as her breakout hit 'Bulletproof' and the recent 'Don't Let Me Drown'. But on things i should have said, Nauser presented her most vulnerable self to the public. ICYMI, 'hurricane' is on repeat and is featured on 'Mixtape Mondays'.
Romance envelop the three-track self-released EP, addressing deteriorating relationships, habits repeating itself, and more—yet still keeping an underlying glimmer of hope and claims a triumphant finish.
We caught up with Nauser to learn more about the concept of things i should have said and its intentions.
ESQ: Love and relationship connect and anchor all three songs in this EP. What motivated you to document the issues faced in this specific chapter of your life?
Tabitha Nauser: I wasn’t even actually thinking of documenting anything. This sprung from a place of having to sort through emotions and became more of a therapy session of sorts for me.
I’m usually the sort of person to shove things down and ignore anything that bothers me—I absolutely hate confrontation—but the events in this year really forced me to go face to face with discomfort and I think that has helped me grow a lot personally.
ESQ: How does music help to manage and confront the emotions culminated from passion?
Tabitha Nauser: Not to get too technical but music is scientifically proven to be beneficial to the human mind. It releases dopamine which makes you feel happier, it lowers stress by decreasing Cortisol. These are already great building blocks to heal with.
I think for me, writing about a topic or emotion helps me process the situation a little better and makes it tangible; there it is on paper, it’s in black and white, and somehow it doesn’t seem as daunting or scary or painful as I thought it was.
ESQ: The phrase 'things I should have said' suggests a hint of regret. Tell us more about the decision to define and title the EP with this phrase. Should life have a ‘take two’, similar to recording a song in the studio?
Tabitha Nauser: It took me the longest time to come up with a title. In fact, it was the last thing I finalized, which happened only a week before submitting the EP. But once I came up with it, I knew it was the right fit.
I’ve often struggled with the concept of a do-over. I look at major turning points in my life and think “What if I did get a chance to do it over again? Would I really not take it? And wouldn’t I be dumb to believe that a wiser version of me wouldn’t be able to cause a better outcome?”.
But as the years have gone by, I’ve started to believe that everything happens for a reason and it’s what you do after that counts. So every day, I work making these ‘afters’ work in my favour.
ESQ: Why go independent with this release?
Tabitha Nauser: I guess at the start of this year, I never realized I would be independently releasing an entire body of work. I love my old label and team, they were amazing in all they did for the past three years, and without them, I believe I wouldn’t be able to be where I am now.
But I think with any relationship, people grow and sometimes grow apart in their vision. I was adamant about putting this EP and new music out this year, and they felt strongly about another direction. Which is completely fine—I understand exactly where they were coming from but I just felt like I needed to do this for myself.
So in the end, we both agreed, and I was given their blessing to work on this project.
ESQ: In the midst of despair, you’re still holding on to hope. So besides music, what else do you engage to lift your spirits up and not give up?
Tabitha Nauser: Anyone that knows me, knows that I love laughing. I’m so quick to be giggly and I’ve always been like that. Laughter really is the best medicine. 😂
ESQ: What made you revisit ‘hurricane’ and release it instead of featuring another new track?
Tabitha Nauser: I stumbled on this track when I was having a clean up of my computer and was surprised that a song I wrote almost two years ago had the same emotion and feelings I was feeling towards the end of last year. That’s really what drove me to work on it again because I felt that it was incomplete in its storytelling.
It was such an important track when I wrote it at the time, that I was so afraid to let anyone listen to it because I was worried about the repercussions of it—the questions I’d be getting and maybe the judgment from it as well?
Rediscovering it again a couple of months ago, after having sorted through most of my emotions, made me really sit in a place of peace and I was ready to share it with the world.
ESQ: How do feelings aid in recognising a particular sound you wanted, especially for this release? Do you usually go with intuition or reference an equivalent sound?
Tabitha Nauser: For this release especially, I found that I was focusing more on the message I was trying to get across as opposed to the experience I was trying to get a listener to feel sonically. Paying attention more to the messaging and storytelling made it easier, in a sense, because I knew I didn’t want too many things happening production-wise to distract the listener.
I kept a lot of the tracks similar to their demos, with 'hurricane' being the closest. When it comes to making my music, I am very intuitive, and if something feels right, then I’m all in 100%.
ESQ: Lastly, what is the gutsiest thing you’ve done music-wise?
Tabitha Nauser: Probably parting ways with my label? That being said, I am definitely not against ever signing to a label again. I’m excited to see what happens in 2020. The possibilities are endless and I’m open to whatever comes my way!
'things i should have said' is now available to purchase and stream on Apple Music.