Tristen: In Her Time

Photo by Kristy Benjamin

The week before we met for coffee and tea at East Nashville’s Dose, Tristen posed a question on her Facebook page.

“What are the origins of ethical thinking in human beings.” she wrote. Not surprisingly, it was difficult to get anyone to dive deep into the gray area of morality as she’d wanted to do, and, coupled with a few sarcastic responses here and there, Tristen, born Tristen Gaspadarek in Lansing, Illinois, felt unsatisfied. And that’s because she’s looking for truth. Or, maybe, the reasons we find our truths to even be true at all.

“Really, what are those core truths.” she asks, sitting at a table at the minimalistic coffee shop a few blocks from her house. She’s wearing all red: red button up top, red pants in the same exact shade. Against the Instagram-appropriate all-white interior with little accents of glass and light wood, Tristen’s choice of clothing feels almost contrarian. She’s been thinking a lot about our value systems lately, particularly in the time of Trump (she was a diehard Bernie Sanders supporter): about the ego, survival of the fittest and how almost everything is relative, really. But her third album, Sneaker Waves, focuses on the one thing in life we actually know for sure. And that’s the inevitability of death, which can come — like a sneaker wave, rushing innocently out of the seemingly calm seas — at any moment.

“I’ve been doing a lot of shows lately and one of the things I talk about is, ‘Hey, we’re all going to die, so maybe we should let that inform our choices,’” she says, with... Sign In to Keep Reading

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