Tania Joy‘s life had taken a dramatic shift before penning her latest track, “Blink.” Born after a gruesome period of writer’s block, the Ontario-based singer/songwriter’s new song captures feeling blindsided by a sudden breakup and the reckoning that follows.
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“I remember giving myself permission to write a bad song in order to clear the cobwebs and the fear that comes with staring at a blank page,” says Joy. “In the same sitting, I put pen to paper for what was to become ‘Blink’.”
Co-written with James Linderman, and produced by Hill Kourkoutis (Digging Roots, Leela Gilday, Madison Violet), the song treks through the shadows, seeking strength and defiance. She and Hill — who met at an online songwriting workshop — agreed this track should be “hypnotic and spellbound” by nature with dramatic production. Crafted “pandemic style,” Joy tracked her vocals and acoustic guitar in her makeshift home studio. The product was an immersive, cinematic experience that transforms a seemingly personal pain into something universally resonant.
“I love trying to approach stories through a lens or perspective that is new to me. I want to make people feel something that connects them to the core of the song,” says the artist. As a songwriter, her best work comes in the epicenter of the emotion she’s trying to tell. Joy continues, I am drawn to people – what makes us different and what makes us the same. So, I find myself digging deep, searching for understanding and chasing stories that resonate with people so I can channel those feelings and connect them back to the listener.”
She brings a high level of emotional intelligence to the songwriting process. “I try to write from a pure and open place to live in the inspiration and ideation of the song for as long as possible before moving to the editing phase, where I rationalize and tweak elements of the song and use devices to bring all the aspects together to reinforce the message of the song,” says Joy. “I love the magic that happens when you introduce collaboration.”
Nearly eight years after her 2013 debut EP, I’ll Be Around, “Blink” arrives third in a series of singles Joy released this year — following her powerful protest song “Planks and Marietta” and “The Drought,” a song about hitting rock bottom in a relationship. With the help of her collaborators, Joy encapsulates the devastation of one’s life changing beyond control. Blink, as if this was never your thing, a mirage constantly leaving, she laments, boldly facing her denial. Strengthening through every verse, the artist embraces uncertainty in an empowering first step out of the darkness.
“I want people to feel empowered by this song,” says Joy. “I want them to feel that no matter what life throws at them, they can overcome any situation.”
Photo by Tracy Walker