Exclusive: Tenille Townes Discusses “As You Are,” Touring, and New Music on the Horizon

Tenille Townes released her new Ryan Hadlock-produced single “As You Are” last month. Since then, the song she co-penned with David Pramik and Mags Duval has been warming the hearts of fans around the world. Earlier this week, Townes sat down with American Songwriter to talk about the new song, touring, and what’s next for her.

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During the conversation, she got into the writing process of the song and what it means to her. She also revealed what it was like to work with Hadlock in a secluded studio in Seattle, Washington. Townes also shared her favorite parts about being on the road and working on her next full-length release.

[RELATED: Behind The Song: “Girl Who Didn’t Care” by Tenille Townes]

Tenille Townes Didn’t Know She Wrote “As You Are” for Herself

“I definitely feel like as we were writing this song, I had wrapped my head around the idea that it was about being there for someone else,” Townes explained. “Like, this picture of literally standing out in the middle of the storm and the pouring rain and waiting for them to open the door whenever they’re ready.” The heart of the song, she said, was “the idea of unconditional acceptance to hopefully make someone feel like they could show up and be exactly who they are.”

However, when she listened to the finished product, she had an epiphany. “When we finished the song a I listened back to it, it definitely hit me in a different way. I was like ‘Wow, I think I was writing this because it’s what I wanted to hear when I’m struggling to let someone in,’” she recalled. She went on to say that the song became more personal the more she listened to it.

[RELATED: Exclusive Interview: Tenille Townes Captures the Spirit of Her Adventure on ‘Train Track Worktapes’]

Townes Discusses Working with Ryan Hadlock

“It was awesome,” Townes said of working with Hadlock. “I really enjoyed the opportunity to step outside of the comfort zone and go create something in this isolated and inspiring place.” Then, she added, “I literally lived in the studio in the middle of the Washington forest for ten days. It felt like a year sometimes because the rest of the world disappeared for those ten days and I loved the space and the freedom to really explore new sonic things.”

More than that, Townes said she enjoys Hadlock’s production style. “I really love the space that Ryan creates in a lot of the productions that he works on. You can kind of feel like when you listen to the records he’s been a part of,” she said. “And, I really enjoyed the way he was able to bring forward more of the vulnerable tones and things that I think my songs lean towards but also give it a bit of an edge.”

Tenille Townes Is Working on New Music

Townes spent ten days at the studio in Seattle. While there, she cut four songs that will go on her next full-length release. When asked for information on what’s next, she said, “I’m in the middle of it. At this point, I feel like I’m at the halfway point where I’m working on writing and some other production things that are going to be a part of where we’re going musically with this.” Then, she added, “I think I’m at the thematic halfway point like, ‘Okay, here’s some really strong anchors and themes that keep showing up in what I’m writing.’ I’m still stirring on the songwriting process on the rest of what I want to say for this snapshot little season of my life.”

Townes went on to say that she is still working on writing the rest of the album. However, she has a roadmap for how she wants it to sound. “It’s like what would it sound like if I just showed up and played this music that’s on my heart the way that I do and how can we find ways to support that without it trying to be anything? I really enjoy how that feels.”

Her Favorite Parts of Being on the Road

Townes will be back on the road this spring. She’ll have some festival appearances and several headlining dates starting in April. During her chat with American Songwriter, she revealed her favorite parts of being on tour.

“I love the road,” she said. “I’ve had the best time getting to open for so many of my heroes and loved the opportunity to be introduced to so many audiences. It’s really exciting to me to feel like I’m starting to notice some people are coming to our headlining shows and seeing some familiar faces from those,” Townes explained. “I love any show we get to play but our own club shows are definitely among my favorites.”

Then, she explained what makes playing live so special to her. “It’s that sacred feeling that exists in a room when everyone is realizing that they’re a lot more alike than they are different. It’s like we’ve all got different movies in our head that a song is bringing up emotions and memories for,” she explained. “All of those movies are unique to each person but the common thread of emotion is the same. It floods through the whole room. There’s nothing like that feeling, it’s the high that I am constantly chasing.”

Fatured Image by Matthew Berinato

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