Local pixie song seamstress Tree Read has an album out called “First Grade”.
It is a charming indie-acoustic real-life story about her experiences as a girl in the world. I wanted to know about her process and snuck a peak inside her charming world as a modern female artist, so we sat down over coffee and had a few words.
Q: How long have you been writing music?
Tree: My song are actually poems I sing to people. I have been writing poetry from the age of 7. When I was 14 years old, I received a breakup text from an older boy I was dating at the time. I was heartbroken, and when my stepfather and I put our money together for my first guitar from Corner Music, I wrote my very first song, “Ow”.
Q: What is the process for the creation of an album for you?
Tree: I create the album art first, paintings usually, and the rest seems to fall into place. I have no idea what is to come with this next EP, but one thing I do know is that when I get the ego out, great things happen.
There will be people that tell you that you can’t. You can’t-you’re too tall. You can’t-people don’t want to listen. You can’t do what you love. They believe that because they didn’t get their dream, why should you?
Q: What inspired you to kickstart “First Grade”?
Tree: I woke up one day and decided I wanted to write an album.
I didn’t know anything except that it was going to happen.
Q: What were your informative years like growing up?
Tree: I went to boarding school for 6 years, and then I went to college in Switzerland. It was a pretty intense learning experience, and it’s the funniest things that stick. To remember mountains and capitals for geography, I would sing to myself to remember.
Q: What was your major in Switzerland as a student?
Tree: Art History, or as they say, getting into student debt.
Q: For your next ep, what information would you willing to release about it?
Tree: This brings me back to the story of “First Grade”, actually. For Christmas break from college, I came back to Nashville for my very first show at 12th and Porter on 12-21-12, which was supposedly rumored to be the end of the world at that time. Literally 2 days before Christmas was when I decided I was going to move out, drop out, get sober, and move in with my boyfriend. All at once. All of this decided in one day. So I started telling myself, “I’m going to record an album, I’m going to record an album.” Two days later I was in the studio. So that is “First Grade”. This next ep is me reaching out to the universe. I have no idea what is going to happen, and that is the beauty of it. The cover for it is compiled of spray paint, photography, and flower petals on canvas. I have been sober for two and a half years now, and that’s been a big part of my music as well as letting my self feel things and reaching out to others.
Q: The track “Something Higher” is a very emotionally charged song on the list. In juxtaposition of the more, poppy Bowie vibe, I was taken back. What moved you to write it?
Tree: The album was completely finished at one point. We were done recording! Merely two days after the fact, my mother rented a hotel room for the two of us. She sat me down and told me that she had cancer. I rushed back in the studio and recorded that song for her.
Q: If you could share the stage with 3 musicians of your choice, who would you choose and why?
Tree: 1) Patti Smith, for she is more of a poet than a musician.
2) Mike Campbell from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, for his understated guitar wizardry.
3) and Mick Jagger, for his energy, man.
Q: So, as a note to other singer-songwriters trying to get their emotions and messages out, what would you say to budding musicians such as yourself?
Tree: Think about what you're selling yourself. Half of my brain is selling what the other half is buying. Don't sell yourself short, and don't get caught up in your own emotions when there is a whole world of emotion to explore out there.