Letter.png
1.jpg

Hi Family,

I hope you're all having as good a weekend as possible. I'm sure - like me - you're all still in your feelings about everything that's happened. It's been difficult to settle back into a rhythm the last couple of days. Still, life is happening and needs to be dealt with. For me, that includes preparing to release my album and book finally. I started this journey almost 3 years ago now which seems crazy. The story of my EP is about the process of evolving. For me, that means going from feeling stuck in a painful cycle to realizing that change is possible and then doing the hard work to break free and grow. I wrote this because I have been working on myself for a long time, trying to identify the things that no longer serve me and removing them from my life so that I can become a better person.

IMG_9357.JPG

When I was writing this album, there were a lot of conversations about the message and content of the songs. My producer told me then, that I would have to fully live the story I was writing; that is, that I would go through the growth cycle that I was writing about in its fullest form. Today, nearly 3 years after starting to write what would become this album - almost to the date of dad's diagnosis - I listened to the fully mastered and complete version of the album for the first time. And I cried. I cried because of the catharsis of course. But I also cried because, in a way, I just completed the growth cycle that I preemptively wrote about. I walked away from the experience of Dad's death with a sincere and deep connection with all of you. This album encapsulates, for me, the evolution of my relationship with all of you and subsequently with myself. For that reason, I wanted you to be the first people that I shared the entire album with, along with an explanation of what these songs represent. I hope you'll take 20 minutes to sit with the five songs in their entirety. I think this is the best portrait I could give of my emotional self to you. A self that was raised in our beautiful, dynamic family.

:

Easy Final.jpg

EASY

The first song on this EP is about my experience growing up gay in our family. Mom, we never really discussed the meaning of this song, because I thought it might be too painful; but in light of the circumstance and where we are now, I think it's important you hear this song for what it really means. Our love isn't easy. Our love has always been present, but I felt stuck inside the cycles of our conversations and arguments. This is the emotional starting point for me in the evolutionary cycle. This is where I felt the most stuck in my life.

“Easy” is a haunting, piano-driven ballad bringing together Tennyson’s airy, perfectly emoted vocals with subtle synths. The opening track snaps and cracks in procession — a lamenting dirge to the weight of the lyrics. “Easy”’s strengths lie in its restraint, simmering until slowly boiling over at the song’s emotional climax.

:

Spark Cover No Text.jpg

SPARK

This song is about that moment when I realized that change is actually possible. It's about becoming friends with the darker spaces of myself in order to move past them. Rather than running away from things that I am scared of, it's about leaning into the fear in order to break free from it. To me, this corresponds to when I introduced Kyle to the family for the first time. I saw the potential in that meeting. Even though things didn't go as planned, I knew in that moment that change was possible.

“Spark” is an anthemic mid-tempo sparse in its arrangement yet beaming with emotion. The record pairs drum kit with lush, reverberated vocal coos, embodying the brightness and anticipation of its lyrics.

:

Sacrifice Cover Art No Text.jpg

SACRIFICE

This song is about surrendering myself to the natural flow of life. It's about accepting the things that I can't change and moving with the currents instead of against. This song is about stepping up and taking action - going to war with the self in order to change. There is a tinge of sadness in this song, a wondering "why" I carried fear for so long in my life only to realize the power in moving past it. For me/us, this catalytic moment came around our wedding. Everything came to a head. Dad's illness was getting worse, he visited LA, we were building relationships and then the conflict over the wedding happened. It was in those moments and in the aftermath that I had to decide who I was and how I would move forward with the family and myself. This was an incredibly painful and formative time, but I think so much light and character came out of it, even if I couldn't see it in the moment. Jess, you played a big part in helping me through this period and pulling me closer to all of us. Your relationship with Franco and the family again reminded me of the Spark that change was coming.

Beckoned by Tennyson’s silken mid-range and smoldering percussion, this electronic indie battlecry roars with tempo at the heart of the EP. “Sacrifice” is texturally diverse with howling synths and hard-hitting handclaps — even unearthing some surprising tech-step influence at the backend.

:

Skin Cover Art.jpg

SKIN

This song is about the celebration after the hard work is done. It is a victory dance for overcoming what felt like the impossible. There is no way to see this moment when caught in the stagnation of the first song and movement of this growth process. It was impossible for me to know and see the amount of healing that would take place over the coming month. How our family would come together and be "reborn" as I said in my speech. I think it's incredibly timely that I will be releasing this single on Thursday - a week after Dad's funeral and in the wake of all of this healing. While there is deep sadness, I do feel a brilliant sense of relief and joy for our family returning to itself.

“Skin” is colorful uptempo anthem mixing vulnerability with world-inspired pop, with a unique blend of lo-fi guitar, handclaps, blaring horns and pillowy vocal harmonies. On “Skin,” Tennyson doesn’t shy away from the unconventional, opting for a stream of conscious spoken world bridge, as if reaching out directly to the listener to inspire. The lead single’s sizzling energy, imagination and lyrical depth make it a celebration of love and life.

:

out_cover art_no text.jpg

OUT

This song is the exhalation that comes after the dust settles and everything falls away. This is my most private moment of reflection. It is peace. In working to get to this point, I already realized that the "destination" I thought I was seeking - some pretty resolution and bookend to an experience - isn't real. This is no such thing as a "final destination," only accepting that life is an ongoing, cyclical journey that takes us from one moment to the next. There will always be a conflict to overcome or something else to work towards. The undercurrent is knowing that we do not have control over the external factors, only with how we chose to deal and move with them.

“Out” is a spacey and stripped guitar-lead ballad that captures Tennyson’s knack for nuance, with a light tap of the guitar body as the song’s sole percussive element. This is the EP’s lyrical and musical exhalation.

:

Skin Live.jpg

Skin (Live from Cascade Studios)

I appreciate you hearing me and my feelings out. This project has been such a huge part of my life for the last several years. This journey with Dad has been long and hard for all of us. In my processing, I see a lot of beauty in something that has been so painful. I am so thankful for you all. I'm thankful for the life that I was born into and for the love that we share. I'm excited to be together again and to build new memories as an even stronger family.

I love you dearly,

M

For my 33rd birthday, I invited my closest friends for a private jam session where we all shared our music and where I had an opportunity to share about the recent passing of my father and the impact that has had on my life and music career. The following recording is what was captured that night. Thank you for listening.

:

Boy Untitled EP

A Wanderer’s Love Letter to the Universe

EPK

Artwork_Boy_Untitled_2019_by_Stefan_Gunnesch_Textures2.jpg