“I’ve struggled with being put in a box my whole life”: TAMS/N OTWAY on her ever-changing sound
09.02.2021

“I’ve struggled with being put in a box my whole life”: TAMS/N OTWAY on her ever-changing sound

Photo by Nogani Moore
WORDS BY KIERA VARRESE

An intimate, Lana Del Rey-infused breakup tune.

Melbourne singer/songwriter TAMS/N OTWAY has released her second single of the year, ‘I’m Alright.’ 

2021 has already started on a high note for TAMS/N, with her previous single ‘You’ reaching #1 on triple j Unearthed. 

With co-production from longtime collaborator Tobias Priddle (Tim Ayre, Kesmar), ‘I’m Alright’ draws upon TAMS/N’s experiences.

“It’s about dating someone and you’re both trying really hard, but you’ve both got your own things you need to sort out,” she explains.

“I’m making up my mind to leave so they can work on themselves, and so can I.” 

The track is a rework of ‘Pour it Down’, an acoustic song from her ‘Sin’ EP. 

“I really liked ‘Pour It Down’ and I felt like it had more potential.

“I was learning to use Logic last year and thought I would just use this song and change the genre and see what happens. 

“I ended up with these weird sounds I really liked.” 

An alt-pop track with grit, the glittery feel is subverted by the use of a vocoder on the chorus and detuned guitars throughout. 

“I really like that uneasy feeling.” 

‘I’m Alright’ is a departure from the sound of her previous single ‘You,’ a tropical house-flavoured track. One of TAMS/N’s strengths is her experimentation with different spaces within pop, delivering a sound that’s completely fresh every time. 

“I’ve struggled with being put in a box my whole life. I always change, I can’t help it.

“That’s why I like pop so much. For example, David Bowie had so many different phases in his career, he reinvented himself every decade. 

“I really identify with that. I don’t think I could ever pick one thing and say ,’This is me’.” 

Last year was a turning point for TAMS/N, citing her progression in mental health as a source of motivation to keep pursuing music. 

“I have this weird motor going on, telling me to ‘go! go! go!’ 

“I spent so much time, wasted, just being depressed. So now I’m making up for the lost time.

“2020 made you really think about life, and I just hadn’t been happy for so long. Finally, I’m actually feeling happy because I’m actually doing everything I can think of.”

Keep an eye out for a remix of ‘You’ dropping next month, revamped by Lachlan West and in the meantime, check out ‘I’m Alright’ below.

For more on TAMS/N OTWAY,  visit here and follow her on Instagram.