Record Review: Tristen

Charlatans at the Garden Gate
Nashville, TN

“An artist to watch, an album to savor”

Illinois native and current Nashville resident Tristen Gaspadarek offers yet another example of Music City’s growing diversity with her splendid full-length debut Charlatans at the Garden Gate. While there are slivers of country spliced in Charlatans (the background sounds of “Doomsday” and “Matchstick Murder” brings to mind the recent collaboration between Robert Plant and Alison Krauss), the recording evokes more of an Eisley or She & Him feel with retro-tinged guitars and crystalline vocals.

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Tristen can’t be accused of merely aping Zooey Deschanel; her songs are wholly original, and her melodies are clever without losing the sing-along quality that invites repeated listens. “Baby Drugs” and the aforementioned “Matchstick Murder” are standouts in this regard, while “Save Raina” showcases Tristen’s ability to write a story song worth hearing out to its conclusion.

Gaspadarek, who produced the album with Jeremy Ferguson, deserves extra kudos for delivering a cohesive album, not merely a collection of songs. Each tune plays well off the one that came before it, and it is apparent that much care went into not only the recording process but also its arrangement. Tristen is an artist to watch, and Charlatans is album to savor. (American Myth Recordings)

Produced by Tristen Gaspadarek and Jeremy Ferguson // Mixed by Jason Lader // Mastered by Steve Fallone


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