Local pixie song seamstress Tree Read has an album out called “First Grade”.
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?
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?
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
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?
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?
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
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?
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.
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
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