Tally Spear is a London-based singer who mixes punk and pop to create a hard-hitting blend of alt-rock and pop. On her latest EP, Tally she channels her gothic style to create dark melodies while exploring rock, pop, and folk sounds. Also noticeable, is her songwriting prowess which shines through the project. When one listens to songs like, “Oddball,” and “Already Gone,” it becomes clear that indeed, the pen is mightier than the sword. On the former, she turns hate to power while describing her quirks as beautiful and lovable features. Spear is a singer who uses her music to address issues of the past — it’s her tool for slaying demons.
Tally is Spear’s debut project and one she is passionate about. Beyond the guitar riffs and emotional melodies are the dark lyrics (with deep meanings) that give listeners an insight to her failed relationships and personal troubles. On the EP, she explores themes like Insecurity (on “What Do I Want”), Self-love (on “Oddball”), Independence (on “City Girl”), and Fear (on “Already Gone”). To celebrate the new release, she has provided an inside look behind some of the lyrics on Tally. Listen to the EP below, and read along to Tally Spear’s exclusive breakdown of her latest project.
1. “What Do I Want”
I’m a ridiculously indecisive person. If you know me, then you already know that. What to eat, where to go out, who to date, where to travel this year, I mean, the list is endless. So, indecisiveness is at the core of this song, but it also goes a lot deeper than just peripheral decisions. I feel like we have a pretty hefty pressure to know what we want in life, and know who we are from a young age, both in work and personal life, but I think for some people the answers to these questions will only become clear after long periods, years, of self-discovery and exploration.
2. “Can’t Find What I’m Looking For”
All the tracks in this EP are part of the same story, each being a piece that slots in with the next. “Can’t Find What I’m Looking For” follows “What Do I Want” because really, I feel like as people, we’re constantly looking for something, and when we can’t find it, we sometimes feel lost or at a loose end. I wrote this on a cold night in December, I was thinking about dating and past relationships, and I was just like “why can’t I find what I’m looking for?” But then, I really didn’t know what I was looking for. This song is about the struggle to find meaningful relationships, experiences, and the difficulty of just being content in this society.
This is the only co-written track in the EP, I wrote it with Joe Killington and Marc Dowding. I totally clicked with them and we wrote the whole track in a single afternoon (stopping only to devour a vegan kebab.) It’s a bold song that celebrates being different and unique. I used to like being called “weird” when I was younger, and took it as a compliment. I was always trying to make everyone laugh growing up. I would make a complete fool of myself if it meant getting a laugh. I’m trying to take this approach into adulthood, embracing parts of myself that are a bit “odd” or areas where I’m totally different to my friends. But this track shouts it loud and clear with pride: “I’m an oddball!”
4. “Already Gone”
This is a bit of an anti-love song. It’s about dating somebody new, and just at the point where you’re meant to be feeling butterflies, you’re “already gone.” It’s about feelings of detachment and distance, like when you just can’t quite get yourself into the right zone. This song explores the sometimes-negative feelings associated with new beginnings. It was produced by Max Marlow who I went to university with, he totally brought my vision for the track to life sonically, we had a lot of fun recording it!
5. “City Girl”
I’m so glad to have this track as part of this EP. It’s one of my favourites to play with my band because the chorus hits hard on stage. It’s about city life, going about my days observing the hustle and bustle. Growing up and studying in London, I realised that you can often feel pretty lonely despite being in a crowded place, and this track explores this idea a bit.
6. “I Feel Free”
This is a cover version of Cream’s “I Feel Free.” I recorded this one evening with King Charles and we just made it in his lounge in London. I was lying on his sofa recording the vocals, he was producing and playing guitar. My vision was to take it totally away from the light and happy vibes of the original, making it a bit darker and moodier as a contrast to the positive lyrics. As the last track, it stands out a bit from the themes of confusion and uncertainty we’ve been taken through in the EP, almost representing what I may fundamentally desire.