Provo, UT indie-electro artist, Tishmal, (the project of Rachel Brockbank) dazzled us with her debut track, “Underneath.” Reminiscent of Broods, Banks and Lana Del Rey, Tishmal – meaning hummingbird in Luiseño, the language of Brockbank’s Native American heritage – blends her own brand of euphoria with modern day electro-pop to form one unforgettable listening experience.
In honor of the release of the singer’s self-titled debut EP, we got Tishmal to spill the details on each song in this exclusive track-by-track commentary! Enjoy and don’t forget to pick up her EP now here!
We were hanging in the studio and one of my producers, Mason, played a short clip of an old idea he had. Immediately this picture came into my head of moving water and a melody came with it. I sang it into my phone and wrote out the rest at home. A lot of times I really struggle with the unknowns that come in life and relationships. “Underneath” is about embracing that uncertainty, understanding it, yelling at it.
This song came about from a college project that Christian and I worked on. I only had the first verse and chorus but he had some cool production ideas and convinced me to finish it. Looking back, I was angry about a lot of things when I wrote it. I believe love is the greatest power we have as humans. I was tired of forcing love and wasting that precious power on people and things that weren’t worth it. That sounds harsh, but I think it’s healthy to set boundaries and I hope people feel empowered to do so after listening to the song.
This song came to me as I was looking out the window of a plane. I don’t know why but I get tons of song ideas on planes. I’m that person writing into her phone notes or journal with teary eyes haha. I’m sensitive. As a teen I suppressed a lot of angst and it manifested in an eating disorder. I have been in recovery for 8 years now. I wrote “River” looking back at that young version of myself. The opening lines are for my mom. The rest is for everyone else. I think we all suppress our emotions to some degree and I hope we can learn to feel, even the shitty feelings.
“Can’t Breathe” was the first song we started working on. My brother-in law-and sister, Andrew and Alexis Dyer (Moomat, Parlor Hawk) connected me with producer Mason Porter and that’s where it all started. At the time, I had close loved ones who were really going through some heavy stuff. I kept having this recurring nightmare of giant waves and trying to save my loved ones. It all became the lyrics for “Can’t Breathe.”
I was asleep when I heard the “Ahh’s” in the chorus of “Connections.” It was so clear that it woke me up. The next morning I wrote the rest of the song. Writing it felt pretty miraculous. Producing the song was special because I had tons of ideas in my demo, which Mason and Christian then elaborated, embellished and reworked. It turned out better than I dreamed. Literally.