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Carnival

"Carnival" is my sophomore EP where I explore the sideshow variety of repertoire that I have been building and writing, mostly over the last two years. I had been releasing singles and other works of art over the last little while, but I felt the need to put out a more complete body of work, since my fist EP “No Angel”. In “No Angel”, I used sound clips from the 1933 movie “I’m No Angel” about my namesake, a carnival lion tamer named Tira (Mae West) which is the same pronunciation as my name - Tyra. “Carnival”, my second EP, in a way is an evolution and continuation of the theme of the first EP (ie. I’m a fairground baby).

 

I listened to the songs I had been working on with my producer, Kyu, and found that we had really been experimenting with many styles and sounds (from reggaeton to amapiano, latin and afrobeat rhythms, siren voicings, and foley sounds used as percussive elements), but this common thread of “carnival” and “fairground” sounds kept speaking to me. I was trying to sleep one night, and kept seeing the word “carnal” within the word “carnival” and immediately woke up and went to draft the artwork for the project. The sounds on “Carnival” are both diverse and odd, like carnival sideshows, but also express a sexiness, a thing of earthly and carnal desires, in their beat, in their melodies, and in the provocation of my lyricism. This project is about the hedonism of the human realm of earthly delights, which I feel is best represented at the carnival, where there is an outward expression of this chaos in the scenescape of the fairground, the hallway of mirrors, the funhouse, and hidden in the sideshow tents. I love to explore the theme of grace amidst chaos - I call myself the Dionysian Princess, after the Greek God Dionysus - god of ritual, ecstasy, harvest, madness, chaos, wine… the “party god”. These are themes I visit both sonically and in the lyrics of “Carnival”, and across my broader body of work.

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01

Springtimes

When @kyu_scifi and I worked on “Springtimes” we wanted to create a song that would sound like the theme to a children’s show or a nursery rhyme, and we used percussive and melodic elements to create that feeling. We also added a run at the start of the song that’s an homage to Donny Hathaway (A Song For You, originally by Leon Russell). Springtimes was actually one of the first songs I’d ever written and performed live acoustically for years (there may even be a video of me in a flower vest floating around the internet where I’m singing it in my craft room/living room from years ago)… but this new production gives it a whole new bounce and a whole new feeling... the perfect open to the Carnival EP. 

Lyrics

Tried to shoot the breeze but I couldn’t see

Wish I could show you that there ain’t no place I’d rather be

My vision’s hazy, my night’s turned bleak

Too sad to touch fingers and gloom is all I speak

 

Spoke soft in the morning, blew through your widow’s peak

Omelettes and sausage, baby, you knew I was sweet

Or too dumb to understand what this all means

I’m a wild and crazy girl, forget our memories

 

Oh, but I know, you’d fake an emergency

Why you crying, honey? You could never save me

Don’t try and imagine our problems pass us by

Like springtimes

Or like breezes rushing down a prairie lane

Through beams of sunshine

 

Please read the words I wrote to those you sabotage

I can’t win your vote, can’t even picket on your lawn

You go to the East  and I’ll go broken back to bed

Fake stomach ache from all the bullshit you fed me, like 

 

Oh, but I know all you did was lie to me

Why are you laughing at me? I’m not stupid, I’m free

Don’t try and imagine our problems pass us by

Like springtimes

Or like breezes rushing down a prairie lane

Through beams of sunshine

 

Oh, but I know, you’d fake an emergency

Why you crying, honey? You could never save me

Don’t try and imagine our problems pass us by

Like springtimes

Or like breezes rushing down a prairie lane

Through beams of sunshine

Or like breezes rushing down a prairie lane

Through beams of sunshine

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02

Not Right Now

When @kyu_scifi and I worked on “Not Right Now” - the first single I released off the EP, and track 2 - I was really inspired by the hypnotic and repetitive sounds of carousels and wanted to infuse that with a reggaeton style, as I had been listening to a lot of latin artists (Rosalia, J Balvin, Bad Bunny and Tainy production) at the time. We thought, “hey, let’s make a reggaeton song!” just for fun and to experiment in that style/genre of music and it turned out super sexy and I hope you’re as obsessed with it as I am! 

Lyrics

Play with me, not right now

Lay with me, not right now

Stay with me, not right now

Not right now 

Not right now

 

He said girl please call me back

I need you so bad

Please call me back

I need you so bad 

 

Trouble is I got a fickle heart

Body’s ready but my lips won’t part 

Know you want me but my mind stays on 

My money, my money, my money

 

Can't take a break, no 

Wish I had the time for you to roll up

I don’t want it quick I want the slow stuff

I won’t let you come unless I get some  

Mmm yeah

 

Play with me, not right now

Lay with me, not right now

Stay with me, not right now

Not right now 

Not right now

 

He said girl please call me back

I need you so bad

Please call me back

I need you so bad

 

Oh I know that dick can do something 

I don’t need a body

But boy I love your body

Don’t think I could ever quit for ya 

Mind is on my money

Mind is on my money 

 

Play with me, not right now

 

Play with me, not right now

Lay with me, not right now

Stay with me, not right now

Not right now 

Not right now

 

Play with me, not right now

Lay with me, not right now

Stay with me, not right now

Not right now 

Not right now

 

He said girl please call me back

I need you so bad

Please call me back

I need you so

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03

Making Love

Writing “Making Love” in the depths of Canadian winter was an exercise in total fantasy - closing your eyes and escaping to the beach, I thought of leaving Coney Island fairgrounds, covered in pigeons, and somehow being transported to the Amalfi coast, where the pigeons become doves, if only I wished hard enough. I penned the lyrics after writing two "sadder" songs as an exercise in writing something happier even though it couldn’t have been further than how I was feeling at the time. Still, it helped me transport to a happy place, on the southwest shores of the Italian peninsula, smelling the salty air, and feeling the kiss of the sun.

Lyrics

I can tell you’re my type

You know how to hold me 

Take me to the cliffside

So I can smell the sea

Your kisses on my neck

While the clouds drift slowly

The boys all stop and stare 

Cause they wish they knew me

 

Pullin’ up your shirt

Kiss me on the mouth

If I get too loud

 

We’re making love

We’re making love

Under a hot Amalfi sun

I wouldn’t do for anyone

 

We’re making love

We’re making love

Under a hot Amalfi sun

I wouldn’t do for anyone

 

I melt under your touch, yeah

The sky and all the doves, doves

Can never be too much

We’re young, and so in love

So in love

 

We’re making love

We’re making love

Under a hot Amalfi sun

I wouldn’t do for anyone

 

We’re making love

We’re making love

Under a hot Amalfi sun

I wouldn’t do for anyone

 

We’re making love

We’re making love

Under a hot Amalfi sun

I wouldn’t do for anyone

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04

Bad Place

“Bad Place” was another tune I penned while in lockdown. I had had the hook in my head “We’re still in a bad place” for a while, the idea being that although two people can try and talk their way through their problems - romantically or otherwise - sometimes it’s all in vain, and you can find yourself still stuck with no improvements. I know a lot of couples, both platonic and romantic, go through extended periods of disagreement and even though they may try and discuss to come to a better understanding, they still end up on different pages and one or both still feels misunderstood. In the context of multiple lockdowns I think these feelings were only heightened. This is how I was feeling when I wrote the verses to the song. In my songwriting process I often find answers, and often I find that we project our frustrations with others onto those around us. The faults we see in other are often the ones we see in ourselves. That being said, it’s okay to outgrow relationships, and it’s okay for people to go their separate ways in order to evolve. So there’s forgiveness and redemption, always and I’m thankful that my art and music feeds this back to me.

Lyrics

Bring me, out of the deep

Wake me, up from this nightmare

In vain, the things we say

You love me in the wrong way

 

Like ouuuu, I’m drowning with you

I realize you think we made up 

But we never do

 

We’re still in a bad place

We’re still in a bad place, yeah

We’re still in a bad place

We’re still in a bad place, yeah

 

Wipe off that stupid grin

Not in love with your ego

All lies, we can’t agree

And you take no responsibility 

 

We’re still in a bad place

We’re still in a bad place, yeah

We’re still in a bad place

We’re still in a bad place, yeah

 

We’re still in a bad place

We’re still in a bad place

We’re still in a bad place

We’re still in a bad place