Springing from previous group Girlyman, singer Tylan is stepping out on her own with a debut solo album entitled One True Thing. Friends like Amy Ray from The Indigo Girls are helping on the project on the track "Already Fine." While still remaining true to her roots, the album being released on June 18 has a self-described heavier sound.
We talked new music and the fate of Girlyman shortly before her arrival for her concert at Space in Evanston.
Windy City Times: Hi, Tylan. You just go by your first name these days, I read.
Tylan: I go by Ty or Tylan. I don't know anyone else who is named Tylan so I figure why use a last name. It is not really supposed to be a Madonna or Cher kind of thing. [Both laugh.]
WCT: So you are not a diva. Tegan and Sara just use their first names.
Tylan: That's true.
WCT: What is nationality?
Tylan: I was born in this country. I am Jewish-American.
WCT: You are from Atlanta?
Tylan: I live in Atlanta for about five years but I was born in Philadelphia and grew up in New Jersey. I spent about 10 years in New York. Now I am out in California.
WCT: So you will be out touring with this album and traveling everywhere again soon.
Tylan: I did a tour in the Northeast and one on the West Coast. I am going to the Midwest as you know.
WCT: You will be here before the album comes out in June.
Tylan: That is right, but I will have it with me at the show.
WCT: People can then purchase it and maybe have it autographed after the show.
WCT: Are you familiar with the place you are playing at?
Tylan: Yes, I love Evanston Space. Girlyman played there a lot.
WCT: I just went recently and had a great time.
Tylan: It is a really nice room and not intimidating. The lighting is good and people seem to really have a good time there.
WCT: Describe the process of making an album with a Kickstarter campaign.
Tylan: It is almost like having a contract with our fans instead of having it with a record label. It is very direct and intimate. When I decided to make a record I put it out to Girlyman fans that I have songs and would they like it to be made. The response was stunning. I hit my goal in a day and a half!
Tylan: It was crazy. I knew I better make this record after that. By the time it was over it was close to $50,000. I really needed the resources not just to make a record but run publicity and have a little touring vehicle. It really kick started my whole project, no pun intended.
I think it put me in closer touch with the fans in maybe a new way. It really feels like a community now and has been very cool.
WCT: What is the title of the album One True Thing in reference to?
Tylan: There is a song on the album called "One True Thing." I had a really hard year and a half. Pretty much everything changed in my life radically. I was in a relationship for sixteen years and that ended. Girlyman went off the road indefinitely. That was my job for the last ten years. Various other relationships came to a close at the same time, just everything all at once.
So that song is really about when the shit hits the fan and everything is falling apart what keeps me going and doesn't change. It is about the truth that keeps you going.
WCT: You have a song called "Fool Me Again" so that must be relationship centered as well.
Tylan: That song is about when you have reached that point with someone and that is it. I am done but still love that person. That is often the case with break up songs that somewhere in there you loved that person. You can do whatever you want from here on out but you can't fool me again even though that person is still significant to you. There is a line in the song "though you rise like magic above the fruited plain you won't ever fool me again."
It is saying you are incredible but I'm done. That wasn't about my romantic relationship but that was about someone else, for the record.
WCT: You worked with Amy Ray. How did that come together?
Tylan: That was really cool. I was looking for a low harmony to that song. Because I sing alto I thought it would be a guy singing that part but Michael who produced the record suggested that I call Amy Ray. I thought that you don't hear that very often, two female voices singing in a very low register together.
I asked her and she came and totally nailed it of course, because she is Amy Ray. I love it. The song has a lot of depth to it and part of it is definitely her contribution.
WCT: I've been fortunate to hang out with her a bit and I think the world of her.
Tylan: She is such a good and passionate person. She really cares about people in the world. She puts her money where her mouth is and all of that. She is very inspiring.
WCT: Will there be more Girlyman music in the future?
Tylan: I would say right now it is in a definite hiatus. If we get back together it will be more of a reunion kind of thing. I don't see us picking up where we left off, but never say never!
Look for Tylan with Heather Mahoney Sunday, May 11, at Space, 1245 Chicago Ave., Evanston. For more on Tylan, visit www.tylanmusic.com .