New Mexico-native Teagan Stewart released the title track of her forthcoming EP, Taste of My Heartbreak, back in August. With two more singles planned before the EP itself, this blues-country powerhouse has big dreams and an even bigger voice. We caught up with Teagan to talk about her career so far, as well as a little about the EP.
Country music has always felt so personal to me – even when I wasn’t actually a man going fishing, a woman driving last Friday on her way to Cincinnati on a snow-white Christmas Eve, or anything else of the kind. But I was sucked into the world of each song. I was an intense listener as a kid – I would memorize the songwriters of each song on an album and know all the stories behind the songs on the radio. Country was (and still is) home.
There are so many influences! For this EP especially, biggest influences were: Eric Church, Hunter Hayes, Miranda Lambert, and R&B singer JoJo. The inspiration I got from these artists was their musicality – I didn’t want a canned radio sound or the guitar riffs to sound like any Broadway guitarist played them. I wanted the instruments to talk and each player to come in with their own musical voice and really jam with each song. Eric Church’s stuff can be so funky and Hunter Hayes, the same thing. I love the lonely steel guitar in Miranda Lambert’s ballads and I pulled from that. With JoJo, I wanted to achieve how expressionistic she is with her voice.
I’m proud to say I wrote four out of six songs solo. This entire collection of songs is so personal to me because I designed it to mimic the emotional arc of my breakup. You begin with the title track (out now), where the initial shock of the break up makes you feel all kinds of things, like edgy, playful, petty, and a little angry. Then you move through all these different stages – denial, loneliness, newfound freedom, recklessness, etc. The final song, Good Intentions, was written when it was suggested that we should get back together and maybe try again. Well, I take it back. The hook and part of the verse were written at the time that that happened. Then I couldn’t finish the song. Nothing stuck. But I knew I had to stick with it because I always sang it when I was alone in the bathroom. And that’s how I know it’s the real deal, because I don’t usually sing any of my own songs in the bathroom. So then I knew I had to finish it by the time one of my shows came around. I had written it acapella, so I didn’t even have chords to give the band. I was just like, I’m gonna sing it, and let me know what feels right to you. I’m maybe most proud of that song.
This EP and the musicians I got to work with – i.e. Tanya Tucker’s bassist, guitarists on tour with new country acts, etc. are certainly my biggest achievements to date, along with playing iconic venues like The Bluebird Café, the International Balloon Fiesta, The Back Corner and the New Mexico State Fair. Among the top of the list for me is to play/host SNL, play the Isleta Amphitheater where I saw every country concert as a kid, and collaborate with Hunter Hayes.
I want to make a music video for Good Intentions. Of course, I would love to play shows but I’m patient. I’m definitely ready to tour for the EP as soon as it’s safe and makes sense to do so!
TASTE OF MY HEARTBREAK is available to stream now, ahead of the full EP release in October. Keep your eyes peeled for some more features with Teagan over the coming weeks! Follow Teagan on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram, or visit her website.