Tallie Gabriel – Story (Interview)

September 4, 2020

I listened to the story of how you met her and thought
I want that for us
If I write us a story that makes your heart sing
Do you think that would be enough?

It was all hope and longing and
Fulfilled wishes and I
Found myself rooting for you
Could there be a version where you
Want me as badly
And I make those wishes come true

Chorus :
I want to love you
So maybe I’ll try
But if I can’t love you
Im scared I won’t understand why

All birdsong and sunbeams
how you make me feel
But it’s fine and playful
Until someone means it for real

I tried to tell you my stories but they were
Half as lovely, full of confusion and messy regrets
And I thought, who am I to saddle you with my burdens
When you never asked for any of it

And I don’t sing this now to get some kind of pity
But to let you know that I understand
If you’d rather wait for a better story
The kind that sounds nice when told lying in bed


I want to love you
I want to love you
I want to love you
So maybe I’ll try

Tallie Gabriel - Story (Interview)


Today we had the happiness of talking to Tallie Gabriel, in a very pleasant voice to hear.

Tallie Gabriel we want to know you better, tell us about yourself.

Tallie Gabriel is an artist currently riding out the pandemic from her home in Brooklyn, New York.

We would like to know your history as an artist: I began playing classical guitar at age seven, but shifted my focus to cello at age 12 when my violist sister went to orchestra camp and I became totally enamored of the warm, bassy sound. (The cellists were also all the coolest kids at orchestra camp, so I wanted to be one of them!) I stopped focusing on music partway through high school when I got really into theatre, and ended up going to NYU Tisch for acting (also studying creative writing), but projects along the way kept pulling me back to music and songwriting. I joined Cardboard Rocketship in July of 2018 and fell wildly in love with making music seriously and the live music scene. This solo project was born when I started writing some more intimate and vulnerable songs about love and loss and felt really called to honor that quieter, more tender side of my music making.

Tell us the story of this song.

"Little Death" is a five song narrative EP — though the songs were all written about different people and situations (plus the final cover track), I found that they told a familiar story of the hope and risk of a potential love, the ache of realizing a relationship with someone isn’t exactly what either party hoped it would be, the pain of losing that person (and feeling replaced by them) even so, the shy sadness of trying again with someone brand new and that not working, and finally an acceptance of the bigger picture and our small but lovely little place in it. I wanted to really honor every feeling that comes with intertwining your heart with someone else’s, from wonder at their existence to the bone-aching pain of losing what you shared and all of the spite, acceptance, confusion, and gulps of hope along the way.

The term "Little Death" comes from something my mom told me once: The loss of a relationship can be fiercely devastating because it’s the closest we come to the death of a person. They are no longer in our lives, or the way they were in our lives no longer exists, so it is a death of that particular relationship. No wonder we have to grieve breakups as we do. (It also serves as a fun little double entendre thanks to the French phrase petit mort).

Tell us a funny story from your career

The weekend before last Halloween, I was playing cello in a 14-piece band. In rehearsal, I got everyone to agree to dress up as pirates for the show (it was almost Halloween! And I generally just love pirate outfits), but of course we show up to the venue and lo and behold, only one other member and I dressed up. And I mean, we really dressed up. I had this ridiculously huge Jack Sparrow hat replica and he wore an eye patch and had drawn a treasure map on himself. So the gig was twelve totally normal looking musicians with a casual decked-out pirate cellist and sax player.

Also tell a story of overcoming

This is probably part of my artist "origin story" as much as anything — when I was in high school, 14 or 15 years old and really involved in theatre, a teacher told me I’d never be a singer and to stick with non-musical dramas. I certainly do not have a strong belt or competitive musical theatre sound, but for years that comment really shook me and I was convinced I could not sing, or at the least was terribly insecure about my voice when I did sing.

In college, I studied abroad in Amsterdam when I was 20 and ended up taking a really transformative voice and singing class that helped start to totally shift my perspective! That, plus seeking out some very kind and understanding technique coaches, helped me find a lot of strength and much more confidence in my sound. I like to sing softly and make soft heart music, so the journey of learning how to do that safely and in a way that serves my stories as an artist has been huge (and is a constant work in progress!)

Leave a message for your fans

I hope you and yours are safe and healthy and taking time to focus on the people you love and hobbies that bring you joy, while we work to hopefully make the world a better place for all to live in. ❤

Tallie Gabriel was a great pleasure to have you here. We wish you much success and joy!

And see you in the next interview! Bye!

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