The Lemonade Stand

The Lemonade Stand

“It kind of comes from putting things in my pocket since being a kid, and growing up in a community that really looks out for people and envisioning this crazy dream actually becoming something possible,” Tenille Townes tells Apple Music of how her hometown Grande Prairie, Alberta, inspired her major-label debut album, The Lemonade Stand. “Then moving to Nashville for the first time outside of my comfort zone and writing songs and feeling so hungry and inspired by the creativity in this community has pushed me to want to really dig in and find what I had to say.” Both the observational optimism of her writing and the warbling intimacy of her delivery are helping to return elements of singer-songwriter folk, pop, and rock to the Nashville mainstream. Producer Jay Joyce listened to the impassioned way that Townes strummed her songs on acoustic guitar, and added a kinetic sense of rhythm. “It was completely an exploratory process of Jay running around from creating this loop to play with, and then all of a sudden he's jumping over to a synth pad, and then he's running over to the drums,” she says. “It was very cool to witness the way Jay really trusts these songs to speak up and become what they're supposed to be, and he's just not afraid to try anything and everything.” Read the stories behind each of those experiments below. Holding Out for the One “It’s the message of being able to be proud of what you stand for and what you believe in around the idea of love, and what you're looking for, even if it's not the most cool or popular way to think about something. I love the way the music makes me feel around that message. It's this sort of confident anthem that's like, ‘Here I am, and this is what I believe,’ and it's been really fun getting to play that song with my band.” Where You Are “One of the most special moments to me was the way that the song escapes time in the third verse. It's like we were trailing along the journey of the song and then Jay's like, ‘What if we just jump off the track for a second and just float in the air around the piano?’ We just were trying it, messing around with him sitting on the piano, and I was holding this handheld mic sitting beside him, and we ended up using that.” Jersey on the Wall (I’m Just Asking) “I have questions for God. Being able to ask those questions and have that conversation and sit in that place of wrestling, to me, is what allows me to believe. That's so foundational. It's just the comfort that you're just not alone in that. This song, in the studio, it took a lot of pacing and really working out the rhythm. It's like somebody pacing back and forth as they're in that really hard place. It's a painful sort of honesty. This song is anchored from true stories of people that have been through really hard things that I had the honor of getting to know, and being able to write about that story just meant so much to me.” Lighthouse “I love the concept of lights. I love the way that the darkness just cannot possibly stand a chance from the smallest beam of it. It just has no choice but to shrink. I love talking about light and thinking about light as a theme in writing in general. It was cool to be able to dive into that for this song, and also honoring the people who cheer us on and who are the encouragers along our path, and the way that we get be that for people too.” White Horse “I wrote this with Jeremy Spillman and Daniel Tashian, and we were thinking about Daniel's little girls and the fairy tales that we read as kids and this idea of true love that we paint in our mind. I just think it's so important to challenge that in real life. Love is just so much bigger than what society paints it to be. Trying to keep an open heart towards all of that is important. Walking into the studio with the song, I really felt like Jay put like a leather jacket on it, metaphorically speaking. It's got this edge to it. I love the snare drum and the attitude that it just kind of brings forward.” I Kept the Roses “I love the old soul kind of melody of this chorus and the three-part harmony and the way that it just feels a little back in time. And I love the message of just holding on to the good things and the hard and not-so-fun, painful things we go through, and being able to keep the parts that shape us. Vocally, it’s really fun to be able to sing this style.” When I Meet My Maker “I wrote this in the early days of living in Nashville by myself. I was sitting in this little apartment I was renting and just really missing my great-grandmother and my family, and just thinking about the glue that she is and how thankful I am to have lived 20 years of my life with my great-grandmother very closely. She was just an incredible woman. She'd come out to all these different fairs or festivals I'd played in Canada and sit in the front row in her lawn chair and sing along. She partied with the best of them up to, like, 80-some years old, and would be the first one waking up in the morning, cooking everybody breakfast. It maybe took me 20 minutes to write this song, and I just felt like I was getting out of the way and surrendering to that moment and letting it take over. It was very much a spiritual process. The day that we recorded this song, Jay played it with me and I sat and played my acoustic and sang into the mic at the same time, and there was a third acoustic guitar. It was just the three of us sitting in a semicircle. I took a deep breath and said a little prayer and sang the song.” Come as You Are “To me, that's such a big theme of this project—the invitation for people to just show up and be who they are. I've always loved that phrase. It was really fun to dance around Daniel's studio the day that we wrote it, just imagining people of every kind, just showing up and coming together.” The Way You Look Tonight (feat. Keelan Donovan) “I originally wrote this with Daniel Tashian and Keelan Donovan, and we were sitting around talking about how the music of that sort of Frank Sinatra era is just like a time machine. It's like you listen and even having not lived in that era, you feel like you're just walking down the spiral staircase into this mysterious and magical romantic time. We wanted to capture that feeling in a song, and we wrote it to be this duet, and it was really cool to have Keelan be able to come in and sing.” Find You “I think to be human is to be searching and to be making sure your heart and your eyes are always open. That's the anchor of where the thread that goes through a lot of those songs kind of comes from, from that belief, and this one included.” Somebody’s Daughter “That was the sort of dream opening message [major-label debut single] that I could have imagined. That story and starting from that place really, really meant so much to me, the desire to really be looking out for one another and things that we're going through. It's very much sort of anchored in this way of just being an observer and noticing really hard things. Being able to musically pair that with the anthemic production just made me so excited.” The Most Beautiful Things “I had envisioned this song as the closing song to this thematic season of my life. I feel like that wonder and innocence is something to learn so much from. Jay had this idea to bring in this little girl to sing at the end of the record. She was Jason Hall, the engineer's, daughter and her name is Amelia. She's seven years old, and she just came and sang her heart out. I watched her stand in the vocal booth and she's all nervous, and then she just closes her eyes and sings. And it's like, ‘Oh my gosh, I remember being her age and just singing along to my favorite records and dreaming about getting to wake up and do music and put out a record like this.’ This music very much is that dream.”

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