by Dom Jones
I first saw Tish Hyman at a Jill Scott concert last winter. I was impressed by her, but forgot her name shortly after. I didn’t forget her voice, though. As fate would have it, when I went home for summer, I would see Tish again, opening for one of my favorites, BJ The Chicago Kid. As soon as she walked on stage in her relaxed outfit and fedora, I thought, “It’s the artist from the Jill Scott concert!” This time I plugged her name into my phone as soon as she said it, so I wouldn’t forget, and then she launched into her tunes. I don’t know why it’s taken me this long to get around to listening to her album, “Dedicated To,” but after seeing her interview on The Breakfast Club, I knew I couldn’t wait any longer. Watch that interview below:
What I like about Tish Hyman is that her music is highly personal, and so upon hearing the songs in person or on wax, you feel as though you’re a friend that she’s speaking with over tea. At the BJ The Chicago Kid show, she talked about how she used to share her music in her living room with her friends, and how she wanted to create that same kind of familial atmosphere at her shows. I love that she’s also created it somehow in her sound. It’s been a long road to get to this album, as Tish has worked with everyone from 50 cent to Kanye West to Alicia Keys as a songwriter, but she’s finally stepping out as a solo artist, and in this current climate of music, her voice is needed.
The opening track, “All That I Can Do,” will give you indie reggae vibes and is indicative of the honesty that will be a common theme throughout the entire honesty. As if she’s encouraging herself, she sings “I gotta keep on keeping on…” over and over. If you’re feeling defeated, this is a song for you to lament you struggles and replenish your strength. My favorite song on the album, “Subway Art,” runs the gamut of the lonely and discarded people you may encounter on a New York subway. Tish meets this topic of loneliness, hopelessness, hunger, pain, and sometimes apathy with care and consideration. The beat rides like a hip-hop beat the old heads would nod to, and she sings the verses walking the line between soul singer an emcee. If you listen, you can find someone you know in this track… maybe even yourself. Watch the video for “Subway Art” below:
“Absolutely” feels like the obligatory “turn up” track for this generation of listeners. The first time I heard it, I understood the strategy behind making a song like this, but almost felt disappointed. It took me a while to decide whether or not I felt this diminished her authenticity as an artist, and because this industry requires artists to double as strategists as well, I finally decided that it didn’t. It’s just a track that I won’t listen to often.
So why should you know about Tish Hyman? She’s a great singer, great writer, and awesome performer. Through all of her obstacles as an artist, she’s forging ahead with a unique sound, an honest look, and a personable demeanor. “Dedicated To” is a very solid first effort, so if she comes to your town, grab a ticket.
“Dedicated To” is available on iTunes, Google Play, and all music outlets.