With her first three recordings, 2003’s The Love EP, 2005’s breezy twentythree and 2008’s Hello, Tristan Prettyman parlayed her smoky alto voice and laid-back surfer-girl-from-San-Diego charm into an eight-year career studded with highlights that included Hello’s No. 2 position on the iTunes Digital Albums chart and headlining tours across the U.S., Europe, and Japan.
But instead of capitalizing on the attention and immediately making plans to record a third album after wrapping two years of touring in support of Hello, Prettyman took an extended break during which she traveled the globe, had surgery to remove polyps on her vocal cords, got engaged to her long-term boyfriend, dealt with the pain of his ending the engagement, and eventually questioned whether she even wanted to be a musician at all.
“I was really burnt out and uninspired, so I decided to take some time off,” Prettyman says. “I went to Bali, Australia, and Europe and kind of went crazy. Life went from all these obligations to eating good food, meeting amazing people, and flowing with the wind. Then when I got back and tried to sing again, we found the polyps, so I had surgery and had to recover. Through it all, I was one foot in and one foot out of whether I wanted to do music at all. I had periods of time where I was numb and immune to feeling. My walls were up really high and I was on my guard. Then this fairy-tale picture of what my life could have been was set on fire. That brought all my walls down; it was a relief to finally feel something again.”