Lou Tides is a musician and Bushwick local, formerly known as Nancy Feast. She is currently a vocalist in the touring band TEEN, under the name Kristina “Teeny” Lieberson.
Tides music is original and authentic. Her performances and changing names are a great example of the growth all artists experience or at least strive for, discovering new aspects of their artistic identity as well as humanity. Tides name has changed a few times during her solo project career and it stems from her background and upbringing.
“I like the name Louise, but it felt too sweet, so I went with Lou. Also, low plus blue. Being from Nova Scotia, I have a strong relationship with the ocean. Tides have so much influence, push and pull, they are in a relationship with the moon, the night. To our periods. Dangerous and quiet at the same time. The combo felt good,” Tides said.
Influenced by acts like Laurie Anderson, Dean Blunt, Mica Levi, Toru Takemitsu, Park Chan Wook, Benjamin Britten + Peter Pears, Maria Callas, Esperanza Spalding, Jóhan Jóhannsson, Tides, work also embodies darker qualities and themes.
“My influences are people who show real fearlessness and who seemingly create with disregard for how things ‘should’ be made. I like blurry lines and outbursts of emotion,” Tides said. “I have always been the type of writer that if I’m being truly intuitive, it can be lacking in structure. With TEEN, I’ve enjoyed the challenge of writing in a more pop format, as I think it’s good practice, but I wanted to take something on that could sit in more experimental forms. Something that felt stretchy and operatic. The practice of patience. Camp. I also wanted to take on something more visual.”
The future of Tides music is currently in its early writing stages with the hopes of reaching Europe, South America, or anywhere that it takes her. Tides goal is clear and specific. To create music that relates to people outside of New York City, exploring where the project goes, visually incorporating thematic aspect including set design and more, “I would also love to perform with orchestral instruments. Possibly an opera?”
Tides sound is very DIY due to the use of backing tracks as well as a stripped down performance presentation.
“I have been playing to backing tracks a fair amount due to necessity, which I produce and mix myself,” she said. “I would say it sounds somewhat DIY due to the fact that I use mostly analog instruments. I like the warmth of them. However, I still like to combine digital, analog, orchestral instruments and see what kind of combo I get.”
Considering the price of studio rentals in this day and age, hiring musicians is actually less economically efficient than just training yourself to wear many hats. Her technique and belief system is paving the way for future artists to take their music into their own hands by any means necessary and sharing it with the world.
“Unfortunately, many gigs do not offer enough compensation to have an entire band. As we all know, musicians are underpaid, and now more than ever,” Tides admits. “However, recently I have been playing with Sarah Galdes (drums) and that has been an amazing edition. No matter how hard you try, you can’t program the energy of another person. It turns out human interaction adds a lot.”
Cover photo courtesy of Harry Isaelson.