Aaron Lee Tasjan
Tasjan! Tasjan! Tasjan!
Tasjan! Tasjan! Tasjan!, the new album from Aaron Lee Tasjan, a genre-bending rising star who’s bold reimagination of classic sounds and songwriting has established him as one of the most idiosyncratic artists of his generation.
His self-titled fourth album is a masterclass in interstellar pop, vintage glam, 90s Anglophilia and experimental and psychedelic rock & roll. Irreverent lyrics may show Tasjan with his tongue in his cheek, but Tasjan! Tasjan! Tasjan! is an album with something to say. His autobiographical lyrics reflect on self-acceptance, expose his own contradictions and offer a unique self-deprecating critique on the millennial generation’s simultaneous capacity for great empathy and narcissism. The album also explores notions of mental health, identity and sexuality and is dedicated to the alternative kids who also felt “other” growing up.
Tasjan has been on a shapeshifting musical journey his whole life. From his glam rock roots, when Jimmy Iovine told him “guys in make-up don’t sell records” and Lady Gaga would open for his band in NYC, to his legend-hopping guitar sideman days, where he played with everyone from The New York Dolls to Sean Lennon and traveled the globe, collecting road war tales from doing mushrooms with Bono to twitter spats with Peter Frampton.
His search for a musical locus and geographic wanderings began in his early teens. They took him from Delaware, to California, to New York, to his current home in Nashville. He moved there in 2015 to play guitar in a band that imploded on his arrival. Through dumb luck, he quickly landed a deal with New West Records and became an established musical entity, releasing a diverse succession of critically acclaimed albums that drew the attention of everyone from NPR Music to Rolling Stone.
Despite this success, seeds of doubt started to bloom. After multiple musical incarnations, his label questioned Tasjan’s direction and where he should go next. So did Tasjan, as he internalized their recommendations, musical paralysis ensued. He toured through 2019 and then came to a realization that he needed to give himself permission to go rogue. Sparked by the fond memory of an LSD-laced songwriting session that occured years ago, when he felt at his most accomplished and free. With
equal parts uncertainty and recklessness — he hid from his label and covertly crafted Tasjan! Tasjan! Tasjan! co-producer Gregory Lattimer and mixed with John Congleton (Angel Olson, Bill Callahan, Sharon Van Etten, Lana Del Ray)….
There was no need for doubt. With humor, wit and irony, Tasjan! Tasjan! Tasjan!’s personal and hopeful vision was a coded message to himself and showed him, self-belief was all he needed to get out of his own way. He feels grateful to his label for “motivating him to prove them and himself wrong.” Tasjan’s determined pursuit of his singular sound, led him to a sense of musical realization and his most compelling album to date.
Whilst his tour plans were pushed during the pandemic he’s been working with Noon Chorus and been delivering some great live streams and historically he has opened for Marcus King, Greta Van Fleet and opening festival stages for Willie Nelson, Jeff Tweedy and Social Distortion with his band at festivals from Stagecoach to Summer Fest to Bonnaroo.
Video & Press
Song Premiere: Aaron Lee Tasjan Stays True to Himself
PHOTO: CURTIS WAYNE [Garden & Gun] Ahead of his new album, Tasjan! Tasjan! Tasjan!, the eclectic Nashville showman shares “Not That Bad,” a glittering reflection on coping with self-doubt By DACEY ORR SIVEWRIGHT There’s no other artist out there quite like Aaron Lee Tasjan. The Nashville singer-songwriter blends glam-rock showmanship with poetic vulnerability and a comedian’s quick wit—all […]
Aaron Lee Tasjan Previews New Album With Glam-Pop Single “Up All Night”
[Rolling Stone] Enigmatic Nashville songwriter opens up about his anxieties, sexuality in first single off upcoming LP ‘Tasjan! Tasjan! Tasjan!’ By JOSEPH HUDAK Aaron Lee Tasjan offers a personal glimpse behind the glitter on his new song “Up All Night,” a succinct slice of ELO glam-pop that finds the enigmatic Nashville songwriter opening up about his […]
Aaron Lee Tasjan Has a Knack for Making Music That is Timeless – Listen to His Tiny Desk Concert
[NPR] By Bob Boilen Aaron Lee Tasjan arrived at the Tiny Desk in his fashionable ascot and mustard-colored shirt, sporting reflective, red, rounded sunglasses and mutton chops. As he warmed up, the sound of the middle-and-late 1960s came through his seagreen, Gorsuch 12-string guitar while his voice felt both familiar and fresh. This buoyant, East […]
Listen: Aaron Lee Tasjan on World Cafe
[NPR] By Stephen Kallao Aaron Lee Tasjan has a way with words and on his latest album, Karma For Cheap, he walks a fine line between timelessness and a record very much of this moment. For instance, one of his new songs is called “The Truth Is So Hard To Believe.” It’s easy to think […]
Review: Aaron Lee Tasjan’s Out-There Exploration ‘Karma for Cheap’
[Rolling Stone] An ambitious Nashville singer-songwriter takes a trip way way beyond country music By Joseph Hudak Nashville’s most eclectic singer-songwriter returns with a trippy stunner full of swirling, immersive rock songs that evoke both the effervescence of the Sixties and the grit of today. But while Aaron Lee Tasjan, as mesmerizing a guitar player […]
Aaron Lee Tasjan on Harmonizing With Sheryl Crow and Going Psychedelic
[Entertainment Weekly] By Sarah Rodman Reveling in his love for the Beatles, Tom Petty, and Thunderclap Newman, among others, Nashville-based singer-songwriter Aaron Lee Tasjan goes in some psychedelic directions on his transporting new album, Karma for Cheap (out now). With songs ranging from the Harrisonian, jaunty-but-searching “If Not Now When” to the achingly tender falsetto […]
First Listen: Aaron Lee Tasjan, ‘Karma For Cheap’
[NPR] By Ann Powers Listen! Aaron Lee Tasjan is not your typical rock everyman. But then, in 2018, who is? Some musclebound would-be scion of Metallica’s James Hetfield, hawking satellite radio-ready blend of guitar crunch and libertarianism? Or the emulators of the inescapable standard-bearer Springsteen, himself so somber and Steinbeckian, selling $850 seats on Broadway? […]
Aaron Lee Tasjan Calls for Change, Compassion on New Song ‘If Not Now When’
[Rolling Stone] “I wanted to make a record that could help to comfort somebody or uplift somebody,” says Nashville singer-guitarist of new album ‘Karma for Cheap’ By Marissa R. Moss “People forget that there is such a thing as having a difficult conversation,” says Aaron Lee Tasjan, calling Rolling Stone Country from the road, where […]