A bare-boned vocal performance nestled warmly in a bed of lilting synthesisers
Canadian alternative pop artist Tiya releases her sophomore single, “Hydrogen Peroxide”. The song offers a second dose of the gorgeous, organic-meets electronic music that fans have come to expect from this up-and-coming talent since the release of her debut single “Chamomile Tea” in July .
The new song reveals a singer-songwriter in her element: fans of “Chamomile Tea” will notice the sonic and lyrical resemblance in “Hydrogen Peroxide,” dressed up in a sleeker production courtesy of producer Alex Flagstad (Ashton Irwin/ Morgan St.Jean). Tiya’s stark, bare-boned vocal performance is nestled warmly in a bed of lilting synthesisers and programmed drums, and her evocative lyrics conjure vivid sensory experiences. Like sonic paintings with heartsick brush strokes, Tiya knows how to pack a few short lines with impossibly raw emotional intensity. “Lay down on your side of the bed / ‘Cause I washed the laundry / And your scent left the sheets / Now it smells like hydrogen peroxide.” Her visceral, forlorn lyrics take a page from the Taylor Swift book (her song “Cardigan” was a huge influence when writing the song), while, the track, which features haunting vocoders and atmospheric harmonies, recalls a more stripped back Imogen Heap.
When it came to writing the latest single, Tiya found herself inadvertently stringing together a narrative about her own struggle with mental health. “I wrote “Hydrogen Peroxide” when I was struggling to articulate the feeling of emptiness, of missing something,” Tiya remembers. She came upon the symbolism of clean laundry, once fragrant with the scent of a loved one and, later, sterile and bare from the wash. The sensation of stealing a shirt from someone you love and missing how it felt to smell their scent on you is the very feeling that inspired the song in fact, Tiya even wears the shirt in question in the single’s cover art. Producer Flagstad even went so far as to incorporate the sound of a coin drop in a laundromat into the drum tracks on “Hydrogen Peroxide.” It’s nuances like these that show Tiya’s dedication to elevating moments from everyday life as if they are art forms themselves, imbuing the mundane with cinematic beauty through her music.
The new single comes on the heels of “Chamomile Tea,” Tiya’s debut, which Permanent Rain Press called “soft and striking,” while Soft Sound Press lauded her “euphonic vocals and knack< for storytelling.” “Chamomile Tea” resonated so deeply with her audience that her accompanying fundraiser for Anxiety Canada surpassed its goal within the first day of its release. But while her first single marked the singer’s honest depiction of her release from a swirl of anxiety, ”Hydrogen Peroxide” represents the build-up, serving as a prequel to the narrative she teased in her debut. “I’m tossing and turning in bed, missing the former version of myself who wasn’t so lonely and stressed out all the time,” she says of the subject matter in “Hydrogen Peroxide.” The singles, when strung together, tell a story of one night rife with self struggle. But fans should expect the narrative to continue unfolding.
A music video and more music from Tiya are on the way, although where the story leads is uncertain. “The next single after “Hydrogen Peroxide” will definitely be a plot twist.” Stay tuned for the next chapter the rollercoaster of Tiya’s world is only getting started.