If you’re looking for some music to make your heart a little less heavy, singer-songwriter Tenille Townes’ new single “Thing That Brought Me Here” is a testament to healing in sound. In this striking single Townes expresses her gratitude for the winding road of lessons she’s learned in the many years of owning her truck. 

Despite her discography being relatively upbeat, she shows a different side to her songwriting with this single. For Townes, writing songs is a way to reach out to listeners in a widely confusing world. Along with her previous single “As You Are,” these songs showcase her raw yet nuanced vocals she’s worked hard to master.

Townes has scored several awards over the years such as Academy of Country Music Award and the JUNO’s 2021 & 2023 Country Album of the Year, and has opened for Stevie Nicks, Miranda Lambert, and Shania Twain. Her devotion to writing and recording has pushed her forward in the ever-growing Canadian music scene. This spring, Townes will be heading out for her  “Thing That Brought Me Here Tour,” across both America and Canada. 

We connected with Tenille Townes to discuss her newly released single, her backstories, and her upcoming tour.


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What inspired the “sonic shift” in your new single “As You Are,” and how do you feel this departure from your previous works represent your growth? 

This new sonic direction feels like I’ve been peeling back layers of myself in my growth as an artist and I’m getting to the core of what’s always been there. I loved the musical choices we made that reflect the simple, rock elements of my live show and sound. The cello felt like an important colour in that for me, I loved meeting the musicians around Seattle who record a little unconventionally. I think this song holds the door open to a sonic space that I feel comfortable and confident in walking into. 

Since “Thing That Brought Me Here” is a song about your truck, where were you when you decided to write it? 

I knew I’d wanted to write a song about my little piece of home, my truck that drove me 47 hours from Grande Prairie to Nashville, for a long time. I started to feel the urgency of letting this truck live on in a song after I sat on the side of the road waiting for AAA a couple of times to check engine light issues. I pulled up to Ben Rector’s house to write, telling him about the truck I’ve driven since high school, all its embarrassing and charming dents of character, and was so glad we wrote this song about it.

Can you share any specific challenges or breakthrough moments you experienced while crafting “Thing That Brought Me Here” either lyrically or musically? 

I felt this landing in my soul when we got to the end of the chorus, saying “I’m still holding on.” I’ve been running down this dream since I was a kid, and there are so many days when it feels like what I’m creating isn’t enough. The chorus feels like a declaration to just keep showing up, that I needed to say the day we wrote it, and I’ll always keep saying. My love for music is so much bigger than my fear of being good enough and I hold on to that truth whenever I’m struggling in my sound.

Courtesy of Sony Music

Your lyrics reflect on a lot of personal subjects. Was it difficult for you to approach these topics and what do you wish for listeners to take away from the song?

Music has always been my safe place. It’s significantly easier for me to sing you a song about how I feel, then it is for me to have a conversation about it. It feels therapeutic to write about something personal, but completely terrifying to share it and I always get nervous around a release. I want the community of people gathering around my songs to feel like they can all show up together and be who they are in this sound. 

How do you plan to integrate this single into your upcoming sets, and what can audiences expect from your upcoming shows?

I can’t wait to play this song! I’m at home right now and my heart is ready to get back out there and see everybody. It’s my favourite place to be. I love standing in that room together, connected by the invisible thread of music and our stories. I want our time to be a place where we can feel whatever we need to feel, and let go of anything heavy on our hearts to escape. 

What do you hope fans will experience or feel when listening to your single for the first time, considering its departure from your previous sound? 

I hope when people hear music, whatever it sounds like, they feel like they are listening to an invitation to show up and be who they are. I always want my music to be a safe place for anyone listening to feel that. And with this song, I hope they feel reminded that their ambitions are worth fighting for.

Want to keep up with Tenille Townes’ artist activities? Be sure to follow her Instagram.