Updated: Jan 24, 2020
Terry Light came out of nowhere and blew us away with "Lately". I spoke with them about their stunning debut below.
Terry Light is a soulful new group based in Los Angeles. The project officially launched this past week with their debut single "Lately" - a dreamy and spellbinding track that will evoke the deepest of feels. It's impossible not to replay it at least 4 times in a row. The song is accompanied by an exquisite music video, comprised of scenes from award-winning filmmaker Kailee McGee's short film, The Person I Am When No One Is Looking. The video premiered on Tuesday with medium.com. I had the pleasure of asking the chief songwriter behind the project - Tyler Torrison - some questions about Terry Light. Check out our conversation below and be sure to stream "Lately" on Apple Music + Spotify and follow Terry Light on Instagram. Take us through the origins of Terry Light. When did you decide to create the project and start making music for it?
I couldn't tell you the exact moment, but I've been building up a collection of written songs for years, while also playing in various other bands here in LA. I started to have a good batch that felt cool and singular enough where I wanted to make a point to record them and make the live experience more official than the occasional house party. The right friends slowly came in to the picture as well that were able to be a part of it and help it become a proper project, a 'Band' if you will.
What's your background in music like? Did you grow up playing?
My family is very musical on both sides, so it was always a big part of our life growing up. I started with piano pretty young, but didn't really like it til I taught myself drums and then guitar later on towards the end of high school, which is when I really fell in love with music and started to develop my own tastes, eventually finding a voice as an artist. I work as a music supervisor now on top of playing, so music has stayed a constant and will hopefully continue to flourish with this project.
When I listen to "Lately", I feel similarities of artists like Cigarettes After Sex and Beach House. Were you inspired by anyone in particular for this project?
Yeah definitely, but each song kind of comes with its own territory of influence - the next single is more of a dance song with it's own reference points. The goal is to have those familiar sounds that jump between genre all coming together and just sounding like a Terry Light song at the end of the day. I mostly approached "Lately" as a classic soul ballad that was arranged in to a more modern aesthetic, but there's shades of Nick Hakim and Frank Ocean in there too if I had to name some comparable contemporary sounds. Been a huge Beach House fan for years too, so I'm sure they're bouncing around in my subconscious somewhere.
I know you worked on the song with the very talented producer/composer Mark Hadley. How was it working together? Did you write/record it with him here in LA?
Mark is the homie. We recorded everything at his home studio in LA, which was awesome to have acting as a literal home base. I came to him with the song written, but he played a huge part in helping me sculpt the sound of it. He has a ton of fresh ideas and knew how to realize specific sounds I was aiming for to make each moment special, plus it's always a fun hang. We've worked together quite a bit in various musical capacities over the years, so we already had a really familiar shorthand and comfort in communicating what needs to happen.
Staying on the topic of collaborations, how did the Kailee McGee film come into play for the music video? She is a phenomenal creative. It must have been a blast working with her as well.
Kailee is another good friend, but the music video was all her. "Lately" has been done for almost a year, so I showed it to her a while back and she was really moved by it. She had been working on the short at the time and asked if she could use the song in it. I wasn't sure how she planned to use it but agreed, and was obviously blown away when I saw the film. I asked her if we could make a version of it for the music video, and luckily she agreed as well. Love a good dance video, and the way she re-contextualized the story told in "Lately" in to her own film's story was really special, so it felt like it was meant to be. Mark did the score too, which gave it a great cohesiveness to lead us in to the section that became the music video. Very lucky to have such talented and awesome friends. Be sure to check out the full short, it's hilarious and sad and wonderful.
Are you going to be performing "Lately" live anytime soon?
Definitely, going to be announcing CA show dates ASAP, and branch out further by next year.
What are the next steps for Terry Light?
We'll be rolling out a few more singles in the coming months while we finish recording all these other songs and have an album ready to go towards the beginning of 2020, then off to the races. Terry Light takeover.