Getting To Know... Tracy Eckstrand

After spending the last few years delivering a string of warm and lofty delights, New York-based singer-songwriter Tracy Eckstrand is back once again to offer up her sweeping new single 'Come Around'.

Lifted from her highly-praised debut EP 'Who Is Gonna Rescue You', which is available to stream now, 'Come Around' makes for a wondrous return to form for the artist at the helm. With her rich and vibrant vocal performance layered across a shimmering folk-pop production throughout, she continues to shine as one of the more exciting names on the rise right now.

So with the new single available to stream now, we sat down with her to find out more about her origins and what has been inspiring her most lately.


What was the first instrument you fell in love with?

The first instrument I fell in love with was the acoustic guitar. I’ve wanted to play guitar since I was thirteen. My parents bought me a very cheap one for my birthday. I had 3 siblings, and my parents couldn’t afford guitar lessons, so my mother bought some beginner guitar lesson books and I taught myself how to play with chord charts and popular songbooks.

What kind of music did you love when you were younger?

I loved the Beatles, James Taylor, Carol King, Carly Simon, Cat Stevens, the Bee Gees, ABBA, and Queen.

What was the first album you remember owning?

The first album I bought and owned was the Beatles 1962-1966 (The Red Album). It was a double record album with hits such as, “Yesterday” and “Nowhere Man.” I played that album so often that I wore it out.

What is the one song you wished you could have written yourself?

There are so many! I guess the song, “Up on the Roof,” written by Carol King and Gerry Goffin. I first heard it when James Taylor covered it on his 1979 album release called “Flag.”

Do you have any habits or rituals you go through when trying to write new music?

Yes. I write my thoughts and feelings in a personal journal. Sometimes all I get is a lot of nothing. Lol! Other times I get some good lines which I then turn into a full song.

I try to listen to a variety of music on Spotify. I listen to Indie artists as well as famous artists to get ideas. I attend songwriting retreats. I’ve learned new skills, built friendships as well as networked in these retreats. What better vacation for a songwriter than immersing yourself in a retreat with other songwriters!

I’ve had a few more seasoned songwriters mentor me. Many of my friends are songwriters and we get together to support one another. Sometimes when I hear a song that I really enjoy I will replicate the beat and vibe of that song on my guitar. Then I sing over it. Usually, whatever is stored in my unconscious mind comes out.

I think some of the best songs are the ones that are universal feelings with which many people can identify. I think really interesting songs have to pull you in. There has to be a feeling of push-pull. One of my mentor’s used to call it, “against the what?” What is the struggle in the song? And how is the songwriter going to resolve the issue? Those are the kind of songs I like to write.

Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?

Sheryl Crow, Wreckless Strangers, Frankie Bird, Jann Arden, Echosmith, Van Plating, Mia Dyson, American Authors, Bella Deer, Ashlyn Wolfe, Jenn Cleary, Jonatha Brooke, Lacy Dalton, Chrissie Hynde, Counting Crows, Chris Robley, City Harbor, Andrew Worley, The Weepies, One Republic, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Paul McCartney, Alanis Morissette, Tracy Chapman, and Lucinda Williams.

If you could open a show for anyone in the world, who would it be?

Sheryl Crow

What do you find is the most rewarding part about being a musician?

The most rewarding part of being a musician for me is connecting with other musicians. I love playing in a band. I love it when musician friends spontaneously join in and play their instruments during a show, which often happens in the places I perform. There are so many talented musicians and I love being connected to them! I think the world would be a much better place if it operated the way musicians do when they’re in friendly collaboration with one another. It’s a very supportive feeling. I love playing my own songs because it’s emotionally cathartic, however, when other musicians join me in supporting me to make my songs better, I love that even more!

And what is the most frustrating part?

It’s very difficult to make a living as a musician. There’s no guarantee of a regular paycheck. I’ve put a lot of money and time into my career that I may never get back, however, I do it because I love it. Fortunately, I had a career before as a school psychologist, so I was able to save money to be able to fund my music career but there’s never “enough” money and no guarantee of success (whatever you deem as success nowadays).

And what is the best piece of advice you have received as a musician?

Hmmm. I guess it would be “practice, practice, practice.” That goes for getting better at all aspects of being a musician such as songwriting, learning how to embellish melodies on the guitar, and getting better at self-promotion. I’m a high achiever. That has its pluses and minuses. On the plus side, I’m constantly pushing myself to learn more. Currently, I’m heavily involved in learning how to promote my music. I’m always searching for ways to be better at songwriting, guitar playing, and promotion. I think it will take my lifetime to get to where I want to be.


Tracy Eckstrand's new single 'Come Around' is available to stream now. Check it out in the player below.