Testament to her cathartic voice, tinyumbrellas (also known as dt) has the ability to tug at your heart’s strings. Her style is dreamy, serene, calming and artistic, with influences from Cavetown and Dodie. She tells a story of love, loss, and happiness within the six songs of her latest EP Somewhere To Fall Asleep.
“Zombies” is an intimate song that reminisces about a childhood friendship, the light-hearted melody lends to the innocence and uncertainty of a childhood friendship that grows deeper as both friends age. Halfway through the song, there is an update on the friendship, as the subjects have now grown and remained friends. Her youthful, and raw voice carries this song to the last blissful note.
A recurrent theme I noticed in this EP was lamenting over relationships as is evident in “Paper Planes”, where she sings, “I remember / The stories we wrote together / It’s like we knew / That the pages would unfold as we grew / Oh, that’s the way it goes / Just follow your heart because it knows more than your head / I’ll never understand that though“.
Her tempo then lowers in the titular song: “Somewhere To Fall Asleep”. Morose tones spill out, the tiredness and passion in her voice is spellbinding. In this song, she is the one who has been heartbroken and she wishes for karma to come back and bite this person that she was so in love with. Clear aguish and deny so jagged it makes one shed a tear, carries out this song, till there is acceptance.
As I listened to her, I started to remember my own youth, the quirkiness of new friendships and the first heartbreak that most people have lived through. Within songs such as “Between The Same Lines”, she carries out a symphonic melody but the lyrical content is hardly as simple.
It is deep and comes from a place of deep longing, with lyrics such as, “Are we reading between the same lines? / Will I be satisfied in a year’s time? / What about in a year’s time? / In a year’s time?”
Such a truth can remain hidden when you are an extra. In “Life As An Extra”, we get to see life through the lenses of a person who is never seen. A person who is part of the wallpaper and goes through life seeing others experience things and be happy for them.
I think she touches on a very interesting topic here and acknowledges that there are people who are ignored, but they too wish to experience things. Most young people can relate to how it feels to be an extra. She displays this gracefully but thoughtfully as she sings about watching other people fall in love and wondering when her turn will be.
However, hope is not futile in this story. For in a song like “A Small Village” that seems much like a ballad and shows her Cavetown influences, these lyrics can have one feeling all warm inside: “Do I know you? ‘Cause you seem familiar / In a sense that I can’t see / Whеn you’re near / Can I hold you and repeat what you said? / You remind me of the moon / In the prettiest way“.
When I first listened to this EP, I will admit that I did not take the lyrical content seriously. I was hearing this beautiful melody and not really listening. I just knew that I absolutely loved the aesthetics and vibes. But what made me fall in love and keep these songs in my head was the fact that dt is so vulnerable and relatable.
I fell in love with her more stripped-back sound. It allowed me to listen to her emotions and to feel interconnected. It made me wish that I had this album to get me through my younger years.
Who would I recommend this to the most? Anyone who is still young or entering adulthood Let this be the soundtrack as you are figuring out life and leaving childhood behind. Either way, no matter who you are, you need to listen deeply, dt might just be what you need.
Listen to tinyumbrellas’ Somewhere To Fall Asleep EP below and stream it everywhere else here.
Words by Melisa Nyamukondiwa