While the subject matter covered in 17-year-old songwriter Tish Melton’s debut single “Michelle” isn’t necessarily exclusive to the drama of teenhood, the way she narrates what has colloquially become known as a “friendship breakup” feels unique to a coming-of-age perspective. “‘Michelle’ is simple, universal, and one of my favorite songs I’ve written,” Melton shares of the track, which matches the intensity of recalling one’s first heartbreak while the instrumental and Melton’s vocals invoke the cool Americana of Neko Case. “You care for someone so much while knowing it’s not their job to reciprocate it.”
While the track was ideated in Melton’s bedroom, the songwriter shares that it really came together when she took it into the studio alongside her producer and mentor Brandi Carlile, who attests to the young musician’s brilliance. “Like most lessons in life, I learned this one while I thought I was teaching it,” Carlile shared with us. “We should guide youth in music but there’s no question that it should lead. My favorite thing was excitedly trying to explain that all the ‘new sounds’ Tish was into were actually the sounds of my city [Seattle] when I was exactly her age. A wonderful artist can plug you back into past parts of yourself you maybe should’ve stayed connected to.”
“Learning from Brandi has changed the way I think about my music,” Melton adds. “She’s a mentor and a friend.”
Check out a video for the track below.