Soren Bryce’s New Band ‘Tummyache’ Unapologetically Confronts Anxiety
This post is also available in: 日本語 (Japanese)
Soren Bryce was a rising teen sensation making some serious indie-pop music. What wasn’t there to love about that? But as wonderful as the music she was making was, eventually, it was no longer her. She changed. In the midst of her continuing struggle with severe physical anxiety, Bryce did the most rock n’ roll thing one could do; she cut off all her hair, started a rock band, and unapologetically confronted her problems. Her alternative rock band, Tummyache, is named after a physical anxiety symptom, and her music now works together with her anxiety in marvelous, challenging, and surprising ways, marking a new stage in Bryce’s career. The meaning of Bryce’s music comes from her relentless relationship to her own changing truth.
Such a change has us reeling with curiosity, so we got in touch with Soren Bryce to learn more about the switch in her musical career and about what it takes to keep things real with herself, her music, and with all of you!
After years of making music under your own name, you’ve made a transition in your music career by starting Tummyache, your newest music project. What have been the biggest differences between working as Tummyache and working as Soren Bryce? Has your perspective on making and producing music changed at all?
I would say over the years my view toward creating music has changed drastically. It’s always come from a place of relief and brain-spill, however, after touring for a few years, I wanted to transition into a new genre that had more energy and personality, as well as relatability. I think creating under Tummyache has been a really good way for me to channel some emotions that I never was able to access before. Or at least didn’t feel able to showcase before.
People have been making art out of their personal struggles time and time again—and yet, you have managed to stand out for making your personal struggles a focal point in a way that constantly surprises. What process do you go through to do the amount of self-reflection and expression that your music requires? What has it taken to be honest not only with yourself but with the world?
I’ve always felt that music was one of the only healthy ways I could expel my negative emotions, so it’s forced me to be a much more honest person. When I first started writing, I feel like I had an idea of what I wanted to say, but I’ve realized that what I “want to say” is just the truth of where I’m at.
While you have spoken about the benefits of writing about your anxiety, have there been any consequences to working closely with such troubled feelings? If so, do you have any advice to give to artists that may be similarly affected?
My relationship with mental health has always been a tricky one because I grew up in an environment that didn’t necessarily allow me to be an open an honest person except through music. Now that I’m in my twenties and have a good relationship with my family and many helpful friends, my ability to process and handle emotions has shifted drastically. In turn, my writin has become more self-aware, because I’ve been able to experience that in my personal life with my relationships.
You already earned quite a bit of success before making the change from a long hairstyle to a shaved one. Have you noticed a change in the way you’ve been perceived because of it? And what other thoughts do you have on the subject of your image as an artist in general?
I’ve never particularly cared what I looked like, and my last label was pretty cool with a lot of aesthetic things, but I’d be lying if I said they never affected my personal choices. When I left that label, I kind of wanted to just shave my head because it’s something I always wanted to do but never got the chance. I feel like everyone should just do what they want! I create more when I feel most myself.
The ability to show the world the kind of person you are through music is a powerful thing, and you do it exceptionally well. However, there are always things that are hard to put into the right words. Is there anything you hope to eventually express in your music, and any challenges you anticipate to arise by doing so?
I’d love to be able to do a concept album in the future centering around my struggles with mental health issues. I feel like I have a lot of personal growth before I’m able to get to that point. I look forward to the growing pains and seeing what I create because of it.
Seeing a young artist deal with difficult feelings creatively, then taking a leap of faith and making her own path is inspiring. Tummyache’s single “Median” is a melodic and powerful anthem for those that are confronting their own anxieties head on and are willing to do whatever it takes to feel comfortable in their own skin.
Check out Tummyache’s “Median” and other Trend and Chaos picks on our Spotify Discover Playlist.
*Photos by Lizzie Steimer
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Zoe is a staff writer and editor for Trend & Chaos. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in literature from The New School at age 20 and is now a graduate student in New York City working on her Masters in creative writing. Follow her on Instagram.
This post is also available in: 日本語 (Japanese)