Born Tristen Gaspadarek, Tristen grew up on the south side of Chicago, the grandchild of first and second generation immigrants. Singing since she could speak, by the time she was a teenager she began writing her own songs and recording. She went on to study communication theory at DePaul University until the combination of broken marriage engagement and her discovery of David Bowie inspired her to move to Nashville to put a band together. Tristen quickly gained attention in Nashville with local press touting her as "a new breed of female songwriter". Local shows turned into national touring, and before long Tristen gained a reputation for being a remarkable live performer, touring relentlessly, and bringing along Nashville's hottest musicians as her backing band. Incredibly prolific, the songwriter produces her own records.
Her first record Charlatans at the Garden Gate, released in 2011, was met with critical praise from NPR, Rolling Stone, Paste, KCRW, World Café, Boston Globe, and the Chicago Tribune. She released her follow up, CAVES, in 2013, which added electronic trappings and lush keyboards to her warm, guileless vocals and earnest, evocative songwriting. Stephen Hague, known for producing OMD, Peter Gabriel, and New Order mixed the album. Both of her albums were named the #1 local album by the Nashville Scene and placed in American Songwriter's top 50 albums of their respective years. Tristen has emerged as a truly individual songwriter, bridging genres and emotions to create a distinctive sound all her own. Her finely honed modern pop is rich with exquisite arrangements and a remarkably intuitive lyrical approach.
Last year, while finishing a third album, Tristen toured the world as a keyboardist and backup singer in Jenny Lewis's band. Tristen's new record Sneaker Waves is due out in 2017.