New Sounds: Tishmal confronts uncharted pop waters on debut EP

Float like a butterfly, flutter like a hummingbird — that’s how you make an electropop EP, Tishmal-style.

Rachel Brockbank, nicknamed Tishmal from a young age by her father, has weaved the starstuff of lucid dreams and hallucinations into a five-track self-titled EP. And, as it turns out, after years of “closet writing,” Tishmal’s sound mirrors the meaning of her name more than you’d think.

“We have the tradition in my tribe and in my family, to be given a Native name,” the San Diego tells Vanyaland. “Having a Native name is one of the many ways we remember, honor, and claim our culture. My dad gave me the name Tishmal when I was like 12. It’s really special. Looking back, it was right about the time I started getting more serious with my songwriting. It’s also a big thing in my family’s culture to pay attention to dreams. I think the practice of doing this has helped me navigate my paths and emotions, and has given me inspiration in creating songs from them.”

Post-college, Brockbank now lives in Utah, where she crafted her EP with producers Mason Porter (Haarlem, Goldmyth) and Christian Darais (The Brocks).

“These songs all kind of stem from my nightmares and lucid dreams, that I’ve had since I was a kid,” Tishmal notes in the press release. “Songwriting is the way I’ve always navigated my feelings and expressed what’s going on deep in my head. It’s a cathartic process but it’s also tainted with this urgency — like I have to share this with people cause we’re all struggling, and I want people to know the struggle can be beautiful.”

Featured image via Impulse.