Tristen (Born Tristen Gaspadarek, 1983) is an American musician and songwriter. She grew up in Lansing, IL, a blue collar suburb of Chicago, where at the age of 8, her musician father encouraged her to take up the piano. Growing up with access to her fa...
Tristen (Born Tristen Gaspadarek, 1983) is an American musician and songwriter. She grew up in Lansing, IL, a blue collar suburb of Chicago, where at the age of 8, her musician father encouraged her to take up the piano. Growing up with access to her father's modest home studio, Tristen was able to experiment with songwriting and recording from a young age. Initially inspired by the local Oldies station 104.3 and The Beatles she began writing her own songs. It was not long before she picked up the guitar and started performing her original material in local coffeehouses. After graduating from De Paul University in 2007, where she studied relational group and organizational theories of communication, she moved to Nashville, TN to focus on her music. Immersing herself in the burgeoning Nashville indie scene, she began recording songs on a $200 Mbox Mini and posting them to MySpace. When she had an album's worth of her home recordings, she self-released them as the record Teardrops & Lollipops, packaging CDs in handsewn sleeves she would sell at shows.
In February 2011 she released her label debut Charlatans At The Garden Gate to critical acclaim, with Rolling Stone magazine praising the record for its "catchy refrains with multiple meanings," and "ear-tugging melodies with hidden hooks." The album was also recognized favorably by NPR, Spin Magazine, The Onion AV Club, and Paste Magazine among many others. At the close of 2011 her record Charlatans At The Garden Gate was cited in many year end lists including American Songwriter Magazine's "Top 50 Albums Of 2011." "Charlatans At The Garden Gate" was also honored by Nashville Alt-Weekly the Nashville Scene as the "Top Local Album of 2011"
Since the release of Charlatans At The Garden Gate Tristen has extensively toured North America with artists including The Elected, Justin Townes Earle, Ezra Furman and the Harpoons as well as other indie bands. She also made her debut at many summer festivals in both the United States and Canada including Bonnaroo where she was named by both Spin and American Songwriter as an "Artist To Watch" at the festival. "Baby Drugs" was featured on the HBO television series "Enlightened" and MTV's reality TV show "Teen Mom".
On March 4, 2013 Tristen reached her goal on Kickstarter to support the release of her new album C A V E S. Backers received downloads, CDs, vinyl, limited edition items such as quilted record covers, quilts, valentines, personally recorded songs and a Tristen House Party. C A V E S was released in October 2013.
Tristen released her second LP, C A V E S, in October 2013. C A V E S was recorded partly in Nashville by Battletapes engineer, Jeremy Ferguson, part in Omaha with Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, M Ward) and was mixed by synth-pop pioneer Stephen Hague (New Order, Pet Shop Boys). Just like her previous album, Charlatans at the Garden Gate, C A V E S was named "Best Local Album of 2013". by the Nashville Scene Critic's Poll and in the "Top 50 Albums of 2013" by American Songwriter. SPIN Magazine claimed that the new sound of C A V E S had recast the songwriter as "a synth pop siren" 
2015 - Gaspadarek is currently working as a back up musician for singer/songwriter Jenny Lewis' current tour, playing synth and singing back up vocals.