“I’m just a ball of snot, like, ‘Hi, I’m Tristan and I’m a mess.’” That session yielded the completion of the album’s opening track “Say Anything” — an open-hearted tune about finding freedom in letting go.
“But once I walked through the door of honesty there was no telling where I was going.I’d never spoken out before about the way it really was, but I found myself saying ‘Screw it, I’m going to tell the whole story.’”As intense as some of the songs may be, the mood is tempered not only by playful, lighthearted tunes like first single “My Oh My” (“about someone still having their hand on you and you playing that game with them because it’s fun, even though you know it’s not good for you and it’s going to backfire”), “The Rebound,” “Quit You,” and the sexy, smoldering “Bad Drug,” but also by the album’s warm, earthy sound, which Prettyman created with her producer Greg Wells (Adele, Katy Perry), who plays piano, bass, drums, and some guitar on the album.I had periods of time where I was numb and immune to feeling.My walls were up really high and I was on my guard.“I started writing songs from a place that was so deep and honest, where I didn’t hold anything back,” she says. I was like, ‘This is what music is about — being able to release what is trapped inside of you.’ Whenever anything ached or caused me pain, I’d tell myself, ‘Save it for the record.’”With an artistry that lies in her finely etched lyrical details and intimate vocal performances, Prettyman spares no one, including herself, on songs like “Say Anything,” “I Was Gonna Marry You,” “Come Clean,” “Glass Jar,” and “Never Say Never,” which ends a heartbreaking spoken-word outro: “You can’t start a fire in the pouring rain.”Prettyman wrote several of the songs with Dave Hodges, whom she first met the morning after a particularly emotional night.
“I go meet Dave and I’m late and I’m crying,” she says.“The idea that ‘things may be a bit crappy right now, but let’s make the most of it’ is very reflective of me as a person and my outlook on life.I always try to look at the bigger picture of why something is happening.Once I did that, I got super creative and the songs started coming from a different place. I finally felt free.”Cedar Gold (whose title refers to both the cedar walls and ceilings in the home where she recovered from her heartbreak and the gold she spun from her situation in the songs) is an album that manages to be both deeply personal, but highly relatable to anyone who’s had the ground collapse under them and fought their way back to healing.It was a very intuitive process.”When mixing on Cedar Gold wrapped, Prettyman went back to her hotel room and burst into tears. “It’s actually a very hopeful album in a lot of ways, which I think is a common theme in all my records,” she says.I couldn't believe the amount of things we had in common, like growing up in southern California, surfing, our love for travel, our need for connection, our age and (lack of) marital status, the urge to empty our brains onto the page.