Tracy Bonham Metamorphosizes with New Single “Whether You Fall”

Photo (c) Shervin Lainez

Formerly an indie rock darling, Tracy Bonham is now using her life experience and classical violin and piano training to expand her musical palette. However, her new single, “Whether You Fall,” isn’t quite new. She explains that this song initially appeared on her 2005 album “Blink the Brightest.” It has been a fan favorite ever since the original recording was placed in the Showtime series and soundtrack for The L Word. The lyrics are as relevant now as they were then, even more. A song about resilience and recovery, time has given it more depth and relevance in her life.

She explains that she was diagnosed with breast cancer in January and recently came out of a very protracted divorce and depression, and that took a lot out of her. Tracy opens up about the challenges that have befallen her in recent years, unveiling that these obstacles have given her an opportunity to turn inward.

She says that “Whether You Fall” is a deeply powerful and uplifting song about taking the hits in life and getting back up.

Tracy adds that this song is a call for her to come out of the darkness and to not let it take her down. She is a fighter. She is a survivor. She is incredibly resilient. She has made strides to make her life better and she is in a much better place because of her resilience, and because of the supportive people she is surrounded by. This song was written two decades ago, for friends and family, about engaging in life again after falling down, specifically after 9/11 and her mom’s cancer diagnosis. This time, this particular arrangement and recording of “Whether You Fall”… this one’s for her.

A New Life for “Whether You Fall”

Recorded at Applehead Recording in Woodstock, NY, “Whether You Fall (2024)” is given new life, featuring Rene Hart on bass, Alvester Garnett on drums, Steve Cardenas on guitar, Olivier Manchon on violin, and Clara Kennedy on cello, while Tracy plays piano and sings. Following the previous single “Damn the Sky (For Being Too Wide),” which also featured Hart and Garnett, the new “Whether You Fall” shows Tracy’s continued exploration of melding contemporary jazz sensibilities with her trademark passionate singer/songwriter roots to create musical alchemy.

Tracy says she has been playing with a phenomenal rhythm section for the past two or three years: Rene Hart on upright bass and Alvester Garnett on drums. These two players come from a jazz background, and they are incredibly deep musicians and human beings. This has influenced her, her sound, and her new music greatly. The new arrangement of this song has a maturity and a sense of wholeness to it, like she has grown up in the musical world allowing herself to relax and enjoy the results of coming into alignment with who she truly is. One can also hear her reconnection to her classical training and her love for classical music with beautiful violin melodies and string parts that weave in between the incredible rhythm section’s heavy groove, especially during the outro of the song. Alvester takes it to a new level when he lets loose during the repetitive chord changes making it a jumping off point from the hypnotic back and forth to a rock drummer’s dream. She has been told that the outro is reminiscent of Radiohead’s “OK Computer” and she is totally fine with that. She has loved that band since the beginning.

Upcoming Shows

Following the resounding success of her collaboration with her hometown of Oregon’s Eugene Ballet, Tracy has added a handful of shows this summer that kicks off with Milwaukee’s Summerfest on June 27th and moves eastward to a Brooklyn event at NYC’s iconic Archway in DUMBO.

Tracy Bonham is a classically trained violinist and pianist turned alternative singer-songwriter who rose to fame in 1996 with her twice Grammy-nominated album, “The Burdens of Being Upright.” This debut album cast Bonham into the global spotlight with major radio airplay and her #1 alternative chart-topping song “Mother Mother,” an anthem for disgruntled teenagers of all ages.

Over the past 27 years, Bonham’s albums and live performances have shown what it is to be an ever-evolving artist. While Bonham sings, she moves from guitar to violin, from violin to piano, and back again. When playing live, her songs from the 90s blend and blur with stylistic changes that she has created over time making her entire repertoire make sense as an entire body of work. She plays the old and new material and even though the songs span thirty years they all continue to be equally relevant.

Tour Dates

  • 6/27 Summerfest, Uline Warehouse Stage – Milwaukee, WI (7:30pm)
  • 6/29 Hey, Nonny – Chicago, IL
  • 6/30 The Icehouse – Minneapolis, MN
  • 7/6 Maverick Saturday Nights – Woodstock, NY
  • 7/27 Live recording pre-release party at Applehead Recording – Woodstock, NY
  • 7/29 Maverick Family Saturdays – Woodstock, NY
  • 8/8 Live at the Archway, DUMBO Archway – Brooklyn, NY
To share this article:

Don't forget to follow our Spotify Playlist: