Tessa Rae Takes It Slow and Steady On New Single "if you still like me in the morning"

Kieran Kohorst
Credit: Shane McCauley

An anthem meant for victims of intrusive thoughts, LA’s Tessa Rae writes from her subconscious on her new track, “if you still like me in the morning.” A shadow of doubt cast from her cautiously tender voice, Rae’s curiosity overwhelms her self-doubt. "I had a dream that someone I liked got back with their ex,” she says of the song’s inspiration. “I asked them one night half-jokingly if they would still like me in the morning. I think as women it's fun for us to transform from day to night. We dress up, do our hair and makeup, and it can feel really powerful to choose how we present ourselves to the world. But you always wonder if someone will still like you first thing when you wake up, at your most raw and vulnerable state. Imagining you’ll never be enough for someone can lead to a lot of unnecessary jealousy. It's an emotion I've tried to make sense of but still can't quite figure out.”

The manifestation of Rae’s nightmarish illusion arrives in the very direct, reflective “if you still like me in the morning.” While her commitment is unwavering, it’s her own self-constructed doubts that pose a threat to the relationship. Rae writes endearingly, careful enough not to accuse but persistent enough to convey concern. The track itself has a subtle anxiety below the surface embodied in the looming guitars, otherwise hidden by the assertive drums found throughout. The accompanying visualizer for “if you still like me in the morning” captures the hazy, steady pace of the music. 

Oakland-born and LA-raised, Tessa Rae has taken many different forms in her recordings, though honesty in her songwriting has been a constant. Through folk, indie, pop, and alternative production styles, Rae has been able to give her lyrics new arenas to shine in, adapting her talent to whichever medium is needed. Her upcoming EP is likely to expand Rae’s bounds even more - title track “Sweetly, Softly” is a comfortable acoustic ballad that helps to set the stage for the music to come. 

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