Too often we see young artists fall as rapidly as they rise. It’s incredibly difficult navigating the pursuit of a career in music and adulthood in general, but for 20-year-old singer and writer TRACES, his upcoming Heart of Gold EP embodies the exact pursuit of greatness that rising artists should aspire for. We’re eagerly awaiting what he has to say on Oct. 20 when the album is set to release.
Tim Dehnert, the young singer behind TRACES, is inspired by a myriad of genres—from indie-pop to hip-hop to blues—each that allow him to create music that crumbles barriers. TRACES’ 2016 singles, “Share Your Love,” Do Better,” and “Hypnotized,” have collectively earned the singer critical acclaim and several million Spotify views. Dehnert recently made his live debut to a full house at The Echo in Los Angeles, foreshadowing only more success to come.
TRACES just released “idbh.,” one of the six tracks on Heart of Gold. Self-described as the “favorite [he’s] ever written,” the track provides a small glimpse into the nature of the EP. The introduction of a soft piano initially creates a melancholy mood that is reinforced by heavy reverb and Dehnert’s smooth vocals. The song climaxes into a more percussive chorus, in which Dehnert professes he doesn’t belong.
The EP is a bold taste of the young singer’s repertoire. Listeners can anticipate the slow reveal of TRACES’ different musical sides and capabilities. In moving from his home of San Diego to Los Angeles, Dehnert faced obstacles in acclimating to the new city and navigating the music industry. This struggle has largely impacted the forthcoming EP and is touched upon in each of the six tracks. The EP takes listeners on a rollercoaster complete with the highs of powerful beats and lows of softer vocals, and Dehnert ultimately details his desperate journey for a heart of gold.
In anticipation of the EP and to gain further insight into the music, we’ve asked TRACES about the songs that have influenced his upcoming project:
“Steady” by JOY.
JOY. has been one of my personal favorites for the past couple years. She is an inspiring multi-instrumentalist (especially on the piano) as well as an amazing producer for several artists out of Australia (Anfa Rose, Manu Crook$, etc.) and elsewhere. Being that she is same age as me, it’s easy to identify with what she is saying, and she keeps me motivated in my own work as well.
“Eclipse” by ELOHIM
ELOHIM in my opinion is one of the most unique and innovative artists out right now. She has picked great collaborators to create a distinct aesthetic on her music videos, artwork, and live visuals. Most importantly she has been consistent with amazing songs, really pushing the boundaries of pop and experimental blending.
“Get a Bar of Tha Side” by John Givez
I’ve been following John since his second project: Soul Rebel. John covers a wide range of topics from growing up in the church and how that relationship with God has changed to racially motivated oppression in America today. The dude not only is an incredible rapper but a solid singer as well. Givez is also from my hometown, technically Oceanside but I want him to be an artist that San Diego as a whole represents and is proud of.
“Retract” by Vasser
Vasser has been releasing a few singles here and there over this past year or so but has recently released his first EP, A Telling End. He has this really unique production and instrumentation style. The one thing I really appreciate about his music is he seems very intentional with how he uses his words and where they are placed. Every word, sound, and phrase means something.
“Under the Sun” by JSPH
JSPH is a talented R&B artist out of Cincinnati. I started as a huge fan of his EP, Rule, and ended up working with him on a few songs since then. Although I am biased, JSPH has some of the most unique song concepts. With every single he releases, I’m inspired and challenged to step my game up. He has a lot more music coming and you should be as excited for it as I am.
“Ride the Wave” by David Sebastian
One of my favorite things about David’s art is that with him it is about the whole picture, meaning the fashion, the music, the artwork, etc. I found about him through some songs he had featured on and decided to check out his other stuff, which is all great. David has a whole catalog of unreleased music that I’m sure is going push him to the surface.
Be on the lookout for TRACES’ upcoming EP, Heart of Gold, on Oct. 20. In the meantime, keep up with Dehnert on all his socials: