8.5 Taryn Blake Miller: She Does Music / by Elaine Sheldon


Curated by: Sarah Ginsburg

Every March, I go home to Columbia, Missouri for my version of ‘The Most Wonderful Time of the Year’: True/False Film Festival (T/F). Besides getting to see stacks on stacks of films, my favorite part of T/F is the music. T/F hand picks musicians from all around the world and brings them to the middle of Missouri to play for moviegoers before films, at late night showcases, and on the street corners of downtown Columbia as we stumble out of one dimly lit venue and run to the next. One of the buskers that we were lucky enough to hear is Taryn Blake Miller who plays simply divine music under the moniker Your Friend. It’s hard for me to describe the feeling her songs give me, but I will tell you that every song makes me close my eyes, put my hands on my heart, and just sway. Elaine and I were simply taken with Your Friend, and we’re pretty sure you will be too. 


How would you describe your music? A blogger once said that it was kind of like something that would exist in a pretty unpopulated territory but is still welcoming. I like to say that it’s evolving and it’s open. There’s a lot of space and room within it. But I’d say it’s a well intentioned hand shake.

Where does ‘Your Friend’ come from? I’ve had a lot of experiences making really serious connections with strangers and not knowing who they are later, not getting their name, nothing, probably not ever seeing them again. But they’ve kind of stuck with me so I guess it’s kind of related to that in a way. What does it actually mean to be somebody’s friend? Whenever I’m interacting with anybody I try to be present and real with that person, because what you put out is what you get back and that’s how you make those connections with people. If you go into it being earnest and honest, then they react that way and it becomes genuine.

When you are performing a song, even if you’ve played it live countless times, are specific feelings from when you were originally writing and developing the track triggered? If I can’t hear myself in the monitors or if there’s some sort of technical difficulty, I can still find the notes that I’m singing based on how it feels. I can go back to those moments and channel how it felt to write it because that’s how it physically felt in that moment. So I can revisit that. Your brain remembers that, your muscles remember that. I think it can be sustained and even grow to something more important or special to you if you want it to.

Musical Inspirations? Arthur Russell, Lucrecia Dalt, Dave Harrington, Jenny Hval, William Basinski, Holly Herndon, Tim Hecker, Andy Stott, Julia Holter, Jana Hunter, Annie Clark


Your Friend website

Jekyll / Hyde EP on iTunes

True/False Busker Line Up