First Listen

Song Premiere: Aaron Lee Tasjan Stays True to Himself

Ahead of his new album, Tasjan! Tasjan! Tasjan!, the eclectic Nashville showman shares “Not That Bad,” a glittering reflection on coping with self-doubt

Photo: Curtis Wayne

There’s no other artist out there quite like Aaron Lee Tasjan. The Nashville singer-songwriter blends glam-rock showmanship with poetic vulnerability and a comedian’s quick wit—all of which are on full display on Tasjan! Tasjan! Tasjan!, his fourth album.

On the standout track “Not That Bad,” which G&G is proud to premiere today, gentle strings set the scene for weighty introspection, nimble rhyme schemes, and a few surprise references. “The world outside my window / looks like Nintendo,” he sings. “But I’m not playing / games anymore.” Tasjan describes the song as being about the “separation anxiety” we experience when we’re detached from our true selves—something he grappled with when he began working on the album. Feeling stifled by outside expectations after the success of his previous efforts, including 2018’s Karma for Cheap, he opted to keep Tasjan! Tasjan! Tasjan! a secret at first, quietly recording with co-producer Greg Lattimore at Make Sound Good Studios in Nashville. 

As evidenced on “Not That Bad,” the unconventional recording process unlocked something exceptional. “When someone has a perception of you that feels like it doesn’t ring true to who you really are or what your experience has been,” he says, “it can be easy to start questioning yourself. This song is about trying to catch myself in that bad pattern and try a little tenderness instead.”

Hear “Not That Bad” below. Tasjan! Tasjan! Tasjan! is set for release this Friday and available for preorder here