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Chicagoland native Tristen Gaspadarek is a Nashville-based singer/songwriter who records and performs under the name Tristen. Inspired by Beatles songs on oldies radio and encouraged by her musician father, Tristen began experimenting with music at a young age, recording at home and playing at local coffeehouses. After graduating from De Paul University, she relocated to Nashville to further pursue a career in music. In 2009, she compiled a CD of her home recordings titled Teardrops and Lollipops, which she sold at shows in unique hand-sewn sleeves. In early 2011, she released a more definitive debut called Charlatans at the Garden Gate, an album of smartly written indie pop with strains of folk and Americana. The album was well received, earning praise from NPR, Paste Magazine, and Spin. She went on tour with established acts like Justin Townes Earle and Ezra Furman & the Harpoons before heading back to Nashville to record her follow-up. Lacking a record label, Tristen opted to fund her next album through a successful Kickstarter campaign. The resulting release was 2013's Caves, an eloquently made, synth-driven album and stylistic left turn for Tristen. Like its predecessor Charlatans, Caves was also named Best Local Album in 2013 by the Nashville Scene Critics Poll. ~ Timothy Monger, Rovi