Katelyn Tarver Reveals the Meaning Behind 'Nicer' and Her Debut Album, Subject to Change

Singer-songwriter Katelyn Tarver is having a very big year in 2021, culminating in the release of her debut album, Subject to Change, on Nov. 12.

The release will be a huge first for her, and based on what we've heard so far, fans are in for a treat. Earlier this year, we fell in love with her delicately insightful tracks "Sh*t Happens" and "All Our Friends Are Splitting Up," but her latest release, "Nicer," is out today, Sep. 23, and it just might be our favorite.

Katelyn Tarver wearing gold top (photographed by Ethan Gulley)

(Photo credit: Ethan Gulley)

So what exactly happens when someone tells you that you used to be nicer? We got the chance to ask Katelyn all about the meaning behind the new single, and where it fits into Subject to Change.

Sweety High: What was the songwriting and recording process behind "Nicer"?

Katelyn Tarver: We wrote it when L.A. was still pretty locked down last year, so it was all written on Zoom with Annika Bennett and Davis Naish. I had been writing more introspective, emotional songs, so I was in the mood to write something different and a little less "sad." My producer, Davis, had already kind of started working on the track so we started from there and wrote it pretty quickly once we got going.


SH: What does the song mean to you? Was it based on your own experiences?

KT: Yeah, I pulled a lot from my own experiences for this song. To me, this song is just about the process of getting to know myself more—seeing all the ways I've made myself smaller for the sake of others, being a people pleaser, being too apologetic. As I get older and see those tendencies in myself, it's nice to be able to try and grow out of them and become more comfortable in my own skin.

SH: In what ways do you feel "Nicer" is an empowering song? What do you think is the value in not pretending to play nice anymore?

KT: I feel like it's empowering in a way that it's just celebrating being authentically yourself. Not changing for others, not caring so much about what people think. It's a lifelong process! But like the song says, there's no use in wasting your time and energy trying to make everyone happy all the time.


SH: Do you have a favorite lyric from the track?

KT: "That sh*t makes you tired"!


SH: How does "Nicer" fit into the wider scope of Subject to Change? What does the album name mean to you?

KT: This album is all about change and personal growth—me trying to let go of control and embrace uncertainty and not needing to have such a tight grip on everything. So, I think "Nicer" touches on a lot of these themes and is an empowering moment on the album.


SH: What do you think is the most exciting thing about the anticipation of your album?

KT: Honestly, I'm just really excited to experience this whole process with my fans. I've never put out an album, and it already feels so different than just putting out an EP or singles. I feel like we're all in it together, and with the release of every song there's more excitement and anticipation, and it's just so cool! It's sappy, but I really do feel so lucky to have people who are waiting to hear what music I put out next. I hope they love the album.


SH: Is there anything else you'd like to add?

KT: I have a pre-order page up on my website where you can get signed vinyl, CDs, T-shirts, a pullover, etc. I am an independent artist, so all the sales from my pre-order really help me and artists like me. If you like my music and want to find ways to support me other than just streaming and sharing my music, placing an order on there is a great way to do that.


Can't get enough of Katelyn Tarver's music? Click HERE to find out more about what makes Katelyn tick.