Tenille Townes continues to bear her beautiful soul with her latest single ‘When’s It Gonna Happen’. Honesty has always been the Canadian singer-songwriter’s best policy, and here she reveals how she feels sometimes about being single. Delivered in her own inimitable style, she discloses a part of herself usually hidden behind the “laughing… smiling face” that was her mask in previous track ‘Villain in Me’. In this instance, it is the struggle between sharing in the happiness of married friends whilst longing for a relationship of one’s own. The opening chords reverberate with a kind of angst that expresses this tension. It builds through verses caught between contentment and yearning before bursting out in a guitar-led chorus of country-pop that express perfectly how so many in the same position feel. There is something immensely relatable to those with a certain relationship status about the fact that “Sometimes I feel like I’m the last one standing/ I look around and all my friends are falling in love”. The mixed emotions in having “received your invitation” but “there’s no plus one, just me” are captured brilliantly by Tenille; her wrestling with delight and desire acutely portrayed. She manages to convey a state of being in the world that doesn’t invite sympathy or wallow in mushy lament but simply expresses a hope that even the most fiercely independent of people can sometimes feel. She gives credence to the notion that self-improvement and romantic dependence do not have to be mutually exclusive, “working on myself” in a “little house that I can’t wait to share with someone else”. Neither does the romantic paradigm have to be rejected, as the classic boy-meets-girl-in-café scene is unashamedly depicted. Yet even as she admits to being “scared to death I’ll end up empty handed / Can’t be the only one thinking when’s it gonna happen”, Tenille Townes stops short of selling coupledom as the ultimate goal of life. Instead, she simply expresses an emotion, being vulnerable enough to open up about a personal struggle that doesn’t define her but is nevertheless a part of her. It is this which enables ‘When’s It Gonna Happen’ to connect with those in a similar situation; to draw comfort and realise that they are not alone.
Originally written for and published on Belles & Gals on January 21st 2022.
Featured Image (C) Tenille Townes