Joyce Tratnyek delivers a hypnotizing sonic experience with ‘Listening Listening’

I’ve always struggled with feelings of loneliness, but in 2020, when the pandemic started and I was stuck at home, I felt lonelier than ever.
2 July 2022

By Frank Bell

After a lot of convincing herself that producing/engineering music is for men, not women, Joyce Tratnyek finally achieves it. The attention-grabbing 19-year-old, New York-based singer’s new indie rock track ‘Listening Listening’ is a hypnotizing sonic experience with pretty yet gritty guitar riffs. It sounds like it looked: loud and edgy, like an emotional purge. Sometimes an artist can use their art to make a point or tell a story; sometimes they just want to say something, and lyrics are the best way.

Joyce wrote ‘Listening Listening’ while going through depression and the emptiness it brought along. It is about desperation for human connection and feeling loneliness on a cosmic scale. In essence, Listening Listening is a shouted message with the hope of getting an answer – and many people can relate to this.

We caught up recently with Joyce Tratnyek for a QuickFire interview:

What inspired you to create Listening Listening?

I’ve always struggled with feelings of loneliness, but in 2020, when the pandemic started and I was stuck at home, I felt lonelier than ever. I wanted to reach out to other people who might feel the same way, and “Listening Listening” was born out of that.

What was it that made you decide to move from Portland to NYC?

College! I go to Parsons School of Design.

You wrote ‘Listening, Listening.’ You recorded it at My Voice Music Studios and in your basement. Tell us about the production and mixing process.

I don’t have an electric guitar (I’m saving up for one), so I went to My Voice Music to record the guitars. My friend at MVM, Luke Hall, recorded the drums. (Since producing this song, I’ve started teaching myself to play drums!) I recorded vocals in my basement with a bunch of blankets taped up to the walls. I’m not sure how much that really helps the sound of a room, but it created a nice vibe in the room anyway. It was dark and quiet, messy, authentic, and intimate, which is what I look for in a recording space.

The production process was easy, I felt like sound ideas just flowed out of me and into my DAW (I use Logic).

Mixing was challenging as I’d never really mixed a song before, so I basically learned from Google as I went. I slowly began to learn how to trust my ears, which is still an ongoing process! When I felt ready, I sent the file to PCHI audio to polish the mix and master the song.

If I were to mix the song again, I would make sure the little sound effects and vibey synth parts I was so proud of were more clearly audible. But overall, I’m super excited about how the song came out!

Are there enough opportunities for women in the music industry?

I think there have been more opportunities in recent years, thankfully. I think it’s also important to be at the right place at the right time, it’s hard to find opportunities if you grow up in a small town, for example. It’s also crucial to believe that you can do these things, that these opportunities apply to you, even if you are new to the industry.

Where do you like to listen to your music?

In my bed, while cuddling with my cat!

What are your plans/goals from here on in?

I want to keep releasing more music and being creative! I have one single coming out in December and another in January, and they are some of my favorite songs I’ve written!