Theo Tams faces up to the end of a relationship in the striking video for his new single The Last Song, showcasing today on Tinnitist.
The latest track from his most recent album Call the Doctor, The Last Song depicts the singer-songwriter, pianist and Canadian Idol winner as a chameleonic character, displaying multiple sides of his personality in the name of self-love and care. “The song represents the moment you realize your own self worth,” Tams says. “It’s about recognizing you are enough, and letting go of the past. Finally.”
Fittingly, The Last Song is the final track on Tams’ 2018 full-length Call The Doctor. Reflective in both the single and album at large is Tams’ musical evolution — a genuine and mature identity mindfully created from a place of honesty, courage, and vulnerability. “I grew up in a small town,” he says of his childhood in Coaldale, Alta. There, Tams sang in church, and had access to a library of mostly sacred music thanks to his family’s strict Reformed Christian Dutch roots. He took his first pass at songwriting in his teenage years, where “many of the songs were about knowing I was not necessarily the guy my family thought they were raising. Obviously, I was the same person, but I was definitely starting to question a lot of things … Not just about myself, but about my faith as well.”
It was the start of a pivotal chapter for the Toronto-based artist; he came out to his parents, won the final season of Canadian Idol, released the album Give It All Away and followup EP Back Pocket, and collaborated with artist Ali Slaight to sing holiday classics, a now-annual tradition that culminated in the seasonal album Holiday Collection. But it was Call the Doctor that became Tams’ line in the sand, allowing him to grow on a deeply personal and artistic level.
“I was told, ‘Let’s write what you want to write,’ ” he recalls of a conversation with co-writer Rob Wells. “That was a career changer for me. There’s been so many times where I’ve been in the studio, whether writing for another artist or writing for me, where I’ve had this voice in my head saying ‘No, that’s not radio friendly,’ or ‘No, that’s not hooky.’ Then, I’m like, ‘Why am I censoring my own artistry?’ I had to tell myself, ‘Just do it. Go with it. Trust yourself and trust your voice.’ There really has been so much freedom in learning that.”
From there, the creative gates burst open and modern-day Theo Tams became present and accounted for. For The Last Song, he dove deeply inward on a self-reflective journey to break a painful cycle, and visually tells the tale by being a man of many faces. “I think we’ve all had that one relationship…” Tams considers. “The one that haunts us even years after it ends. It was important for me to try and depict all the different ways I tried to measure up, while showing the toll it takes. I spent years trying to prove I was worth sticking around for, much to my detriment in the end. Slowly losing yourself, and your own identity, because you’re trying so hard to be everything and everyone for someone else… I hope this song inspires anyone who may be feeling the same way.”