Tristen (Born Tristen Gaspadarek, 1983) is an American musician and songwriter. She grew up in Lansing, IL, a blue collar suburb of Chicago, where at the age of 8, her musician father encouraged her to take up the piano. Growing up with access to her father’s modest home studio, Tristen was able to experiment with songwriting and recording from a young age. Initially inspired by the local Oldies station 104.3 and The Beatles she began writing her own songs. It wasn’t long before she picked up the guitar and started performing her original material in local coffeehouses. After graduating from De Paul University in 2007, where she studied relational group and organizational theories of communication, she moved to Nashville, TN to focus on her music. Immersing herself in the burgeoning Nashville indie scene, she began recording songs on a $200 Mbox Mini and posting them to MySpace. When she had an album’s worth of her home recordings, she self-released them as the record Teardrops & Lollipops, packaging CDs in handsewn sleeves she would sell at shows.

In February 2011 she released her label debut Charlatans At The Garden Gate arlatans At The Garden Gate” was also honored by Nashville Alt-Weekly the Nashville Scene as the “Top Local Album of 2011”

Since the release of Charlatans At The Garden Gate Tristen has extensively toured North America with artists including The Elected, Justin Townes Earle, Ezra Furman and the Harpoons as well as other indie bands. She also made her debut at many summer festivals in both the United States and Canada including Bonnaroo where she was named by both Spin and American Songwriter as an “Artist To Watch” at the festival. On March 4, 2013 Tristen reached her goal on Kickstarter to support the release of her new album C A V E S. Backers received downloads, CDs, vinyl, limited edition items such as quilted record covers, quilts, valentines, personally recorded songs and a Tristen House Party. C A V E S will be released in October 2013.