Singer/songwriter Sarah Beth Tomberlin, best known simply as Tomberlin, is back with her first new material since 2020. Her new single “idkwntht” (short for “I don’t know who needs to hear this”) is out now, featuring guest vocals from Told Slant’s Felix Walworth.
“‘idkwntht’ is a sonic altar of sorts. It’s about taking a moment for remembrance, clarity, and setting an intention for what is to come. Kind of like a song version of writing out your intentions on a full moon,” Tomberlin says of her new track in a statement. “Holding onto feelings, words, and past versions of ourselves and our behavior only helps when we can examine experiences once we are outside of them. Then we have to let it out, let it go, and try again.”
“idkwntht” is a spare, yet lovely indie-pop tune that pairs folksy acoustic guitar with jazzy keys and horns. Tomberlin and Walworth trade gentle vocals over the former’s fingerpicking and the latter’s electric bass and drums, while Philip Weinrobe’s una corda piano, Shahzad Ismaily’s electric guitar, Stuart Bogie’s tenor saxphone, and spoken-word recordings all flit in and out of the mix. Over a timeless set of chords known as the ‘50s progression, from which the chorus-less track never deviates, Tomberlin encourages whoever may be listening to express themselves through song so that others might find solace in their sounds: “I don’t know who needs to hear this / Sometimes it’s good to sing your feelings / And every time I open my mouth / Hope something halfway helpful falls out.”
Tomberlin made her acclaimed full-length debut with 2018’s At Weddings, and collaborated with producer Alex G on her 2020 EP Projections. Though there’s no official word on her new album as of yet, the artist has not been shy about acknowledging its existence, recently revealing on Twitter that her LP2 is coming this year.
In the meantime, listen to “idkwntht” and revisit Tomberlin’s 2018 Paste Studio session below.