“Did what I had to do / moved out to Malibu / just last year,” sings Rence in “Tears in December,” the new song the singer, released on Apr. 16. Starting off with haunting guitar strings before leading into a thumping dance beat, “Tears in December” rises as Rence spins a tale of heartbreak and regret. “If I knew better / I would have never / left you the way I did.” Though the alt-pop bop hints that the relationship had its faults (“It’s hard to stay when you’re good at leaving / but we can never heal if we keep on bleeding”), Rence says this song is a revelation of how he was wrong to bail. Though he sings that he’s “sick of the sound of my heart hitting the ground,” he says in a statement that the track is actually a way “to remind myself not to be too quick to move on and forget the past.”
“‘Tears in December’ tells the story of my life over the past few months,” Rence tells HollywoodLife, “but at its core is the decision to move forward. I was sick of the sadness that was weighing me down – in making this song, I really feel like I finally got past it.” Rence adds, in a statement, that his cross-country move was done thinking he needed to leave his old home – “and (a) person” – behind to start fresh in a new locale.
“[B]ut, but once I got here, I realized pretty quickly that I was wrong. … realization. I sing the lyrics to someone very special to me that I made the mistake of leaving, but beyond that interpersonal relationship, I wrote the lyrics to remind myself not to be too quick to move on and forget the past. That past is precisely what got me to where I am and what will help me continue to move forward.”
Born in DC, raised in Seattle, and first getting his start in NYC (after graduating from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts), Rence has maintained his velocity, both geographically and sonically. His projects have often reflected his current coordinates, acting like snapshots of where he is, before he moves onto the next place. “This time, that attitude doesn’t manifest in the actual song lyrics as much (like “Ways to Go”), but it is incredibly present in my creation of the project itself,” he told HollywoodLife in September 2019, right before the release of Fall 2019. “It really took everything in me to make these songs so honest and authentic to me – that’s where the work ethic plays in. But I’d add that “Patience” in some ways echoes ways to go.”
Though Rence now resides in Los Angeles, he still carries a piece of the Pacific Northwest in his heart. “Seattle is a HUGE part of who I am,” he said to us in 2019, “and thus, in turn, my music: my attitude, love for the world, worth ethic, really all of the values I hold close. Seattle really did influence my genre-less genre too: creating in such an open and excepting place allowed me to begin experimenting with sounds early on. I will forever be a Seattle boi.”
“Tears in December” is out now.