Tori Boltwood “Con Artist”

We’re glad to announce that Fort Worth, United States-based solo artist and singer Tori Boltwood has released a new single, entitled “Con Artist.”

Tori Boltwood began making indie music in 2020, although her musical background began as early as 6th grade, when she began performing in musical theater. Tori also performed in musical theater all throughout high school and in college for three years, and she has studied vocal training and performed for two years in a jazz band.

Growing up, Tori was inspired by listening to Elvis Presley (her dad’s favorite artist)–and as such, she developed a love for rock ‘n’ roll, as well as voices that are different and stand out. Tori has also been inspired by Adele, whose voice gave her hope that pop music could similarly include soulful musical elements, as well as by artists such as Isak Danielson, Billy Raffoul, Spencer Sutherland, Sasha Sloan, Forest Blakk and Alec Benjamin, who not only have excellent skills with crafting lyrics, but have also made the choice to remain true to their individuality and originality–even if doing so distances themselves from mainstream music.

As Tori was born with heart disease, she feels that she was given a second chance at life; and this appreciation for life naturally translates into a great compassion for others, leading Tori to pursue her musical dreams and ensure that others know that they’re worthy of their dreams as well. And because of her experience with musical theater (she has performed musicals such as A Christmas Carol, Civil War The Musical, Once On This Island, and Grease at the SCF Performance Center in Florida), Tori Boltwood’s version of indie pop music includes heavy storytelling elements saturated with theatrical vibes, which can be heard on prior releases such as “Breakup Call,” “Dino,” “Cry Baby” (for which you can read our review here), “Fame,” and “Drown.”

Tori Boltwood’s latest single, “Con Artist,” sweeps the listener up into a dramatic world of art and twisted romance with its deep lyrics and soulful performance. The track lovingly melts the sweet elements of classic music with the soulful grit of classic rock, and combines the passion and splendor of Titanic tangos with the danger and thrill of a heist movie, pulling you in and leaving you wanting more. A feisty song, it will have you grinning with delight as you unfold the hidden messages within. “Con Artist is inspired by my love for smokey rock and appreciation of the beauty of classical music. The vision musically speaking was meant to have hints of the mystery and seduction a heist movie score would channel. Con Artist is meant to be a full experience for the listener with rock riffs and classic violin dancing daringly together. We chose less repetitive choices sound wise to instead craft a full bodied piece that would have richness and depth. A song that has a full character arch built into the poetic lyrics with sweet twists and turns that keep your imagination engaged,” Tori says.

“Con Artist” was co-written with Jameson Tabor and recorded at Sound Machine Studio in South Texas. The track was produced and mixed by Mason Shirley, and mastered by Dave McNair.

Describing the songwriting process and lyrical meaning behind “Con Artist,” Tori writes:

When writing songs, I tend to usually write lyrics that embody a single strong message that I feel is important to bring light to. With Con Artist, the writing was more poetic than intentional; almost like the words and concepts had been planted in my mind while dreaming. Con Artist played out like a movie in my imagination, every phrase a different scene that was being painted in vivid color.

While going over every word choice and lyric structure, it seemed impossible to think logically or, allow the lyrics to be simplified for easy listening. Because of this, Con Artist was restructured and parts interchanged more than a half dozen times. It was like a riddle we were trying to solve. I even ended up adding more imagery and rewriting parts with my producer Mason during the actual vocal recording day. We sacrificed repetitiveness to instead craft a rich, complex story. The lines ‘you tried to make it a game, cast me in your twisted play, curtain call on your red handed days..’ These were all lines that were crafted and placed in the song right before wrapping up recording vocals. It should also be known that this song was such a vocally strong song to record, it made me lose my voice for a few days. Making me reschedule the recording of another song’s vocals we were supposed to get done the following day.

Con Artist is very much an art piece. Its message is more complex and layered than some of our other songs. Many people ask me ‘who is the terrible thief that stole your heart’ when they listen to Con Artist. The truth is this song wasn’t really written about one single person, or how their actions hurt me. It was more of me taking fragments of many different experiences and turning them into different pieces of this puzzle. The heart of the song was my delight and love of stories about people rising up against those that try to manipulate and prey upon them. When someone rises above those that wish to look down upon them as weak and less than. I never gave anyone the power to steal my heart. To me what’s worse than someone trying to take your love is when someone tries to play you… thinking you are too naive to see the deception in their eyes. To think I will be blind to the blaring signs that they are trying to intentionally wrong me. When someone thinks that they are so mighty and important that I would value them over the truth and over my own well-being. That they think I would let them steal from me simply because they have the delusion I need their love to feel valued. Con Artist is about me crafting a world through song where I have the ability to make my character do what I have dreamed of doing in many cases while being underestimated and manipulated. To use their own ego and underestimation of me to beat them at their own game. To see the delicious shift in their eyes as you transform from a victim of their charms to the one who did the con far better than they ever could. Those moments where you just wish to show them how they never had a chance to take your power away from you. To laugh in the faces of those that could never see your strength. To show that while they may be a piece of work, that you have always been a work of art .. a masterpiece if you will.

A Masterpiece they never even stood a chance to steal. That their twisted gallery they once use to fake a sense of self worth would lay empty at the hands of a someone they should have never thought less of, underestimated.

“Con Artist” begins with a somber, introspective piano melody and delicate violin notes, while Tori Boltwood’s captivating vocals soon join in, conveying the song’s story. The steady rhythms of the bass and percussion then set the track into a slow rocking groove, with distorted electric guitar licks and backing vocals nicely underscoring the vocal melodies; while towards the end of the track, a key change creatively highlights the surprising twist in the song’s story, where the tables have turned between the con artist and the person whom they had underestimated. “Con Artist” is quite an enjoyable listen throughout, once again attesting to Tori Boltwood’s brilliant songwriting and excellent musicianship; I would highly recommend this track to fans of indie pop.

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