Most of us have that song, you know the one, the one that reminds you of that ex, when the times were good, when the love was blinding. I have a healthy handful of songs that remind me of one of those lost loves that I still don’t sing to this day, almost a good twenty years ago. they’re not sung, because, even though they were sung during the height of a relationship, instead of reminding me of the good times, they just remind me of how things ended, how the love was lost. But after hearing this new song from a Canadian Idol Winner, it may be time to change up how I deal with those songs.
“’The Last Song’ represents the moment you realize your own self worth,” says Theo Tams singer/songwriter/pianist and Canadian Idol Winner. “It’s about recognizing you are enough, and letting go of the past.” It focuses on self-love and care.
‘The Last Song’ is also the ‘last song’ on Tams’ third and most recent album release, 2018’s Call The Doctor.
Tam grew up in a small town in Alberta, raised in a Christian household, sang in church started writing songs in his mid-teen years, where he could express some of the questioning thoughts in his head, thoughts about himself, faith. He now lives in Toronto, is open about his sexuality to his family and the world and has the title of Canadian Idol Winner under his belt. Tam released his freshman album Give It All Away, and a follow-up EP, Back Pocket.
But what was the direction for his most recent album, Call The Doctor? He was guided to make this bundle of songs both personal and artistic.
I was told, “let’s write what you want to write.” 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.
Call the Doctor has had some other self-reflecting songs as well as some songs that have not been sung before. His “love song gone wrong” titled ‘Good for You’ is one such track, but another ‘Weeds’ touched on his partner’s story of being once married and having a daughter, and his ‘Romeo & James’ tackles the age-old ache of keeping gay love a secret. We’ll included the videos for these below so you can make note of how he used the neutral pronoun placement.
But it is “The Last Song” that the effort has been put into telling a very visual and vocal story, showing Tams’ chameleon abilities. But there’s no doubt, by the end of the song, that there was a journey here. It’s a journey that more of us need to take. Theo dove deeply inward and we are present for the reflection via ‘The Last Song’ video to see that self-reflective journey with the end of that journey having him break out of a painful cycle and break away from an unnecessary love/evil.
“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,” he continues. “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.”