‘The Voice Memos’ enfolds listeners in solemn embrace


Courtesy of Richlynn Group

Tessa Majors lays against a colorful rug on the floor. Majors’ album “The Voice Memos” released on April 21. (Richlynn Group)

By Sarah Rose, Managing Editor

Tessa Rane Majors was an artist, musician and photographer who was a freshman at Barnard College. On Dec. 11, 2019, Majors was stabbed to death outside her college, at 18 years old. 

More than three years later on April 21, Majors’ parents released a 14 track album full of their daughter’s songs that she recorded on her Voice Memos app. Naturally, the album is titled “The Voice Memos.” According to Tessa Majors’ website, it was completed by Grammy award winner Darcy Proper after Majors’ parents gave Proper the untouched audios. The songs are wholly original and contain guitar acoustics, the piano and, at times, the electric guitar – all instruments Majors was well versed in. 

The tracks sound like they were recorded in a teenager’s bedroom, consisting of Majors’ raw voice and soft instrumentals. Even after she is gone, Majors’ spirit lives through her music. 

“The Voice Memos” contains a total of 14 songs, two of them being interludes. Majors sings with an acoustic guitar in almost all of the songs, such as in “Second Chance” and “You Can Leave.” These two songs explore themes of love and relationships, much like the rest of the album does. 

The latter of the two expresses heartbreak and hints that Majors is tired of the person she’s with due to them making excuses, saying that they “need room to breathe.” Her voice sounds pained throughout the 4 minute and 19 second track, like she doesn’t want to let this person go but she knows it’s going to better them both if she does. 

“Second Chance” starts out with a da-da-da melody, similar to how “Da Da Interlude” sounds, another song in her album. In this song, Majors asks the person she likes to leave her, but unlike in “You Can Leave,” she asks this person to leave because she is scared of love. 

Majors describes how a lot of teenage girls feel when a boy finds interest in them: jumbled and nervous. Because Major’s lyrics are so honest and true, it’s easy for me to relate to her, and she made her music likable. 

My favorite song off the album is the last one which is titled “Home 13,” a 1 minute and 4 second piano melody. A song with no words makes it my favorite song solely because of how skilled Majors is with the piano. It’s a hopeful, upward looking sound. 

The word-less song is the perfect way to end an album. The serene instrumentals leave the listener with something similar to a reflection, enfolding the listener in a sweet embrace as they digest the music they heard. As a collective, “The Voice Memos” can be defined as indie-folk, reminding me of artists such as girl in red and Clairo. 

Majors’ album can be streamed on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon and YouTube Music. To hear more about her story and her art, visit the Tessa Majors website.