Tasha Credit: Grace Coudal

Chicago singer, songwriter, poet, and activist Tasha Viets-VanLear knows the personal is political—though there’s not much of a chance to completely sidestep politics when you’re a young, queer woman of color. On her new debut album, Alone at Last (Father/Daughter), Tasha acknowledges the machinations of society that inflict cruelty on people who have stories similar to hers, and her gentle, resplendent songs are a salve for those who struggle to find space to be themselves. On her Facebook page, Tasha calls her work “radical softness,” and last year she told Chicago magazine she’d considered calling her then-forthcoming album “Bedtime”: “A lot of my recent writing has been centered around my bedroom, and the self-reflection and self-healing that has to do with my bed. It’s a very holy place for me.” She treats her art as sacred too. The tender instrumentals on Alone at Last are played at a hushed volume, as if to suggest that Tasha’s lyrics are confidential pieces she’s chosen to share with care for herself as well as for us. Tonight she celebrates the album’s release at Sleeping Village with a mixture of poetry and musical performances. On vinyl the record comes with a poetry zine with pieces from Tasha, Kara Jackson, Keisa Reynolds, Stella Binion, Imani Jackson, and Jamila Woods; a dollar from the sale of each record will benefit the No Cop Academy collective.   v