Hello. We love your song “Summertime”. What is the story behind the song and how did you create/write it? Also, what inspired the song title?
Hello and thank you! It’s been about 6 years since I wrote Summertime – I wrote it about a friendship that started off in a magical hurry, but unfortunately ended disillusioned and a bit toxic. The song feels light-hearted to me years later, but at the time it felt like a break-up song, full of anger and raw emotion that I barely notice now when I hear it. Summertime was the given title of the song as I repeat the word so many times, although an alternative could have been “Why is it always Summertime?” because that incapsulates the frustration within the lyrics more accurately.
We’ve heard that there is a music video for the song too. What ideas went into making the video? What was the experience like making it?
The music video (directed by the lovely and talented Autumn Palen) has a simple plot; it depicts me at the beginning of a beautiful sunshiny day starting off with high hopes, but as the day goes on things start subtly falling apart one by one until at the end I’m covered in coffee and blood (aka hot sauce) whirling chaotically around on the beach in a mix of emotions, mostly a shrug of acceptance. Autumn crafted the visual aspects and setting first which gave us a perfect place to start, and then I sent her a thought about the “day the falling apart” which my dad and I were messing around with in the kitchen. From there she started coming up with those fun scenes- the coffee pouring out past the brim of my cup, the hands messing with my hair and face, etc. Autumn was so easy to work with, so prepared and so knowledgeable in her craft!
If you had to describe your sound, how would you do so? Furthermore, what artists (or other sources) do you cite as influences?
My album on the way (Backwards Lullaby) is a mix of indie-folk and contemporary, featuring lots of piano, harmonies, and nylon stringed guitar. Regina Spektor and Rufus Wainwright have been two of the most consistent musical inspirations throughout my years of writing music. Their music is such a gift to all, and has shaped me into who I am as a songwriter, musician, and human in general!
What have been career highlights so far? And what is on your bucket list that you’d want to achieve?
It’s been a long-time coming to record this album with Jon O’Brien, whose spot-on intuition with production I trust so much. That process was one of the greater joys of my career thus far. It was also an amazing honor to open for a few shows of The Magnetic Fields, and for Macy Gray. Of course, the greatest honor of all is having Rufus Wainwright appearing on one of the upcoming singles for the record. Bucket list- I’d love to tour as an opening act for one of my favorite artists, record 10 more albums, and have a chance to write music for a soundtrack.
If you could be the main support for any living artist, who would that be for and why? Alternatively, what would be your dream live booking?
I would hands down want to back-up Rufus Wainwright. I already know every song of his by heart and have been practicing harmonizing with him driving around in the car my whole life!
Dream live booking: The Greek Theatre, Hollywood Bowl!
What artists have you been listening to? Additionally, who should others be listening to?
Oh gosh, it’s always changing but lately- Madison Cunningham, Adrianne Lenker, Lake Street Dive, Billie Holiday, Andy Shauf, Stevie Wonder, Marie Laforêt, Thundercat, Tame Impala, Amy Winehouse.. the list goes on.
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Original Photograph by Anna Azarov: Instagram