Congrats on your first album, The Golden Ass. Was releasing your first album how you imagined it to be?
Thank you! Once the album was basically done, there was a strange moment when I was like, “This is it.” It wasn’t at all how I expected it to be, and I’d been imagining what my debut album would be like for many years. Together, the tracks had an effect that was much darker than anything I’d set out to do. This quality may not be apparent on first listen, but to me, it’s quite a melancholic album, not bleak or somber by any means, but mysterious and a little introspective, like the smudgy halo of light around the moon or an expanse of the sea glimpsed from the deck of a ferry just before the sun comes up. Jam City, who worked with me on the album, was the first to say, “It’s perfect for you.”
You released four EPs before the album. Did that experience help you construct the album?
The album feels like more of a definitive statement than anything I’ve done in the past. Only in a long-form record did I have the space fully to relax in the music-making process. With my EPs, I felt that I had to make each song this autonomous, concentrated, punchy track. I think each of the songs on The Golden Ass work on their own, even the interludes “Grape and Grain” and “Cinnamon”, but they’re also part of a system. Whereas with my EPs, the challenge had been making the songs speak to one another, as they all tended to be starkly different. On my second record, Lashes in a Landfill, for example, each song was a dizzyingly different genre. I personally think they worked great together, but back then, I was still figuring out how to reconcile and integrate all of my many musical influences. Since then, I’ve also learned a lot as I’ve gone on about production, vocal production, and improved with my instruments.