Photo Credit to Steve Patrick Article and Interview by Rachel Pedisich
There’s nothing more inspiring than a strong female with a story to tell. Upcoming artist, Luxtides, is just that. With her new EP out, Flood Sounds, Luxtides is taking the music industry by storm and I think you should join her.
We sat down (virtually) this past weekend to talk all things EP, inspiration, and upcoming plans. Check out our interview below:
I listened to your new EP, Flood Sounds, and it is phenomenal. The sounds of your EP combined with the lyrics give the listeners an intense and emotional connection to your story. Which song or songs are you most excited to perform live for your fans?
Luxtides: I’ve actually been playing all of these songs live for a while now. “Salt” was the new one on the EP but that was one of the first songs I ever wrote. So I have had a chance to play them live. I think my favorite song to perform live is “Echo” just because it is a super intense passionate song. It’s basically about my experience as a woman in the music industry so I always end up getting super into the lyrics and I always end up, like, laying on the stage by the end of the song. That’s definitely my favorite one to play live. But I also have a lot of fun during “Salt” just because it’s super jammy and it’s just a fun one to sing.
I love that- “Echo” is a super empowering song and I love your passion behind it. So now, in terms of your songs- which of them came the most naturally to you when writing the EP? And which had a bit of a longer process?
Luxtides: So, “Echo” is probably one of the easier ones that came together. My friend Jonny, who produced a lot of the songs on the EP, sent me this instrumental and he said “I think this could be good for your project.” And it was one of those things- I listened to it like three times and I had most of the song written in about 30 minutes which doesn’t ever happen. I think for me it was this concept that I had been waiting to write for a really long time. As I said before, it’s essentially about my experience as a woman in music and feeling like I have no voice and like no one cares about what I have to say - like I’m being silenced. And so, it was something that I had wanted to write for a long time and I was sort of waiting for the right track to present itself…so that one came together quickly. Same with “Dreams”. That one was actually a session with someone I had never met before out in LA. And usually in those types of sessions with people you don’t know, you don’t get your favorite songs out of them, but we just clicked. And the producer, his name is Brandon, he pulled out an acoustic guitar and we just sat in his beautiful backyard in LA with the sunshine shining on us and we just jammed out the song and it came together really quickly and that was a cool moment- just because it doesn’t happen like that usually. And I think “Salt” probably took a bit longer to write. I feel like there were a few different iterations of the chorus before we got it right. I am really, really particular about my lyrics and I love to write songs and re-write them and be like “maybe this is a better lyric” [laughs] and that was one of those where we kept rewriting it and rewriting it and eventually we landed on this really simple chorus and it just said exactly what I needed it to say. And sometimes, that’s the best way. I think sometimes you have to go in a circle to get there.
I think that’s a really good point. What I love so much about your music is that there is a sense of raw vulnerability in it and I think the process to song writing is really interesting but you do it well. So going off of that, how did you first get into music? When did you realize that you wanted to make it a career?
Luxtides: I started performing in elementary school. My first love was theater and that progressed into musical theater but I was always a writer too. My mom was an English teacher, so I grew up writing everything- poetry, short stories- and when I started singing I was like “I want to turn my poems into songs” so I got into voice and guitar lessons. I learned how to record myself, so I would record songs in my bedroom and throw them up on my MySpace page. And then when it came time to figure out college, I was very torn between acting and music because I loved them both but I loved them separately. But the one thing that I knew was that I wanted to end up in New York City no matter what. So I ended up going to Pace University and I studied acting there but I was still writing songs and recording them in my dorm room. And then not even a year out of Pace, I was introduced to Mitchy Collins through a friend of mine. He had this idea for a folk-pop guy/girl duo and he needed the female half. So that became my old band Oh Honey. And things took off really quickly with us. We put out our first song “Be Okay” in September and we were signed to Atlantic Records by February. We did a lot of amazing, incredible, really cool things in a really short amount of time. We toured with a lot of amazing artists, and we played the Today Show, and we had songs all over TV and it was really cool. And when that reached its natural conclusion, I realized that I wanted to explore a different sound- something darker that felt a little bit more true to who I am, and that was kind of how Luxtides was born. But as far as knowing I wanted to make this a career, I think I just always did- since I was a little girl I was like “I want to perform” whatever that looked like.
Photo Credit to Steve Patrick
When you know, you know I think and for some artists like you- it just comes naturally. What artists have been your main musical influences?
Luxtides: Bon Iver is my forever musical love. I just listened to his song with Taylor Swift this morning and it is incredible. I love everything he has ever done. He was kind of like my first love in terms of modern artists. I grew up listening to Fleetwood Mac with my parents; I love Stevie Nicks- everything from her voice to her magical lyrics to her style and I feel like you can kind of see that when you listen to my music. In terms of people who are more modern, I grew up listening to Paramore. Hayley Williams was the reason that I wanted to pursue music. She was someone that I saw on stage and I thought “she is so badass and I want to do that”, so she was really inspiring to me. Ellie Goulding, The 1975, CHVRCHES…kind of across the spectrum.
I think we can absolutely see that in your music but you have a way of making it your own which is really awesome. So then in terms of being an artist, being a woman in the industry- we kind of have been speaking on that- what are some of the biggest challenges you have faced?
Luxtides: I think being a woman in this industry is tough because it tends to be very male dominated, especially on tour. A lot of the tours I did I was the only woman on the road and it definitely gets lonely. I think that extends further, even just going into meetings or interviews or writing sessions or whatever it is, a lot of times the men in the room wouldn’t even look me in the eye. They would only address my male bandmate or my male representation or whoever was there with me. And as you know, it’s infuriating. And I think that’s why I have just written another song about that experience and why it comes out so much in my music, just because I lived it in so many different instances. I think that is forever going to be a challenge but I do think it’s getting better and I think that people are more aware of it. I’m hopeful that with people coming forward and speaking out on it, I think it’s- I hope it’s going to change. Beyond that, I think it’s tough as an independent artist now, in 2020, to really get your music heard by a large audience without the backing of a major label. So that’s been kind of an interesting road for me to go down and try to navigate.
You’re right and I think now, more than ever it’s important that women are heard and respected in the industry.
Luxtides: Oh yeah, and listened to. Exactly.
Who is your dream collaboration?
Luxtides: Probably Bon Iver, as I said before [laughs]. I think it’s my dream to do a super sad duet with him just like Taylor Swift just did- it’s so good. He’s definitely my dream collaboration.
For all of the aspiring artists out there- what’s the best piece of advice that you’ve been given?
Luxtides: I think the best piece of advice I’ve been given is that this career and this industry is not a straight line. You’re going to have super high, incredible moments, but you’re also going to have the low, challenging just disappointing, heartbreaking moments. And you have to be ready to ride the rollercoaster. It’s just not linear, as much as people want to think that it is. If you want to pursue this- and not to say that it is easy for me at all- I think you just have to emotionally and mentally prepare yourself that it is going to be a challenging road.
Absolutely. So, with a successful EP and a growing fanbase, what’s next for Luxtides?
Luxtides: I’ve got a pretty cool collaboration coming out with a couple of friends that we should be announcing fairly soon- I’m very excited for that. I have been working on tons of videos here while locked down in New York, so I’ve got another stripped video coming out and I also have my very first music video coming out which I’m super excited for. And then I’m going to have more music- I’m just writing like crazy right now. The music video is for a song on the EP, so I can say that much [laughs] but yeah, I just think this a good time right now while everyone is just chilling at home- now is the time to create and release music and share your art because everyone is kind of receptive to it right now.
It’s safe to say that “Flood Sounds” will be on repeat over here for the foreseeable future. For more on Luxtides, head to: