Q&A1234: girlpuppy

How did you begin your music journey?

I started writing songs when I was very little, probably around 6 or 7. I never learned an instrument so it was always just me singing random melodies a cappella in my room for no one to hear, until I met John Michael Young who produced my first single, For You. After I released that song, I realized that I wanted to take music seriously since I finally had the resources I’ve always wanted to make it. 

You’ve been releasing music since 2020, how do you feel you’ve grown as an artist since “For You”? 

I think I’ve grown immensely since “For You.” I was super self conscious about music when I first released that song, because I made it on a whim and was proud of it, but I had never put out music before so I felt imposter syndrome. I think since then I’ve gained a lot more confidence about what I’m making, and also just performing live has changed my outlook on making music so much. I never thought I’d be able to play a show when I was making music during the pandemic, so knowing now that I can play songs live has changed how I write them.

How would you describe your debut album “When I’m Alone” ? 

“When I’m Alone” is a culmination of thoughts and feelings that play in my head when I’m alone. It’s my proudest work yet, because it has all of the elements that I love in music. I love that it leans more folk, because I grew up listening to that music. 

You said in an interview that this is a ‘Twilight: New Moon’ album. Is there a particular scene or character you would assign a song to?  

I think I would assign the song “When I’m Alone” to Bella, particularly the scene where she’s sitting in front of the window and the months are changing and she doesn’t move. 

How do you think the 4 singles you’ve released encapsulate the album?

I think all 4 singles really show the genres I’m tapping into within the whole album. I knew I wanted Wish to be the first single because it’s the jammiest song on the record, and I knew it would be a fun first single. I Want To Be There, Destroyer, and Teenage Dream are all so different from each other, but they each have elements from any other song on the album so they felt perfect as singles to me. 

How would you define this new era of girlpuppy music? 

I think it’s my most mature work as of yet, which makes sense because I’ve done so much growing since Swan, and I think it shows in my songwriting and in the production itself. I guess this is my growing up and moving on era, and just looking to have fun performing these songs live. 

“Swan” was a very self reflective breakup album. How is “When I’m Alone” different from “Swan”?

“When I’m Alone” is less sad and more mature. Instead of breakup songs with super specific lyrics about people, I did a lot of “what if?” type writing, like “Swallow”, for example, is about an actor I’ve never met. “Destroyer” is my “what if I cheated?” song. “Permanent State” and “I Want To Be There” are pretty self loathing. I think with When I’m Alone I really wanted to turn the gun on myself a little bit, instead of blaming someone or something for everything that’s wrong in my life. I also wanted to write about things I appreciate more, such as “Emma Marie” which is about my best friend, and “Denver” which is about my brother, Ben. I’ve been trying to handle things more maturely this year so hopefully it shows on the album. 

What were some of the differences between making “Swan” and “When I’m Alone”? 

I was in a much better place mentally while making “When I’m Alone” versus making “Swan” lol. I feel lucky that I learned so much from both processes. Marshall Vore, who produced Swan, is one of the best songwriters in my opinion so I took a lot of songwriting advice from him into making the album. Sam Acchione, who produced “When I’m Alone”, kinda left me to my own devices as far as songwriting, which is cool to me because I like the idea of writing all my songs by myself. When I made Swan I had never played a show before, and since it was 2020 playing a show ever seemed impossible to me, so I didn’t write any of the songs on that EP with playing them live in mind. Since then I’ve played 3 festivals, gone on 2 tours, and played many shows in between, so going into writing the album I thought a lot about what the songs would be like to perform live, which changed a lot of things and made the album even more fun to make. 

What’s one song that you’re really looking forward to being out there and why? 

Probably “Emma Marie”. I’ve never made a song like that before and I’m really curious to see what people think of it. It’s very Joanna Newsom-y

What is your favorite song from the album and explain why? 

Definitely Permanent State. I’m so proud of the songwriting on that one. It’s also my favorite song I’ve ever made sonically, it sounds like a song I’ve always wanted to hear, if that makes sense. 

What was a moment in recording and creating this album that is unforgettable in your mind? 

It’s so hard to pick a specific moment but I will never forget how we made it. Back in February, I found an airbnb on top of a mountain in Thorn Hill, Tennessee, and me, Sam Acchione, Henry Stoehr, and John Michael Young all drove there with our gear and set up a home studio in the living room and spent 20 days there. It was so much fun and I feel so proud of all of us for working so hard and making this album. 

Following the album, what’s next for you? 

Hopefully lots of touring!! And new music, obviously. I’ve started to write some more songs so maybe I’ll record them soon. 

And finally girlpuppy, who are you counting in? 

Chloe MK !!! Her album “All the Same All OK” is one of my favorite albums from the past year. She’s opening for me in New York at Purgatory on November 18th so if you’re in NY I recommend coming early for her !!!