Some thoughts on lyric-writing and honing in on my creative process:
Since I released Who Can You Trust and the hype came and went, I’ve been feeling blessedly empty, at a complete zero point Fool’s journey with my musical expression. I’ve gone from pregnancy to deflation, this pure blank creative potential, having no idea what’s meant to be birthed from me next – only knowing my mission is to impart the same codes in my teachings somehow within my music, so that my planetary healing not only informs the mind but also infects the spirit.
Something has stood out to me about my creative expression, and that’s my penchant for language – lots of it.
I asked one of my co-producers once what he thought of the songs, and he replied, “Well, there’s a lot of WORDS in them – though you get them all in in under five minutes so it works.”
I relayed this critique to another of my musical mentors, and he said, “Maybe your next goal is to figure out how to say more with less.”
“Maybe,” I replied, “but I don’t know. Maybe it’s just my style.”
I gave this a lot of thought in the last month. I grew up on Sondheim, known specifically in musical theater for his lyric-dense patter, and on slam poetry, which I spent all of my college years competing in. Even as it stands, with all the words I pack into my songs, my lyrics are dense with double, triple, indeed at least one QUINTUPLE entendre – not unlike Sondheim’s. They really earn their place in the songs. I don’t think there’s a single word in the EP that isn’t there on purpose.
That said, I’m also learning so many amazing things lately about communicating through things that are not words! I’m primarily listening to instrumental music right now, amazed at the richness of color and emotion it communicates. I owe the richness of the music on my EP to my producers, and I thank the divine guidance that caused me to work with them, and it may be not worth it at this point in my life to learn how to do everything they know how to do, but I do want to be able to hear everything they hear and how to express it and ask for it so that I can have access to that creative expression and know how to ask for what I want.
So, in sitting with this… I’m going to keep my lyrics dense when they want to be dense, I’m going to proudly bring musical theater patter to indie pop when it suits me, because it’s not like Brendon Urie couldn’t do it.
But I’m going to aim for that same attentiveness and density in my musical expression, so that the vibe matches the words in intensity. I don’t want to create anything that isn’t fully fleshed out. If it’s got gaps in it, gaps that aren’t purposeful in utilizing space and silence as further expression, then it’s not worthy of recording.
I don’t care if it’s too sophisticated for pop. I don’t care if, as another producer said to me, you have to be Lord Byron to figure my songs out. Lord Byron is absolutely my band’s target demographic. I think some of us who listen to pop want these kinds of layers. I know I do, so I can’t be the only one. As long as it’s still catchy, as long as you can still jam to it, why do you care if it goes deeper for those who are listening more closely?
There’s so much exciting wordplay I want to bring to my audiences. I may not be able to get them all to listen to Sunday in the Park with George but I’ve decided I can’t leave my heritage, my weirdness, behind. This is what I grew up on and it’s who I am.
But I want to keep growing and expanding too. Concept albums, full on narratives, and the richness of musical arrangements I continue being blessed to experience as my hearing and sensitivity both return to me in alignment with my healing.
I promise you more richness, more layers, more fullness, and more meaning going forward. More than ever before. I have access to so much knowledge now, why would I keep that from my listeners when the so much more interesting choice is to write albums that are scavenger hunts to gnosis at the same time?
Thanks for listening.