1) What was your inspiration for Sap Season?
I wrote a lot of the lyrics while traveling last year, so thematically the words have a lot to do with being on the road. Pseudio Recordings and Cellar Belly were both binge recorded and easy to place bookends on. They very easily stick in my mind as distinct periods, or seasons of my life. The sessions for Sap Season were much different, we’d record every few weeks for six months. Not being able to place it in a time period mentally was really weird for me, and I think that speaks to my whole time in LA. It was hard to remember when certain things happened. Being from Ohio I could always think “I loved you in the winter because I remember your blue parka.” In LA it was different. You could really only ever do things in the sun. There never seemed to be an ending to a time period or season. The only weather changes I noticed were pine needles falling and sticking all over my house and porch at some point in the fall, and sap seeping out of the trees in the early spring. I think I held onto those two distinct changes to be able to put a period on an era. I also like to pretend that “sappy” means happy and sad at the same time. Or sad when you should be happy, and vice versa.
2) Why did you choose to release “Hold Me” as the first single?
It’s one of the most lighthearted songs I’ve ever written. I thought it’d be a nice place to start with the least sappy song on the record.
3) How has your sound evolved since your last album, cellar belly?
Before recording Sap Season, I was really into heavily affecting my vocals through tape machines, pedals and pitch shifters. I really enjoyed making my vocals sound scary and wacky. Phil Hartunian, who recorded and mixed Sap Season, helped me realize that the most far out and creepy thing you can do to your vocals is leave them raw.
4) What is the process of creating an album like for you? Do you begin with a theme or a specific intention, or does it all come together later on?
For me it definitely comes together later on. I have a cloud of songs constantly going on in my head and certain ones are pulled out at the same time and I feel like they belong together.
5) What was the most memorable track on the album for you to create?
Probably Moon. The melody for that song had been bouncing around for a while, but I didn’t really write the words until we were in the studio. My partner at the time, Brian was taking piano lessons at the community college. It started out as a simple guitar song, but was totally blown away when he improvised the piano part in one or two takes. I loved the total flexibility in the way that song was shaped.
6) Are there any artists who you find yourself inspired by?
Connie Converse is ever present in my mind. Michael Hurley’s way of mixing casual language with gut-wrenching emotion has always been a lyrical inspiration. The recording style for much of Judee Sill’s vocals is something I don’t think anyone could ever accomplish again, but I’m inspired nonetheless.
7) You toured earlier this year—do you have any plans for another tour after the album release?
I don’t have plans as of yet, but I love to tour in the spring.
8) What do you hope that people connect with most and take away from Sap Season?
I hope that people connect with the emotions and situations behind the lyrics. My favorite thing to do is sing about hyper specific personal moments that can be translated to others’ experiences.