What does it mean for you to have this collection of music out in the world after first introducing your sound across the first two EP projects and recent singles?
When I first started making songs for Soft Powder I kind of set myself a long term goal: to compose, produce, mix and release my own album. So honestly, I feel accomplished and kind of relieved. This album is the culmination of all of my influences and experiences, and I’m both excited and scared that it’s “out there” now. I’ve been sitting on some of these songs for a long time and now that I’ve got them off my chest I feel ready to write more music.
‘Somewhere Like Paradise’ – where did that name originate and what significance do you think it still holds with the album material today?
Over the last two years, the process of writing and recording the songs on the album became a means for me to escape from reality and find relief, and the creative process really helped me cope. The idea of escapism has always been a central theme in my songs because it’s something I’ve always relied on, and ‘Somewhere Like Paradise’ encapsulates this idea. The title track ‘Somewhere Like Paradise’ was actually one of the first songs I wrote for this album, and it set the tone for the rest of the record – it felt like the perfect name for the album as well. I think every song on the record has the same melancholic, escapist energy that ‘Somewhere Like Paradise’ evokes.
Is there any one particular track that sticks out as a current favourite (why?)
Hmm this is a really difficult question because it changes all the time. Each song is acutely personal and so they each resonate with me in different ways. However, the one song that I think represents the Soft Powder project the best is ‘Close Your Eyes’. I think it’s the dreamiest song I’ve written, and I like how it kind of has a meandering, hopeful energy, but it also feels somber and nostalgic.
What did you learn about the way you approach music, as a result of making this album?
The main thing I learnt about the way I approach music is that if an idea doesn’t immediately feel good to me, it goes in the bin, despite how good it might sound. This is probably an inefficient and impulsive way of writing music, but I have to be really invested in the idea or the song I’m writing, otherwise the song won’t go anywhere.
Do you think you would have done anything different in terms of the production or artistic process?
I would have used less reverb. I usually get carried away when I’m writing and recording music, so I should probably get someone else to produce my next record so that there is another set of ears on the project.
Have you thought about how the album is going to be realised live – that’s exciting!
I have given it a little bit of thought, but I still can’t decide if I want to play with a live band, or if I want to try and do everything myself, or if I want to exist solely online and not play shows. I once saw Molly Nilsson perform and she just sang her vocals live with a CD player playing her backing tracks and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I am conflicted and I need to think about this more! If/when I play shows, I want to incorporate more visual elements into the performance, as the album is as much a visual experience as it is a sonic one.
For people who might be coming to Soft Powder for the first time with tihs record – what do you hope people take away from it when it comes to learning about you?
Honestly, I don’t really want people to learn anything about me, but I’d really like people to experience the same relief and momentary escape from reality that I felt when I was writing the songs. I hope these songs are a source of comfort for listeners, and that the songs prompt their minds to wander.