Indie pop singer-songwriter-producer discusses what inspired her to pursue music, the best advice she has received, and her new project
Luna Shadows’ 2016 debut turned many heads in the music world. Since then, she has racked up over 6 million listens on Spotify, reaching #7 on the US and #18 on the Global Viral Chart. At the end of October, she released her newest effort, “Youth”.
Her heartfelt indie pop is colored by mystery. There is a certain level of thoughtful melancholia to much of her work, despite its genre categorization. “Youth” explores our “remembering selves” and the differences in perception between our past and present consciousness.
ARTISTdirect caught up with Luna Shadow to discuss what inspired her to pursue music, the best advice she has received, and her new project.
Hello – Please introduce yourself.
Hi, I’m Luna Shadows.
Where are you right now?
At my home in Echo Park, CA.
Tell us about your new project: Who did you work with? Where was it recorded? What’s it about? Is there candy?
“Youth” is a completely independent endeavor – I recorded it with my friends Thom Powers (The Naked & Famous) & Brad Hale “Sombear” (Now Now). Our other friend & mixing engineer Ryan Shanahan puts the finishing touches on it. Everything is recorded here in LA – I record and edit all my own vocals, which, if you’ve never done, don’t ever do it.
The title track, “Youth”, is a deliberation between my past and present self with regards to whether or not I’ve given up too much of my youth to sadness. Part of me feels that the sadness is justified because while I look back now with a sense of regret for days spent in bed, I know that I genuinely cared and loved at the time of the events in question. Another part of me feels less generous giving out meaning to things that truly feel meaningless in retrospect.
How do you describe your music to new friends?
I don’t. I’m way too shy. I was at a party last night when someone put on my song “Tokyo” and I hid under the table. Spotify says I’m a cross between Lorde, Lana, and Sky Ferreira – I have never been so blessed by an algorithm in my digital life.
Other than Luna Shadows, what should your hometown be known for?
I’m originally from New York, and I think New Yorkers are known for being impatient, loud, and having the best baseball team. My hometown of the past decade has been LA, and I think you should know about the tacos.
Please look around you right now and please describe the first item or person you see that’s significant to you (and that your relationship with it/them). Can we see a photo?
I’m looking at my coffee table book, “Art as Therapy”, by Alain de Botton & John Armstrong. It’s a series of incredibly insightful essays about the function(s) of art – why we make it, why we consume it, why people are moved or unmoved, and how we can appreciate it to the fullest. As a creator, I found this book motivating & inspiring. As an observer, it’s helped me appreciate certain artistic concepts that I previously would’ve overlooked.
What first inspired you to pursue music? If it was a musician or a specific piece of music, please tell us all about why you find it so inspirational…
The Little Mermaid is the earliest inspiration that I can remember. She was an amazing singer. I have to admit though – my main ambition was to become a mermaid. My mother told me that was not an option, so I defaulted to singer in my defeat.
What’s the best advice anyone has given you about pursuing a life in music?
Don’t become a drummer – way too much s*** to carry. Don’t date a drummer, either. Digital drum production works best because it’s lightest to transport and can’t break your heart.
Not including your current crew, who (alive or dead) would you love to have in your van for an all day drive from gig to gig?
Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein of “Portlandia.” Their humor has helped me through the darkest of times, and their musical backgrounds tell me they’d have van etiquette down.
What song best sums up your life right now?
I have a playlist – bit.ly/lunalately where you can hear all the songs that currently sum up my life. Life is more like a rotating playlist. I don’t think there’s a single song that would do it justice.
What is the best reaction to your music you have experienced so far?
I’m very humbled when I see my Spotify insights. I literally record my music several steps from my bed, occasionally in the closet, and it’s crazy to me that it’s been streamed over 8 million times just this past year.
Take a moment to dream – Where do you hope to be a year from now?
I hope to be doing more touring, especially festivals. I think my dream venue would be the Greek Theatre here in LA. The truth is that while I have ambitions and goals, I feel that I am already living my dream, seeing as I get to make music and art with my best friends in my favorite place in the world. Everything else is just a bonus from here.
What’s your next step towards that dream?
I have some tricks up my sleeve. New music, new visuals, etc. I’m getting my show on the road