In my very first interview with indie-pop musician Drew Anton over a year ago, Drew expressed how music is his way of telling his truth. Drew’s dedication to his truth was evident to me as I listened to his first full-length album, Fall from Grace. I could feel and relate to this honest and moving story as the lyrics and melodies carried me through the album like the waves of the sea. I could feel it in the defiant energy of “I Don’t Care”; in the haunting melody of “You Make It So Easy”; in the tenderness of “Yours Tomorrow (Yours to Keep)”; and in the vulnerability of the title track, “Fall from Grace.” Ultimately it was the final song, “Through It All,” that really drove the message home, as it reflected what we all want most — to live a happy and fulfilling life, knowing we have “loved through it all.”
In August, Drew returned to the Sincerely SC blog to discuss Fall from Grace in a two-part interview. In Part II of our interview, we delved deeper into the story behind the album and the visual elements of the project, touching on catharsis, the creative mindset, and what happened when Drew and his photoshoot crew encountered a state park ranger after walking along the beach for miles. Below is a transcript of the interview; if you prefer watching or listening to the interview, please click here.
Hey everyone! This is Sara Catherine, author of the blog Sincerely SC. Last week, I had a Skype call with indie-pop musician Drew Anton to discuss the upcoming release of his latest album, Fall from Grace. Now that the album has been released, Drew is back, and we’re delving deeper into the story behind the album and specific songs, as well as talking about the visual elements of the project. Drew, thanks for joining me again!
Thanks for having me again, I’m so excited to talk about this stuff!
Yeah, me too! How does it feel now that the album is out there in the world? How are you taking it all in?
Oh my gosh, so, it’s really crazy! We talked a little bit about this this past weekend, but it’s so surreal. Like I mentioned a few times in our [previous] conversation, I’ve been working on this for over a year now, so the fact that it’s finally out doesn’t feel completely real. I keep thinking that I still have stuff to do, like I still have to finish recording it, just because it’s been the biggest project I’ve ever worked on, and I’ve invested so much time and energy into it. But it feels that much more rewarding now that it actually is out there.
And I’m super thankful for the response I’ve been getting so far, which is another reason why it feels so surreal, because it really touches me that people are taking the time out of their busy schedules – especially with everything going on now, with the pandemic – to take the time to listen to my music, it just feels really special. I’m so thankful for everyone who’s been listening to it and sharing it and even messaging me and saying such kind things about it. I’m just really happy.
Yeah, that’s great, it is so good, and it must feel really good to finally have it out there in the world where everyone can listen to it! Now that listeners have had a chance to listen to all the songs, we can go into more detail about some of them, which I am so excited for! Now that it’s out there, I wanted to ask – I know I asked this last week, about what your favorite songs were, and now that it’s been a few days since it’s been out, do you have new favorite songs, or is it still the same [as last interview]?
It’s kind of still the same, but the cool thing is now people are telling me their favorite songs from the album, which I was interested about throughout the recording process. It popped in my head a few times, like “Oh, I wonder which songs people are going to like the most” and whatnot. And it’s funny, they’ve all kind of been the same songs that people have been saying to me. And it’s funny because some of them are the same ones that I like a lot. A lot of people have been saying that they really like “I Think I’m in Love,” which is definitely one of my favorites. A lot of people have been saying they really like “Yours Tomorrow (Yours to Keep).”
And then this one actually really surprised me, a lot of people have said that they really, really, really like “Love Don’t Always Have to Work Like That,” featuring my amazing friend Rebekah Perry, and it’s so exciting because that song was pretty challenging to record. It was one of the first songs I’ve ever really done that was upbeat, up-tempo, and just very loud and bright and vibrant. And sometimes I have a habit of writing songs in a key that’s not necessarily the easiest to sing for myself! I don’t really know why I do that, it kind of just happens when I’m writing, like I just come out with certain chords and I just end up sticking to that. But I do remember that when I was recording that song I had to change the key a few times because, man, let me tell you, I was having to go high! [laughs] And I’m like, this does not really sound okay! So it changed a lot. And I struggled a little with my confidence on that song, so it just feels that much more relieving that people really like that song, so it’s cool.
I love all those songs! “Yours Tomorrow (Yours to Keep)” and “I Think I’m in Love” were also on my list of favorite songs. I wanted to ask you about “I Don’t Care” – which is another one of my favorite songs on the album – a super upbeat and defiant song. You mentioned last week that it’s different from your usual sound, and I think that definitely comes across. What was the process behind writing this song?
Sometimes I really have to think for a second about specific songs, because – I think I mentioned this before, but if I didn’t – during the writing and recording process, I wasn’t necessarily working on one song at a time, I would do bits and pieces of things and switch around, depending on the day. So sometimes I have to think about when I was doing a specific song!
But I think that for “I Don’t Care,” that one was inspired by, along with “Head over Heels for You” – both were, in a way, a continuation of Perfect Stranger, so I already had those lingering thoughts and feelings and I knew what I wanted to say to close out that chapter completely. So that’s how “I Don’t Care” came about. But this time, instead of just completely taking the perspective of sadness, I let out a lot of frustration and anger based on the events from that EP and just stuff in between. I really wanted to express that this time, which was really scary because I’m not an angry person and I’ve never expressed anger musically before, I’m usually pretty quiet and reserved [laughs]. But I wanted to be as authentic as I could be on this album. I mean, I always strive to do that in general, but I really, really, really wanted to express every single angle of my thoughts and feelings this time, without holding back.
So that’s how that song came about, and it just felt really good to build this song around that kind of energy, because it was such a strong feeling inside of me, I’ve been harboring it for a while now. It felt like such a release to write this song and also build the arrangement around it, that was so, like you said, upbeat and defiant. It was just really cool during the whole recording process to hear how it was building itself. And at the end, I was so happy with how it came out and ultimately, like I said, it was such a release. And it changed from bad energy at first to now good energy because I was able to channel those feelings into something literally productive, so it was really cool.
That must have been really cathartic.
I’ve noticed there are some religious undertones and symbolism in the album. Like you mentioned last week, the term “fall from grace” is a religious reference, referencing an angel that has fallen from heaven. And in “I Don’t Care,” you say the lyric “I carried this cross / ‘til I ripped you from my heart” – plus, in your photo and lyric booklet, the image for “I Don’t Care” is of you holding a necklace with a cross on it. Can you go into this symbolism a bit more?
When I was writing that song, I did have the religious undertones in thought. When I wrote that pre-chorus, I really liked that whole idea of metaphorically bearing this weight, this heavy weight like a cross. Almost like I’ve been crucified this whole time, I’ve just been having this heavy weight on my back. I was headed towards something really dark, until I finally ripped this person from my heart. Kind of like we both got crucified in a way, based on the situation, it just had to end.
So then I got the idea, when I was thinking of the photoshoot, to play on that symbolism visually. I actually have a mock-up booklet here for the album, and I’ll pull up the picture real quick. This is the picture you were referencing [holds up picture]. And I am holding the cross necklace, and it was just a really cool, dramatic moment for me. I wanted to appear like I was pretty much at my wit’s end. I laid down, stretched out on the beach with my wet, crazy hair, and it looked like I had just crawled out of the ocean. And I just wanted to portray that I was exhausted, because this song is full of all of that energy, and I was just exhausted, you know? I thought it would be cool and simple, but also really impactful to have that image of me showing that exhaustion and energy with the cross dangling, like I was really just at my wit’s end. So that’s how that came about.
That’s definitely really powerful imagery and symbolism, and I think it’s something probably all of us have related to at some point, that feeling of being at your wit’s end. And that definitely comes across in the energy of “I Don’t Care,” but in an upbeat way, and that’s what I love about that song. It’s like so much fun!
The haunting “You Make it so Easy” and the clap-back “Head over Heels for You” also really stood out to me because usually those kinds of titles make you think of love songs – but these were the opposite of love songs. Was this intentional?
Yes, 100 percent! [laughs] It was a lot of fun. I don’t exactly remember how I came up with that idea. I mean, I definitely remember why I did that for “Head over Heels for You,” because that was directly inspired by something we can talk about. But for “You Make It So Easy,” I don’t necessarily remember out of those two which one I wrote first, but whichever one I did write first, I think at that point that’s when I kind of thought, hey, it could be fun if these few songs with this theme of sadness and anger all kind of tricked people a little bit. Because the album mostly is about love, and I wanted to definitely connect all of the songs in one way or another, so I thought I could at least connect them all for sure by the way the titles sounded.
I thought it would be also fun to kind of play on people’s expectations of what a song would sound like. I really love that whole mental game of it, that you really don’t know what something is going to sound like. But also, you can judge a book by its cover. So, it kind of worked the same way with these song titles. I definitely wanted people to have expectations and to think that they [these songs] would come out a certain way, but then just completely be surprised by a plot twist. That definitely happened with both of those songs.
I actually think I wrote “Head over Heels for You” first. I really liked that whole idea of satire. I guess I could go into those two songs a little bit.
Yeah, go ahead, go for it!
Yeah, let me just explain it, because I’m sure some people are wondering, who have listened to it. For “Head over Heels for You,” the song opens up with those weird, robotic voices saying…I literally can’t remember the exact words right now [laughs], but it’s along the lines of, “I heard your songs about me, and they sound like you want to be more than a friend.” That was directly inspired from a conversation I had with someone over text, and what I did to get those robotic voices was I copied and pasted the exact words from that text and I put them into Google Translate. And you know how she reads them back to you? I took that audio and I put it into the song, and then I obviously processed it a little bit to have those different pitches and the way it slows, up and down and stuff. And that was the initial idea, that was how I started the song when I was writing it, and then from there it completely took off.
And the song is exactly about what I wrote about, like that’s literally what happened and inspired that song. I’m obviously not going to go into personal detail about it, but everything that I wrote about in that song happened and was said pretty much how I wrote it. I used that song to really just close out that part of my feelings. And, again, in relation to Perfect Stranger, I used that song to completely close the book on that.
And that song was a lot of fun because, besides the title tricking people, musically, instrumentally, it’s very light and ambient. It doesn’t sound like an angry or sad song. It was also fun to play on that too. Because I’ve heard songs like that, where the lyrics can be dark but instrumentally it sounds very light and positive. So, in this way, I wanted to try the same thing. It turned out kind of like ‘80s, ambient music. I used a lot of synths and stuff, it was really cool to make and it sounds really pretty I think. I really wanted to express that satire, and I think for people who hear it, especially the bridge of that song, I kind of break the seriousness a little bit, but also come back to it, and it was just really cool. And actually, I was very lucky to have Matt Billy play guitar on that song, who’s so exceptionally talented at guitar, so that was a real honor for me to have him on that track too.
And for “You Make it so Easy,” kind of the same idea but that one I actually made sound dark instrumentally, so it was really just more tricking people with the title. That’s the longest song on the album, and I had the idea to split it into two songs in a way. Because at some point a little more than halfway through, you kind of notice it shifts into a different song almost. Instrumentally its similar, but you definitely feel that shift. I got that idea from bands like Coldplay, and I’ve seen on other albums too, some artists have a “hidden” song. So, either it will outright say it in the title, it will have a title and then a slash, and then another title. Or it will be one title like mine, but the song will be longer than all of the rest, and sometimes they refer to that as a hidden song. So that’s what I had in mind for “You Make it so Easy,” that’s why that one is so long and it has that shift. But yeah, it was a lot of fun to express those similar frustrations and sadness and bitterness into those songs.
That’s great that you said that about the hidden song because I noticed that when listening to it, that there was a shift, but I never noticed when it happened. Just by the end of the song my brain was like, “wait, why does this feel different than when the song started, but it’s the same song?” I never consciously noticed the shift, so now that I know that I’m going to go back and pay attention for the shift! And “Head over Heels for You,” like you said, I was tricked by it when I first saw the track list. I was like, “oh, it’s going to be a love song,” and then if you listen to the way it’s so upbeat you would think it’s a love song, except for what you have with the robotic voice at the beginning. Which I also love by the way, that was such a fun way to start the song. And the bridge is great too. Also, that electric guitar at the end definitely has that ‘80s feel like you said, and I loved it, I love that guitar! They’re great songs.
Shifting to the second half of your album…you kind of mentioned this last week, that the first half of your album is mostly about heartbreak while after the interlude, the album shifts to love. I thought the stark contrast between the beginning and the end of the album was very interesting. Can you talk a bit about the songs in the second half (tracks 8-14)?
Yeah, definitely. The album, like I mentioned last time, originally started with “Thought of You,” which is a love song. I definitely knew that – I didn’t know at the time how much of an album I would have, or how many songs I would have, really, but after I wrote that song I was like, “hey, I’ve never really been able to write a love song before,” and I really, really liked how “Thought of You” came out. So I wanted to try to keep playing off that theme of love and see how many songs I could write. And I was really inspired by certain people, and just things that were coming to mind, where I was having a shift in perspective after feeling, just, sad and that I was dwelling in this kind of pain for a while. I really started to open back up to love and life again. So I wanted to start writing about that more. I mean, as you’ve heard, I’ve mostly written songs that were sad and pretty dark before, so I was really excited to start this new perspective inside of my music that could be about love, which I think people would also really resonate and connect with.
I ended up writing – as you said, [tracks] 8-17 are pretty much all about love in one way or another. And I really like how they came out! I was really afraid that it would feel forced if I tried to write about love, because that’s how it’s always been in the past when I’ve tried, but I was so inspired and I was actually feeling those things that I talk about in the songs, so it was actually really easy for me to write them, which was a really cool feeling. So that’s how those songs came about. And I love the contrast, like you said, between the first half and the second half. I was just so excited for people to hear the second half, because like I said, I’ve never really – I never sang about love songs. And that’s actually the first line of the song “Love, So”: “I never used to sing about love.” So I was so excited for people to hear this second half of the album.
Yeah, it’s amazing. You definitely did not come across forced at all, you can feel the genuine emotion and truth behind all of those songs, it definitely comes across. Let’s talk about the title track – “Fall from Grace.” I would say it’s almost heartbreakingly beautiful, especially after listening to a couple of the love songs before it. It’s different from the other songs about heartbreak in a way; it has more of this somber feeling of remorseful loss, but also the love. So I’m curious, if you could talk a bit more about that track.
That’s actually a really perfect way to describe it, because that’s how I was feeling when I wrote the title track, “Fall from Grace.” Like I said, I was feeling all of those deep feelings of love and what I thought was real love. But at the same time, there were aspects of it where I still was, in a way, overshadowed by a type of sadness not necessarily related to the other stuff I was talking about in the first half, just a different kind of sadness in general. It was really interesting to write that song because it kind of combines both themes of the album in a way. Heartbreak and love in that song. Which is why I really love that song, and I think it stands out from the other love songs, because it has that contrast in it.
It’s funny you brought that up, because I’d never really thought about it that way, but it makes so much sense. I’m talking about literally losing everything to have that love, and that’s in itself pretty dark if you think about it [laughs]. But at the same time it’s saying, you know, I want that love so bad and there’s something really special about that love, it would just fulfill me. That’s the light side of it. It can be confusing, and that’s how it feels sometimes. I think that’s one of the things I was feeling when I wrote this album, confused. Because you feel all of these different things all of the time, and sometimes I feel like I can’t keep up! [laughs] It makes a lot of sense, after you said that, thinking about it now, because I think that song is a perfect representation of those conflicting feelings and how they’re intertwined more than you realize.
Yeah, and sometimes you get all those different kinds of emotions and that’s how it is. It definitely comes across in that song, in the sense that it’s about heartbreak, in a way, but it’s so different from the songs at the beginning of the album because it has that extra layer of love in it, and that feeling of, you would sacrifice everything for that love. And that’s just a beautiful message.
I think the message in the last song, “Through It All,” is also a very beautiful and powerful one. It speaks to that desire within all of us to live a happy and fulfilling life, one filled with love, where we “loved through it all.” This is perhaps one of the most vulnerable songs on the album, where your truth really shines through. Can you tell me a bit more about this song?
I knew while I was writing the album that I wanted to end it in a way that just wrapped everything together, that I was trying to say. And even through all of the hardship and the heaviness that I express on the album, I wanted to show people that, you know, even through all of that, I could overcome those challenges and those feelings. It’s been something that I’ve been wanting to say for a while now, and sometimes it’s hard to just put those feelings into words. But I really, really, really wanted to this time. Luckily, I was able to tap into those thoughts and feelings and put them in a way where it really made sense to me.
Because it’s a lot, that subject is a lot to bear yourself and [share] your thoughts and feelings publicly like that. And trying to figure out in what way you can say what’s in your heart, but not expose yourself in a way, as crazy as that sounds. Which was a really cool challenge actually, as a writer, I had a lot of fun writing that song. But like a lot of the other songs, it just ultimately felt like this much-needed release, probably from things that I’ve been holding in for a long time, like years and years of my life. It just felt really, really cathartic to write that song, and put it all on the plate and serve it up and say, “This is me, this is what I’ve been going through. But you know what? In the end I’m going to come out on top of it all because that’s what I want for myself.” I really wanted to encourage and inspire other people to do the same, for whatever they’re going through. So that’s how that song was inspired.
I think that song is also definitely one of my favorites, especially because of what you just said. It’s the perfect ending song for the album because it does kind of capture everything that you experience in the album, in a way that I think is super relatable. Like I said, we all feel that way, we want to live a life full of love and we go through the ups and the downs, and that’s kind of the beauty of life. And I think you captured that message in that song, which is why I love it so much.
Last week we talked about the theme of grace in this album, but I also noticed that the ocean was another recurring theme throughout. Especially the first track, “Grace,” which starts with the sound of crashing waves and has the lyrics “And I was lost under cold water / in the unforgiving sea / you found me in the deep and you brought me up to the light / I broke through the surface and I knew I had been saved.” The ocean theme also comes up in “I’m Not Always Sad, But Sometimes I Am” and “A Boy on a Lonely Island.”
I really like the contrast between the ocean theme and the theme of flying and falling from grace that is brought up in your other songs. Can you talk more about the ocean theme and how it plays into the album?
Definitely! So I grew up by the ocean, so it’s always been part of my life in one way or another. When I was writing these songs, I was thinking about the imagery and everything, and then when I finally got to this version of the album art [holds up album booklet] I accidently found this picture that my friend Katie took about four years ago when a bunch of friends were visiting at the beach. And it just felt really, really right when I saw the picture, like it finally clicked – this is what the album feels like. Just me standing by myself on the beach. It just felt right. And there’s, if you can see, it’s a little blurry, but there’s a flying seagull over my head, so that’s how I got the whole idea of flight and falling, and it just all made sense to me.
And you have the contrast too, with the colors, of the pink sky and then the darkness and deepness of the ocean behind me. It just clicked for me, and I really wanted to play on that after I came up with the art. I just fell in love with the whole beach aesthetic. And it just worked perfectly with the songs in terms of, like I said, the lightness, the romantic pink skies, the idea of flight, of being so high up and all of that beautiful imagery. But also the other side of it, being grounded and just barefoot on the raw earth, and being at a low point and having that sinking feeling of being with the ocean and everything that comes with that. The crashing waves. It’s just a raw, extreme force of nature and it really clicked with what I was trying to say. I just wanted to play off that idea as much as I could.
That’s the perfect transition into my questions about your visual content! [laughs] The ocean theme carries over into the photos from your photoshoot, which were taken by Angelica of Luna AP Photography [now Dawnpoint Studios] at Island Beach State Park. Plus, your album cover, like you just mentioned, seems to be the visual representation of the song “A Boy on a Lonely Island,” which you mentioned in your recent Instagram Live video. Tell me about the photoshoot!
Yeah, the album cover, like I said, was taken four years ago unintentionally, so when I came up with the album art, this was before I had the photoshoot planned. So once I fell in love with that imagery [of] the beach, that’s when I started to develop the idea for a photoshoot and wanting to create a visual space for the music. This [the album cover] was at Island Beach State Park as well, so I wanted to go back to that location, just to be consistent and cohesive with the whole project. Like, this is where it started, and I also just wanted to have it live in this world. So that’s how I came up with the idea for the photoshoot, to go back there.
And Angelica is just so talented, her mind is amazing. Similar to how I worked with Ian on the mastering – I had never met him before but we had a virtual relationship, basically working as partners online with the music – it was similar with Angelica, I had actually met her a few times at school but we never really collaborated or talked too much. But I knew she was a photographer and had worked with some of my other friends on music projects with photography, so I reached out to her. And I was so impressed by the work she had already done. When I was talking to her and explaining what I had in mind for my photoshoot, she was just so receptive and she just really, really, really took the time to understand my vision. And it was really cool because she was excited about it too, which made me feel all the much more excited. She just really helped me be confident about my ideas and she even gave me more ideas for things we wanted to try.
It was a process putting that together because that was in, I think the late fall or early winter of this year, so the beginning of this year. And we were originally planning to shoot in March of this year, but then ironically the pandemic happened so we had to postpone. We ended up doing it in May, the day after I turned 24, so it was a lot of fun, it was really special for so many reasons. It was the first professional photoshoot I had ever done, so I was a bit apprehensive about it just because I’ve always struggled with body image and confidence. But I was also really excited because I had all these ideas that meant a lot to me, and I had a message and an image that I was trying to portray with this music. So I was trying to focus on that, and she just made it so easy and comfortable for me to explore this album visually. I’m just so happy with the work we created together.
“It just felt really, really cathartic to write that song, and put it all on the plate and serve it up and say, ‘This is me, this is what I’ve been going through. But you know what? In the end I’m going to come out on top of it all because that’s what I want for myself.’ I really wanted to encourage and inspire other people to do the same, for whatever they’re going through.”
And during that photoshoot, I also had the idea to record the little video snippets to make for the album announcement, which I believe you put in the transcript portion for the first part of our interview on your blog, which people can see if they want to, that video. So it was just a lot of fun, and she did such an amazing job and I really hope I can work with her in the future as well.
Yeah, those photos came out really great! I was looking through the booklet and they’re so cool. And the video came out really good too, that’s such an exciting way to announce the album. It probably worked out that you had to postpone it to May because some of it is you actually in the water, that would have been freezing in March! [laughs]
Yeah [laughs], Angelica and I were actually joking about that while we were planning the photoshoot. I definitely knew I wanted to go into the water, especially to represent songs like “Grace” where I’m talking about being under the surface and being in the cold, dark sea. I knew I wanted to do that, and I knew it was going to be ice cold in March, but I was like, “You know what? I’m dedicated, I’ve already put so much time and energy and sleepless nights and emotional pain into this album, it can’t be that bad, what’s some cold water gonna do to me?” [laughs] So I was definitely ready for it, it would have been miserable, so it did work out better in my favor! But it was still pretty cold in May, but probably not as bad as it would have been in March.
But it was a lot of fun, and it just felt really good to, in a way, get down and dirty on the beach with the sand and the water and the landscape. I was in full clothing the whole time, I had these full outfits on, and I was jumping in the ocean and climbing these dunes and they were almost like little mountains in a way, if you look at some of the pictures. So I definitely was getting into the landscape, if you want to say it that way! It just felt really right too, because the album to me felt very organic and natural and raw like that, so it felt really authentic to me to not hold back. Like how I’m putting my feelings out, just like they are, raw and unfiltered like that. I wanted to portray that visually too. So yeah, it was a lot of fun.
It looked like so much fun! You can definitely get that energy from the pictures.
It was really cool, we were probably on the beach for about two, two-and-a-half hours. And I feel bad because I had my friend Laura come to help me with my wardrobe, because like I said I had four full outfits, so she was kind enough to come and help me carry things and help me to do quick changes while we were moving along the beach. And Angelica’s boyfriend, Jake, also came, who I actually was a roommate with at school, and he’s a music major as well, and he also does photography. So it was really special to have him there too, to add some ideas and just help with the overall process.
“I’m talking about literally losing everything to have that love, and that’s in itself pretty dark if you think about it. But at the same time it’s saying, you know, I want that love so bad and there’s something really special about that love, it would just fulfill me.”
And I felt a little bad because the location, the specific location I wanted to shoot on was all the way at the end of the beach, and we had to walk a few miles but it felt like we walked the entire beach [laughs]. It was just so crazy, and once we actually got to the spot I wanted to shoot at – because we were shooting the whole time we were walking to the spot – by the time we got to the spot I wanted to shoot at, one of the state park rangers at the beach drove by and – right when we get to the spot! – and he goes, “So, it’s eight o’clock, and the beach is closed now so you have to leave.” And I was like, oh my gosh, I feel so bad because I made them walk this whole way to get here! And it was just tiring and everything, and I felt so bad. Unfortunately we couldn’t shoot in that spot. But it worked out still, so well, and I’m really happy with how everything came out. And I’m just so thankful for all of them who helped. It was so cool, I would do that again in a heartbeat, it’s so much fun.
It’s amazing to me how grand this project is, for your debut full-length album. 17 songs, a digital booklet if you download the album on Bandcamp, all of it really came together in a spectacular way. You kind of went into this a little bit last week, but what gave you the idea to include the extra element of the digital booklet?
The booklet was actually the reason I did the photoshoot, because I knew I wanted to have some kind of visual element for this project that I’ve never done before. I’ve always just made album artwork for any project I’ve done, but I really wanted to explore this new avenue. So, I had the idea of the booklet first. And I love collecting CDs and I’ve always loved how they come with a booklet with pictures, usually, that just enhance the story of the album and what the music is about. So that’s why I wanted to do the photoshoot. It felt so right to have those pictures alongside the lyrics, because it was just another layer of what I was feeling on the inside, and the whole creation process. It just felt really right to put that out there. And I just think it’s fun to have something to look at while you’re listening to the music, and just have that deeper insight.
Yeah, I definitely agree, that’s the reason why I love collecting vinyl; for the cover, the sleeve and then sometimes they come with the little lyric booklets too. I LOVE the imagery throughout the booklet. The photos that accompany each song all relate to their respective songs so well visually. Was that planned ahead of time, or did it just work out that way, or was that just you and Angelica having the same vision for the project?
That’s a good question, it was kind of a combination of both actually. Once I had the idea to do a photoshoot, I started to collect random pictures from online that I would see of, you know, the beach landscape and pictures of people just modeling, and the general idea and inspiration that I was getting in my head, that I wanted to see in images that already existed and see what ideas I could get from that. But put my own art into it. So, I had definitely been thinking about it and collecting certain pictures, almost like making a mood board of what I wanted to do. And then that also evolved while talking to Angelica. So, we definitely had some shots in mind, and then once we were actually shooting on the location, we were also experimenting with the landscape that was there.
We definitely had ideas that we had planned and thought about, but then we also used what we had in that moment. Because I hadn’t really been to that spot before, maybe one time, and I really didn’t expect to go in certain areas that we actually did. A lot of it was in the moment, and it was so, so, so special and fun to just, again, let it be organic and let it happen itself. It all made sense with everything that was already created and in the process of being created, and it just felt really cool, everything was really finally coming together. I was so excited to build that booklet and see everything come to fruition, that I had been thinking of and planning for so long. It was just such an amazing experience.
That must have felt so rewarding at the end, to see it all come together in the way that it did. I know you just released this album and are probably looking forward to a period of rest after all the work of the past year, but I have to ask – what’s next? I hear you have an upcoming radio interview on Magic 98.3!
I do! That’s really exciting. I was lucky enough to work with someone who was in and out of radio for a while, and she recently went back into the industry at the end of 2019, my friend Lauren. She had mentioned it before, that once the album came out she wanted to try to have me featured. They have a segment called “On the Verge,” which features upcoming musicians and artists, and she had mentioned that and wanted to see if maybe, once the album was out, we could do a feature on it. Which is really special to me that she thought of me. And then, once it finally came out last weekend, she was actually able to get me an interview and a feature on “On the Verge.” Which is so, so, so, so cool and special to me, and I’m really thankful for her [and] to have that opportunity.
It’s just another instance of what I was taught in school, that networking is so key and important, especially – in any industry, but especially the music and art business, networking is so important. And it just shows connections are so helpful, and I’m so thankful for her, to have her as a friend and to have that connection as well. Just the opportunity to be able to talk abut my album on a larger platform that I normally don’t have access to, like the radio. So, I’m so excited for that.
In terms of your original question, about resting and what’s next, I’m definitely exhausted to say the least, from recording Fall from Grace. But ironically, even when I finished writing the album and I was still recording it, sometimes I would sit at the piano and start writing new things. And I was like, I need to stop and focus on what I’m doing now, like this album! Because it’s very typical of me to have, like, fifty open tabs in my brain, just all the time [laughs]. I’ve talked to other people about this too, especially people who love to create art. I think it’s because you’re always just in a state of creative mind, and you see things and you hear things, and you’re constantly taking things in and being inspired. I think that’s why it’s so hard sometimes to focus on one thing without starting something else too.
And also, once I finish a project like this and it’s out, and I’m enjoying seeing people’s reactions and everything, that also excites me so much and it makes me want to keep writing more and putting more out. Some people joked about that last year, because after I put out Perfect Stranger, I put out a few other projects and people were like, “Whoa, I’m getting whiplash right now!” [laughs] And I’m like, “I’m so sorry!” But it just gets me so excited to keep putting stuff out. It also feels good because it’s almost like creative exercise for me, to just always try to keep putting stuff out and writing. And it feels really good to be in that spot now. But I also try to let myself take a little bit of a break too, just so I don’t overwork myself or force any kind of song out that’s not fully inspired, which we talked about a little bit.
I can say I have started writing stuff for possible future projects! But it definitely feels good to not sit at my laptop for ten hours, sometimes a day, recording something. I definitely am resting right now but, you know, doing writing whenever it feels right to me and not really trying to put a timeframe on anything, and just letting it come out when it needs to come out, because that’s what I did for Fall from Grace. It’s definitely worked out the best for me in that case, so I want to continue working like that.
It’s amazing that you are constantly inspired by things, and that does just seem to be the nature of art. You finish one thing and you’re just constantly inspired and always working on what’s new. But it’s good to also rest, so it’s good you’re getting that in there too! [laughs] And that is so exciting about that upcoming interview, I cannot wait to listen in and hear it. That’s just an amazing opportunity and I’m so excited for you.
Thank you so much! I’m really excited for that, and I’m really happy that we got to do these interviews first! Because it’s so special to me to talk to you about all of this, and I’m really looking forward to people hearing more about the album. It’ll be cool too to have that radio interview and reach a different kind of audience maybe, locally and whoever listens in. Just see where that takes the album, so I’m just so excited.
Well, that’s it for my questions! Thank you Drew for joining me for this two-part interview installment, it’s been so much fun to learn about Fall from Grace and to hear the story behind the album!
Yeah, thank you so much for doing this with me. I guess people will have to stay tuned for whatever comes next! [laughs]
You can listen to Fall from Grace everywhere now, including Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music and Bandcamp. You can also find Drew on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Thank you again Drew, I’m going to go listen to the album more after this call!
Thanks so much!
This is Part II of a two-part interview. You can watch Part I here, or read the transcript to Part I here.
This article originally appeared on the Wix site.