Photo Credit: Nicholas Popkey (@nicholaspopkey)
By Alissa Arunarsirakul // May 28, 2020
A Bay Area native, Lucy Clearwater moved to Los Angeles in 2016 with nothing but music on her mind. Having sold out several local shows and embarking on three solo international tours, Clearwater has most definitely been well received by the masses. With a remarkably mature presence, Clearwater is more than pleased to unveil her stunning debut EP, Feel Again.
On Feel Again, Lucy Clearwater exclusively shared with us,
“The ‘Feel Again’ EP is incredibly personal and vulnerable for me. From the first song, to the last, it tells a story of how I asked the universe to bring a special person into my life, how that prayer was answered, and how I fell in love with this person, the struggles we faced, and the depths we reached. The songs are in chronological order, except for the very last song ‘I Choose You,’ which is actually a fictional ending to the seemingly perfect love story, and a song I actually wrote at the beginning of my songwriting career when I was only 16 years old. Had I ended the EP with a factual replay of our love story, it would’ve ended on a much sadder, heartbreaking note… but that will have to show itself on my next album. I went into this relationship with the mindset of wanting to experience a wide range of emotions, both good and bad. That is precisely what I received. Though it may have been subconscious, the ‘goal’ of the EP was to ‘Feel Again,’ which would later show itself to me as the title of the first track. As members of today’s society, I think there can be a lot of external pressure to be a certain way, feel a certain way, always be smiling, or have a sunny disposition. The ‘Feel Again’ EP is my invitation to anyone who hears it, to surrender to emotion. Whatever that might mean for you. Let yourself FEEL. I did, and though it didn’t always feel good, I’d go back and do it a million times over.”
The Hidden Hits has your first listen of Feel Again below:
To celebrate the release of her new music, we recently chatted with Lucy Clearwater about feelings, weddings, and of course, Feel Again.
HH: Because of how mature your songwriting is, it’s hard to believe you’re only 22. How would you say music has affected your personal growth?
LC: Thank you! My whole life, I’ve been told by the people in my life that I’m an old soul. I’m not totally sure how that kind of thing works, but I grew up with an older brother and always had older friends growing up. I think that the way music plays into that equation, and has affected my personal growth, is that music for me has always been a bit like therapy. What I mean by that is, it has always helped me analyze and express my emotions and process my feelings. Maybe one of the things that plays into maturity is an ability to be self aware and learn from our emotions, rather than stuff things down and bury them. Since music has been helping me to do that from a young age, that could have played a role in accelerating my maturity. Music makes me face my demons. When I sit alone in my bedroom with my guitar, and am truly alone with my thoughts, it’s almost impossible not to uncover some deep emotion or hangup I’ve been holding onto. That doesn’t always mean a song will come out every time I sit down to write, but there certainly is always some form of growth that comes from it.
HH: We’ve all been impatiently waiting for your debut EP, and it’s finally here! How does it feel to have Feel Again out in the world?!
LC: I’ve honestly been dreaming of this moment for years and now that it’s finally here, I am definitely feeling a whole lot of emotions. Mostly excited, and proud of myself. But of course with any large moment that’s been built up inside your head and heart for so long, there is a bit of a curious anticipation and pressure that I am working on letting go of. It’s important for me to remember that the journey of getting to this moment is and has been just as important as the release itself. This is a constant practice for me, and not always an easy one, as I’m sure most people can relate to. All that aside, the most overwhelming feeling of it all, is IMMENSE gratitude towards everyone who has cheered me on and supported this dream of mine along the way. Releasing this project into the world is my way of giving back to everyone who has invested in me, and that feels incredibly rewarding.
HH: How is this EP release different from the singles you’ve previously released?
LC: This EP release is the first time I’ve ever created and completed a cohesive project. In the past, I’ve recorded and released a few singles but each of those were stand alone songs that weren’t related to each other. The Feel Again EP is more like a chapter book or novel, whereas my previous singles were like individual short stories. It is special because the six tracks that make up the EP tell a cohesive story from start to finish, and in chronological order! Not only that, but I also planned out the cover art to have a lot of deep symbolism and to help connect the whole project further. And, the music video for the first single uses the same color pallet as the artwork, tying it all together. The process of planning it all out to be cohesive like this, was part of what made the creation of the EP so meaningful.
HH: Can you walk us through your creative process?
LC: My creative process is always changing and evolving, just as my artistry does the same. I feel like I’m constantly learning and growing and adapting. However, the creative process for this EP in particular, was very natural for me. I didn’t realize what I was creating at the time that each of the songs were being written. It wasn’t until after all the songs were finished that I realized they were meant to be put together. When I write songs, some come out really quickly and uncontrollably, kind of like vomit (sorry for the imagery, but it’s true!) and others are more like a big jigsaw puzzle that takes days or weeks or sometimes even months to finish if it’s a really tricky one. When deciding which songs should go on the EP, I un-purposefully selected all songs that were written the “word-vomit” way! I think that when songs come out that way for me, it’s typically because I’m feeling an emotion really really strongly and it’s completely present in my mind and sometimes even feels like it’s eating me up. It’s like I NEED to get it out on paper. Because of this, I think each of the songs on the Feel Again EP are incredibly potent with emotions.
HH: What would you say to people who still feel like they need to suppress their emotions after listening to Feel Again?
LC: There is a time and place for everything. If you have an emotional block, and you find yourself unable to let it out, try observing yourself. If you look carefully enough, you might even realize that that state of suppression you’re in, is actually a form of emotion in itself. Be gentle and patient with yourself. Everything comes when it needs to, and if that moment isn’t right now, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. I’d just encourage you to stay curious about yourself. There’s so much wonder and beauty inside feelings, whether they’re good or bad, and they’re not there to harm you. They’re just part of you and that is FRICKIN COOL! When you’re ready to explore it, you will. For me personally, music can be a huge catalyst to my emotions. But not all music will pull the exact heartstring inside you that will trigger you to emote, because everyone is experiencing something different. If my music isn’t your catalyst, don’t worry for even a second because there is so much music in the world and when you hear the one your soul is aching to hear, it will move you in precisely the way that you’re needing to be moved.
HH: You shared an Instagram post detailing some of the many things you’ve done in the past four years living in Los Angeles. Of these things, what’s one of your favorite memories that you included in the EP?
LC: Haha! Yes, omg I listed a lot of wild and silly things that I’ve experienced in the past four years in that post. It is hard to choose one, so I will mention two things. One, is that in the song “Distracted” (track #3) I mention going out to one of my favorite venues in Los Angeles. That venue is called The Hotel Cafe, and it has been a staple of my nights out in Hollywood over the past four years. I’ve spent so many nights there, taking in shows, playing shows, backing up friends, or just swinging by to say hi to the door guys and bartenders, that I literally wrote a song about it! The Hotel Cafe truly is a magical place and it has been where I have made the majority of my friends and really found an incredible community that makes LA feel like home. And second, was that I got to sing a song at my dad’s wedding in October of 2018. He requested that I sing a song I wrote when I was 16, called “I Choose You” and that happens to be the last song on the Feel Again EP! Having “I Choose You” on the project, and having it tied to that memory of singing at my dad’s special day, really adds another layer of significance to the EP.
HH: If you could collaborate with anyone in the music industry, who would you pick?
LC: This is an incredibly difficult question, because there are SO many incredible people in this industry. I’m sure my answer would be different every time depending on my mood and the day, but for now I’ll go with Joni Mitchell. She is one of my all time favorite songwriters and I think it would be life changing and enlightening to get to hang out with her and learn about her songwriting process.
HH: What are your three hidden hits?
LC: “God Is A Woman” – Rett Madison
“Father Time” – Axel Mansoor
“Drama” – Victoria Canal