Following the release of her new single ‘Cheerleader’, Luna Shadows is preparing for a few dates across North America to showcase her latest art-pop material.
L.A.-based indie-pop artist Luna Shadows first emerged in 2016 with the release of her EP, ‘Summertime’. Quickly rising through the ranks of the L.A. music scene, Luna’s refreshingly personal pop songs found continued support, with good friend Thom Powers, of The Naked & Famous, at the helm with Luna for the production of each track.
Fast forward one year, Luna Shadows is back with her tongue-in-cheek single, ‘Cheerleader’. The song sees the singer-songwriter describe about how she’s secretly on the sidelines plotting. Ahead of her forthcoming run of tour dates, Vaunter sat down with Luna Shadows to discuss her latest single, life as a producer, and what lies next in store. This is what she had to say:
Firstly, thanks for spending the time to talk to Vaunter. How have you been?
I’m good, Lewis! Scrambling to get everything together because I’m driving myself and all my gear up to SF in my tiny car from LA. Which means my car needs to be empty… should be a fun road trip. Maybe I’ll take the scenic route. How are you, Lewis?
All good over here. You kick-start your tour with two days in San Francisco before venturing over to the east coast. Are you particular excited to be returning to New York City?
I’m definitely looking forward to New York, but I’m really excited for these shows in SF. I’m especially happy to be playing on a bill with Elohim & DRAEMINGS because I’m a fan of both projects.
You’ve recently released your single, ‘Cheerleader’. A recent interview stated that it’s about plotting on the sidelines”, are you able to give more insight into what you were having to plot against?
Ha! Well it’s less about what you’re up against – I’ll leave that up to individual interpretation. It’s more a general statement about how I think quiet, thoughtful, and careful individuals can be just as influential as those that are obvious, aggressive, and forceful with their message.
I’ve just always admired sneaky people. My favorite book is Harry Potter, and my favorite part of the whole series is when they go on adventures with the Marauder’s Map & the invisibility cloak – they can see everyone, but no one can see them. They can sidestep anyone in the way of their mission if they use their power wisely. I think of myself as a quiet and calculated individual. Though I don’t have a magical map and/or invisibility cloak.
The song itself is passionately emotive and very self-reflective on how you have had to manage your way through life. What is your natural creative process when writing a song?
Usually, I like to start with a single concept or idea. I’ll start with the music, and then once I have a beat going and a few chords, I think about how it makes me feel. Then I browse through my notes and try to find a lyric or idea that I’ve written down that might inspiresomething. Maybe something that someone said to me. Could be anything. I think the most important part of my creative process is showing up to the studio, even if I don’t feel
inspired. Often times, I find inspiration once I start the work. The tough part is always starting the work. Just last week, I was nearly in tears from writer’s block, and then about six hours later I wrote what is now one of my favorite things to date. Things can flip quickly!
You also produced a lot of your music in your own bedroom alongside friends. How did
the recording process usually work for you?
Mostly all of my music is digital, so the only things that require actual recording are vocals, guitars, and any unique samples (i.e. the sound of a soda can opening). I recorded all the vocals for my EP in my friend Joanna’s closet, which she turned into a little vocal booth. I engineer my own vocals, so I stand in there for several hours with the microphone and my computer until I feel like I’ve got enough to work with. I did also use some of my original demo vocals, which I recorded in my bedroom. Sometimes my cat Rose watches me sing, which makes me nervous because I’m pretty much scared to sing in front of everyone. She’s generally supportive though.
The music video continues your black and white aesthetic, as found on your Instagram. What encouraged you to adopt this visual art approach?
I wanted to portray my life in California in a different way than I’d seen it on TV growing up. All the pictures of LA in pop culture show overly saturated sunsets, retro pin-up lifestyles, and celebrity culture. I wanted to show LA from a slightly colder, more raw, and in my experience, more sincere perspective. It’s a simple play on an idea. If I show you in color, it’s a perfect paradise. I figured if I took the color away momentarily, it might be the perfect juxtaposition of a beachy paradise and a melancholy feeling.
Your live performances are often symbolic in the sense it also contains a very artistic approach. When recording/writing, do you naturally envision how you wish for it look on stage too?
Yes! I consider my project to be audio/visual. Sometimes, I have ideas for videos & visuals before I’ve started the actual song. Before I ever did music, I went to art school as a little kid. I take the title “artist” very seriously, and for me that doesn’t stop at music. Everything has to connect, whether it’s my instagram or my songs or my live show. There’s a thread running through all of it.
After the current set of tour dates, what lies next in store for Luna Shadows? More shows, more recording, etc.?
All of the above!
Our final question; if we were to open up any streaming service right now, what would be your go-to song?
Ah! Would be so hard to pick, but I have a more extensive answer. My Spotify playlist that I update regularly to show fans & friends what I’m listening to.
Luna Shadows is set to play the following shows:
03/30 – San Francisco, CA @ Secret Sofar Sounds show
03/31 – San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop
04/25 – New York City, NY @ Secret Sofar Sounds show
04/29 – Charlotte, NC @ The Underground
04/30 – Asheville, NC @ Grey Eagle
05/01 – Athens, GA @ Georgia Theatre
05/05 – St. Petersburg, FL @ State Theatre
For more information on Luna Shadows or to get tickets to her forthcoming shows, visit her website.