Purveyors of: The feeling of road trips with friends, that split moment of being in the air before jumping into the water, hugging your best friend.
File next to: Stevie Nicks, Best Coast, The Auras
Playing: Wavelength 800 Mini-Fest, Saturday August 15th on Facebook Live.
Stuck on where to put that last chorus in your song? Listen to Twist. Laura Hermiston knows how to write a pop song that is both catchy and distinctively her sound. Twist is holistically psychedelic, filtered through a new wave lens. The effect is the feeling that you are moving incredibly fast and incredibly slow at the same time. All of this hard work has garnered millions of streams, headlining tours all over North America, and media placements with HBO, Netflix, and network TV. Despite the world stopping, Twist has not stopped writing new music. Wavelength’s Emma Bortolon-Vettor talked to Laura about her identity and work as an artist.
How has this pandemic affected your identity/ies as an artist/artists?
As a society we have been forced to look inward, re-evaluate our lives, and investigate. We are asking ourselves what we value most, and what we care about. I am still learning about myself and the things I want and can do. I have come to realize (albeit cliché) that music unites us and can invoke positive change. This has been a big motivator for me to continue to write.
How do you approach songwriting?
As I work through a song or idea, I start to realize what the true intention is. I continue to build on that as I go. I have 2 approaches to the actual act of working on songs.
- I have been educating myself on producing music at home. I play with sounds I enjoy by experimenting. I start building a song around a few ideas/beats/hooks. I usually send whatever I end up with to the band and get feedback and we start to collab.
- I record a lot of voice memos and then circle back to them with my guitar and start working on a song. I’ll usually bring my ideas to band practice and we can jam on them. We have a good connection when we are together in a room working on new material. They are all amazing songwriters and producers. Sometimes one of us just noodles around and we get into it and start jamming. That’s the most exciting.
In a previous interview with the Fader, Laura, you had said that “choosing to work in a creative field often means forfeiting stability.” How do you as an artist work around and manage the ups and downs of financial instability, especially in a Canadian music framework?
I can’t change the things I don’t control. But I can control my art. I hustle to support myself in order to make music. I have to keep creating because it makes me happy.
This is for all the independent music-makers: how does an artist reach out to get media placement for their music?
I know two ways:
- Sign with a publisher and hope they fight for you.
- Try to connect directly with music supervisors. A lot of them are down to listen to music from artists they don’t know. Send them downloads of your music and a little description that makes sense for music placements.
What do you hope will change for arts and culture after this pandemic?
It’s already evident how artists have been adapting. Good things can happen in the midst of chaos. On that note, I am hoping the toxic structures and people who have taken advantage of artists opens up space for positive change.
Who are you listening to right now?
Vallens, Wild Black, Ellis, B-17, Teenanger, Rapport, Ducks Unlimited, Cadence Weapon, Nyssa, Anemone, Cindy Lee
Don’t miss Twist at our Wavelength 800 livestream mini-fest on August 15 on Facebook Live.