By Maddelynne Parker
Annie Goodchild is an American artist with many roots, who is unable to categorize her work to just one genre. She resides in Switzerland currently, and interviewed with us about her most recent project, EP "Meditative Mouthfuls," and her life living abroad as a musician. Find out more about Goodchild below.
How would you describe your first EP "Meditative Mouthfuls?"
"Yeah, my work in general even before "Meditative Mouthfuls" was a bit all over the place, so I feel like I’m thrashing through life. My art mirrors that, genre-wise. The closest way I can describe it would be like American roots, like, some folk and blues and soul. You can hear that in my voice. I really love writing string parts and I always have choir ideas in my head. I try to paint that picture as well as possible.
Lyrically or theme-wise, throughout "Meditative Mouthfuls," I was meditating a lot when I was writing this and that definitely guided the music and the lyrics. I think a lot of it has to do with my relationship with fear and the relationship to the anxiety I’ve had, yeah, those things come up a lot."
Your work has been described as undefinable to one genre. Is that something you strive to achieve or did it just happen?
"It’s definitely something that just happens. I think that just because it happens to naturally that I have trouble keeping to just one sound even though that’s what the music industry wants. I think that because it’s so natural for me that it becomes something that I fight for a little bit because I know in my life that the artist that I look up to that they also write for all sorts of genres and play with that. So, it’s a passion of mine and it’s something that just happens."
What influences can we expect to hear on "Meditative Mouthfuls?"
"Artist-wise, in terms of roots, there’s trickles of Hosier, and vintage sounds in terms of the vocals that I’m playing with. Instrument-wise, I’d say strings play a huge part, though I cannot at all play stringed instruments. That would be amazing, but I really like playing string parts and I do it mainly by singing all the parts out to add some color to the sound. I work with an amazing violinist Lisa Bause in Barcelona and she’s like my one-woman orchestra. She’ll put her own flair in everything, so I would say strings play a big influence in a lot of stuff."
What plans do you have musically for after "Meditative Mouthfuls," like a full length album?
"I know everybody writes differently, but I have creative juice bubbles. So, for about three months I’ll just need to write tons of songs, and then I just need to live my life and have no good ideas. Because that’s part of it, you just need to get the [bad] ideas out to get the new ones in. I’m in totally one of those bubbles right now, so I have tons of new music. I’m about to go to Berlin for some new writing sessions, which I’m totally excited about and you can expect a full album.
It’s just kind of coming together. I don’t want to overthink things too much. I want to just let things flow out. So right now, I just want to write as many songs as possible, and piece together the random ridges and course ideas that I have and Lego them together."
You mention you're going to Berlin to write music. Lots of famous artists have done that, so what is your appeal then to Berlin as a musician?
"I love Berlin. The city is just so alive. Europe is so beautiful and I’ve been blessed to see all this, but sometimes it can seem too clean, like I’m living in a postcard. I miss the gross summer street smells from New York and I don’t get that in Berlin. But there’s a lot of great food, and so many babes there. It’s a really alive place to be and create. I think that’s why it draws so many artists."
You used to be in several bands and collaborate with other artists, what's the greatest perk now that you're a solo artist?
"I would say creative control. It’s terrifying being in charge of anything because you can [screw] it up. It’s a little scary having that responsibility, but it’s amazing having an idea in your head that you’re humming to yourself and voice memo it on your phone. So, you meet with a producer or meet with your band, and jam it out. It’s, like, an addictive feeling."
What about performing?
"Even though I’m terrified, I’m also proud of myself for doing it. It’s a healthy push, so being brave enough to show emotions and be vulnerable around people and get that in return from the audience is really beautiful and special. People cry sometimes, and that makes me want to cry. That’s really special — connecting with other humans that my art lets me do that."
You can find Annie Goodchild on Twitter, Instagram and her website.
Feature photo credit to Barbara Hess.
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