Words – Lyz Mancini

Erica Glyn is a refreshing delight for girls like me; girls who prefer sarcasm over breakfast, are sincere in their visceral view of the world, and who most likely at one time listened to Fiona Apple under blankets past their bedtime while coloring their fingernails with markers. It’s a voice heard not often in such a pop-saturated society, and rings clear and true to those who still obsessively listen to the Empire Records soundtrack or think often about the meaning of feminism. What a truly lovely way to spend a lunch hour; discussing music, 90s female rappers, why grandmas are awesome, and the exciting fear of doing something on your own.

I first heard of your music when you released the Christmas song “Winter Wonderland” with Charley Hustle and it was so great; both your sound and the DIY take on the video you made. How did you come up with the idea for that?

After we made the song, I really wanted to make a video for it and so I approached Charley to see if he would be down, and he was. We made the entire set ourselves using craft supplies. We spent all day making Christmas trees, stockings, a fireplace, snowy backdrops etc. We wanted ugly Christmas sweaters and were shocked at just how many there were at our local thrift store. The four of us (me, Charley, Ben Roeser, and Eve Caripides), had so much fun shooting it. It was just a day of laughing and creating and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

What made you decide to release a Christmas EP? Your style wouldn’t obviously lend itself well to such happy music, but there is such a great juxtaposition that happens.

That’s so great that you recognize that about my style – and that is precisely why I wanted to make a Christmas EP. It’s a fun way of releasing something because you’re using songs that people are already familiar with, so you can focus more on the sounds and your voice, rather than on creating something from scratch. I also loved the idea of making an EP where it was my voice and style (editor’s note: melancholy, powerful, with a purpose) singing cheerful songs about the holidays.

Your first solo album Static was released in 2012, after multiple albums with bands. What made you decide to go all on your own?

To be honest, I didn’t have a release plan for Static. I had arrived at this place in my life where I wanted to go out on my own and wanted to create something for me that was very much my message and sound that I could be proud of. It really was not designed with an audience in mind. When it was finished, I of course showed it to my friends (because that’s what you do when you’re proud of something), and they just said “so what next for this record?” That was when I realized maybe I wanted to actually share it with the world. So I then started to promote it retroactively. I’m grateful it happened this way because it made the final outcome more honest and without filters as I wasn’t thinking about who would be listening to it.

 

You have an upcoming second solo album as well, so it seems like you prefer to go your own way.

Being in a band can be tremendously fulfilling, but there is always compromise. It’s liberating to be alone in a room with your thoughts and artistic ideas and then have them come to life. I also though love collaborating. I find it very inspiring. I’ve recently started producing artists and love that process as well.  I will be releasing my upcoming record “Dollars For Thieves” this fall.

 

What started your love for music?

All of my life I have responded deeply to music and thought of myself as a musical person, but when I was 12, my Grandma bet me money that I couldn’t go six months without watching TV. I immediately said, “yes” to the bet and I did it!

Six months is such a long time.

It is, especially in 7th grade. I spent all of the time I would have been watching TV, listening to records, teaching myself to play guitar and writing songs, and the time just flew by. Even now, I don’t have television in my apartment. What I got out of those six months far outweighed the money my Grandma awarded me at the end. Little did she know…. Or maybe she did….

Would you say New York helped you with your love of music?
I am a born and raised New Yorker. I don’t think New York helped or created my love of music; that was always there. But being here while I fell in love with music definitely impacted my relationship to it. I was surrounded by creative people who loved music as much as I did. I grew up in a city filled with extremely driven, successful and cutting edge artists and there is no way that hasn’t influenced my sound and me.

The music video you made for the song The Animal has such an interesting aesthetic and obviously sexual message. What was your plan behind that?

I wanted to create a story about a powerfully sexual woman without it coming off as cheesy and without losing the strong female perspective. We rarely see men being objectified without it coming across as silly or inauthentic. I was hoping to convey that authenticity with a dynamic and powerful woman. Erinn Ruth and Christian Conn, the actors in the video, did a phenomenal job with a very delicate and nuanced subject. Seth Blaustein and James Segars, the director and cinematographer, really tapped into this idea and created something not only aesthetically pleasing, but also smart and delicate with incredible imagery and sensitivity. Cudos to everyone who helped make that complex video.

I’ve been listening to a lot of Salt N Pepa lately, and it is refreshing to hear men objectified sometimes.

Yes, I love their video for “Shoop.” I remember Salt lowering her sunglasses on the beach to stare at the half-naked men like they were meat as she said “Oh my goodness, girl look at him.” It’s nice for women to have the “ok” to appreciate men on a carnal level.

It must be hard to be yourself in entertainment and still also be marketable or become a person that everyone can relate to, even though we’re all so multi-faceted.

It is, because we aren’t just these little boxes. We all have to decide what we’re willing to fight for and what we’re willing to give up. The rules have changed and are still changing. Reaching people and relating to people is all tightly controlled by who has the money to get you out there. Some people’s natural persona lends themselves to being marketable because there isn’t a lot of depth to them and packaging them for sales is easy. Other people are more complex. It’s unfortunate because it seems like we are all being fed “pizza” (because everyone loves pizza) and our palates are thus becoming less and less sophisticated and a lot of interesting, awesome, soul crushing music is going unheard.

What kinds of music are you listening to now?
I am really into my friend’s band The Library Is On Fire, I feel like they’re doing things that no one else is doing right now and their songs are brilliant. I really like St. Vincent’s last record. And I’ve recently been listening to Russian rocker Viktor Tsoi.

 

Find more on Erica over at her WEBSITE

About The Author

One Response

  1. Mark Woodworth

    Great article and interview. Loved Static, can’t wait for the new solo album. Erica’s music IS different. And amazing.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.