Described as ‘aesthetic-led pop for the euphoria generation’, LA’s WENS has a new EP called ‘Lemoncholy’. With top quality punage like that, you best bet she’s right up our street.
Hi WENS! How's it going? Are you having a good day?
I was having a good day until I got to the airport. I'm flying back home to LA from NYC. I love it in New York. But I also can't really complain I'm just sitting in the terminal eating a Shake Shack fried chicken sandwich, ha.
Your debut EP is fab, can you tell us a bit about 'Lemoncholy''s inception?
Lemoncholy was written during a big phase of life for me. It was the weird transitional period from your late teens to your early 20s. I found this moment in time incredibly taxing emotionally but also the most rewarding in terms of the amount I feel I've grown. I think the songs mostly express the confusion, contradiction, and loneliness I felt during this time.
What's your songwriting process like?
I don't know if I'd call it a process. It ebbs and flows. For me, some weeks I'm feeling really inspired and just playing a single sound or chord progression can send me somewhere and then sometimes it feels somewhat impossible to get words out. I usually always start a song on guitar or piano.
And you primarily write about experiences and feelings you've been through?
Yes. Sometimes I can be a little dramatic, though. I'd never want to date me, haha. I also use my writing as a tool to actually understand how I'm feeling. A lot of the time after I write a song and listen back I'm like 'WOAH I hit the nail on the head. That's exactly how I feel!' and then I'm like 'well, no shit you feel that way, you wrote it'!
You've been making music for years, right? How did you start out?
I started writing silly songs when I was like 10. I never really liked talking about myself or my feelings. So writing became my favourite thing cuz I didn't need to actually open my mouth to do it. And once I get a thought out of my head and onto paper, it no longer feels like my thought. I'm sure that sounds insane.
What was it like growing up in LA? It sounds very high-pressure.
I'd definitely say it was high pressure. You have a really high bar set from a young age as far as what you can achieve in life, and you're given this blessing of being born where it all happens, but at the same time, it doesn't necessarily make it easier for you.
You're still based there now?
Yes, I live at my parents still. I'm just not ready to part ways with my mom's home-cooked meals.
What does being a musician mean to you?
It means becoming a soundtrack to people's lives. It's a huge deal to me. If I have one person tell me that my music has helped them through difficult times, or has made them feel anything I feel like I've succeeded. That's the whole point of the job. Without music, I feel like life would be boring.
Do you enjoy performing as much as writing?
They're completely different feelings. I'd definitely say I get way more of a high off performing and directly connecting with people. When I'm writing, I'm always questioning whether what I'm writing is even good. They're almost opposite. When I'm on stage, I feel high, but then after I crash and feel really low. When I'm writing, I feel shitty during the process, but then after it's over with I feel completely liberated.
Are you creative in non-musical ways too?
Yes. I love cooking and baking. It's such a nice way for me to feel creative because I'm putting all my energy and thought into something that I get to literally eat once I'm done.
What do you do for fun?
I'm really into thrift shopping. Most of my closet is thrifted. It's so fun sifting through clothes and finding real gems. I also like to travel, binge watch TV shows, go to live shows. Anything that involves my senses being stimulated.
What's 'the dream' for you, where you do hope your music will take you?
Anywhere. Honestly. I have to remind myself how lucky I am every day that I have a passion that I'm privileged enough to pursue. So literally anywhere it takes me I should feel nothing but gratitude. "The dream" I guess would be for as many people humanly possible to love my music. I'd also love to be able to take care of my family. And i guess a Grammy would be pretty cool too.
Taken from the April issue of Dork. WENS' debut EP 'Lemoncholy' is out 20th March.
Featuring Easy Life, The Strokes, Tones & I, Sorry and loads more.