Photography by Shervin Lainez – ShervinFoto
“I’m pretty drawn to storytelling…”
When it comes to music, singer-songwriter girlhouse doesn’t hold back. Her personal experiences and relationships often serve as inspiration for her music, resulting in honest and vulnerable songs that resonate with listeners. In our recent interview, she opens up about her creative process, the challenges of balancing vulnerability with privacy, and the pressure to continue the success of her highly praised EP “The Third EP.”
As she talks about her latest single “worth it” she shares the emotional depth of the project: “Our friend Cooper Brown is an actual angel and helped us put this video together. My next-door neighbor got into a gunfight in front of my house the week we filmed this. My car was totaled from bullet holes, and I no longer felt safe at home, so I was having a pretty hard time. I also recently lost my grandpa and still don’t feel like I’ve fully adjusted to his loss. I don’t think there is more emotionally raw footage of me out there than this video.” And “worth it” immediately draws you in with its mystical and strong aura, fueled by the talented singer’s nostalgia-tinged pop sounds and her catchy voice.
Delve into the interview to discover more about the person behind girlhouse’s music.
“I’d ‘fallen in love’ with someone who kept telling me I wasn’t enough and yet kept me around.” Can you tell us more about the personal experiences that inspired your new single “worth it”?
A lot of the songs on this EP are about relationships that are ancient history but the after-effects still linger. I really wanted to dive into the root of all the bullshit I bring into relationships, so I figured I’d start at the beginning. I think there’s one relationship in particular that I felt absolutely obliterated my heart for the first time; it was the first time I really lost myself.
The visual for “worth it” is simple yet so beautiful. What was the creative process behind the making of the music video?
Our friend Cooper Brown is an actual angel and helped us put this video together. My next-door neighbor got into a gunfight in front of my house the week we filmed this. My car was totaled from bullet holes, and I no longer felt safe at home, so I was having a pretty hard time. I also recently lost my grandpa and still don’t feel like I’ve fully adjusted to his loss. I don’t think there is more emotionally raw footage of me out there than this video. My rental car had a sunroof, so Cooper rented a car mount and let us use one of his antique lenses, and that combo created something magical. I’m SO proud of how this video turned out, and I’m so grateful for Cooper for helping us out; it felt like therapy working on this.
“I talk a lot about my struggles with mental health in my music, and I know how much it means to feel seen in a song or a piece of art.”
Your music often discusses personal thoughts and relationships. How do you balance vulnerability with privacy in your songwriting?
That’s a really good question! I think I tend to overshare in my private life as well, so there’s a ton of overlap there! Always working on that healthy balance. Yay therapy!
Can you tell us about the process of incorporating your experiences into your music while also making sure that it resonates with your listeners?
I think I always hope that my personal experiences resonate with strangers. Selfishly, I wanna feel less alone. Kind of like when you’re nervous to ask a question in a class or a big group, maybe someone else is too nervous to ask the same question and needs someone to raise their hand. I talk a lot about my struggles with mental health in my music, and I know how much it means to feel seen in a song or a piece of art.
How do you approach songwriting and putting your feelings into words?
There are about a million little useless thoughts, poems, and words I like in my notes app. I usually start there and try to get inspired by whatever was happening when I wrote it down.
Your last EP, ‘The Third EP’, was highly praised last year. Is there any pressure on you to continue that success, and if so, how do you deal with it?
I think Tyler (producer, guitar) and I both put a tremendous amount of pressure on ourselves to keep growing and making better and better work every time we work together. Sometimes the pressure can slow us down a bit and make us second-guess ourselves, but we always try to remember why we started making music for this project in the first place and try to forgive ourselves a little bit; this is MUSIC, relax!
“Acting taught me how to find deep genuine connections.”
How has your background in acting influenced your music career?
I’m pretty drawn to storytelling because of theater and movies. I love a performance, and I think theater gave me the permission I needed to try different approaches to things that don’t work the first time. It also taught me how to find deep genuine connections.
Can you talk about how growing up in Portland, with its diversity and contrasting views, has influenced you as a person?
Well, I’m not sure how diverse it is, but I love Portland for the drama it provides. Every time I go downtown, someone wants to tell me their story. I love how it’s never boring.
You have achieved and experienced so much already. Can you tell us about a particularly memorable moment from your music career so far?
Getting to meet so many of my favorite artists has been a highlight. I absolutely feel like I fight my imposter syndrome daily, but the quality of the tours we’ve been getting lately has been nuts! I definitely feel like I’m living my dream.
One of the most important things in life is?
Feeling seen and heard
Thank you so much for your time!