Some know in almost an instant that music is it for them. They get up in front of the family at the holidays, sing, and bam! For others like Bethany Ferrie, the realization comes in stages. At 10 her dad sat her down with the guitar, high school found her singing more, and by freshman year of college, she was trying her hand at songwriting.
Bethany Ferrie notes of her first step into penning music, “It was always something I was interested in but more of a hobby than anything serious. I think the slow burn into music sort of helped me in a way. I was seeing a progression with the more time and effort I was putting into it and trying different things.”
That’s where we started but throughout we touched on Taylor Swift, her latest “This Is Where I Leave You,” and what to expect from her new EP.
Kendra: You’ve noted that artists like Fleetwood Mac and Kings of Leon are some of your favorites, but I think when it comes to right here, right now, and timeless – Taylor Swift. She’s another one of your creative muses. For you, is there a particular song or album in which you feel Swift’s writing went above and beyond?
Bethany Ferrie: I feel like Taylor Swift has always been a part of my music journey – as a listener and as an artist. She was one of the first artists I saw who was actually writing their own songs. I would say my favourite album is between ‘folklore’ and ‘1989.’ They’re completely different, I know. They’re the albums that saw her go into a completely different genre than her previous and completely dominate it. It’s a testament to her writing ability.
Kendra: Which, speaking of writing – you’re on your second single of the year, your first being “Bones.” With that, if we were to do an archeological dig into your old notebooks and journals, what growth in your own songwriting would we uncover when comparing where you started to where you are today?
Bethany Ferrie: My earlier work was a lot more surface-level. I think I allow myself to say the things I mean in a way that I might’ve held back on before. That could just be a part of growing up as well. I also love using imagery and lyrics that if you were to picture it in your head it would kind of be weird but you’d also get it. “I want to open to my bones” is one of those lines for me. It’s about letting go of what holds you back but if you think about it literally it’s kind of gross.
Kendra: Where was your headspace when you penned “This Is Where I Leave You?” And do you always write from that space?
Bethany Ferrie: “This Is Where I Leave You” took me a few months to write but I always say it feels like 10 years. I had just finished “Bones” and I was in that headspace of “okay, time to face what you’ve been running from” and the biggest thing for me was dealing with the grief of losing my dad when I was younger. It was something I hadn’t processed fully. I think being able to come with time and, again, growing up. “Bones” felt like a big beginning for me and “This Is Where I Leave You” was a step in the direction I wanted, being more honest and open and trying to write something that sounded and felt completely me.
Kendra: We’ll hear that song and more on your upcoming EP! Can you sum up that record in three moods?
Bethany Ferrie: Sad, Honest, Emotional
Kendra: You’ve posted some handwritten lyrics on your Instagram, which I love. I have a couple of handwritten songs from some of my favs framed around my apartment and some tattooed. Would you ever go about getting your own lyrics tattooed, or the lyrics of another artist? If so, any come to mind?
Bethany Ferrie: I don’t think I could ever get my own tattooed. If I stared at it too long I’d end up hating it and want to change it in the song. That seems like a dangerous cycle.
Kendra: The EP is slated to come out this year, but what else can we expect as we head into the fall?
Bethany Ferrie: I’m working on the new music right now so hopefully another single before the EP. If gigs go ahead it would be great to start performing again.