People often forget what it’s like to be a teenager, which is a shame. It’s the most interesting time in one’s life, or rather mind. So much is going on and you’re really starting to define oneself in regards to the rest of the world. It is when most of us, like Louise Marshall, really found herself emerged in music. Unlike someone like me who just listened, Louise started to create and has yet to stop.
Her debut, Juvenile, explores a lot of the human experience, including the darker side of existence in songs like “Ocean.” We talked about the album, the visuals, and more with this budding alternative indie songstress.
Kendra: Some like to write teens off. When in fact, it’s one of the most interesting and mentally chaotic times in one’s life. For you, it was when you got started down a musical path. What made you take that initial step and did writing music help tame the chaos at all?
Louise Marshall: I hate it when people write off teens…My teenage years were the most transforming time in my life. That was the time I started exploring spirituality, I wanted to feel a sense of completeness and understanding of why things happen. As for my musical journey, I ventured down that path at the age of 18. I would record myself singing through my phone and even hum instrumental melodies. Writing music for me depends on the day, l wouldn’t say songwriting necessarily tames the chaos, I would often use songwriting as a way of expression. Whenever I feel sad I would often journal and practice gratitude.
Kendra: You’ve noted that your Juvenile EP explores one of life’s most asked question, “What if?” It seems like we’re all a bit obsessed with that notion. Never satisfied with one partner, so on Tinder to find the next. On Yelp to go over a million food options because we can’t trust our gut. Do you feel like one can ever settle down and not ask, “What if?”
Louise Marshall: It’s totally human to want to question everything, especially when you have gone down a more spiritual path. When I wrote that EP I wasn’t happy at all. The notion of “what if” can be very dangerous too. You can find yourself never being happy with what you have. Now, whenever I catch myself other questioning everything I pull myself out of it and look towards what I am grateful for.
Kendra: Now let’s talk about “Ocean.” It’s a song that just hits you from the start and the video is simple but telling. A visual representation of the isolation of depression. Did you come up with the concept?
Louise Marshall: Yes, I thought up the concept. Because visual arts is subjective someone may see it as evil or too dark. However, that is not the case. “Ocean” is about being in the depths. of misery and confronting it. At the time of writing the video script, I was very interested in Carl Jung’s Shadow Theory. People believe that sadness, anxiety, and depression (aspects of a shadow) are out to get us, then it’s just a damaged or repressed aspect of ourselves from childhood.
Kendra: You don’t shy away from topics like depression and mental health in your music, and it is not like it’s something new. People have been penning songs about such things for decades. It’s only now that the songs spark actual conversations. What do you think sparked that shift?
Louise Marshall: Yeah it’s good that people today are talking more about mental health, especially in music. I believe this notion is quite recent. I can’t say exactly what sparked the shift but, I believe it’s just people accepting more how they feel and slowly doing away with the shame or guilt linked to mental illness.
Kendra: How are you planning on rounding out 2018, musically speaking?
Louise Marshall: Well, I haven’t given it much thought. I am currently working on a single but I was thinking of releasing it if not at the end of the year early next year. I’m still experimenting with songwriting, but having been through a tough time in my life I’m focusing on what also makes me happy too.