Photo Credit: Jibril Yassin
Come the end of last year, not a month passed without a new song from poolblood. All of those were just a sample of the delightful main course that was to come with the January 13th release of poolblood’s debut LP, ‘mole.’ We talked about how the music, illusion of time, and more in this back-and-forth exchange.
Kendra: Coming from a home where Top 40 music wasn’t always around, what sort of set the foundation in your life for wanting to pursue music? Did you write poetry or anything before and then one day thought, lemme go ahead and put these words to song?
poolblood: Such a great question! I was super inspired by the music I would hear in TV shows and films. I also started journaling at a young age, and I really love poetry as well. I would get to hear Top 40 if I was with friends and extended family and that began my search for music outside of TV/film. I moved quite a bit from the ages of 4 to 12, and the only way I could connect with my peers was through music. I also felt safe in music class. I’ve always had an inclination towards performance and when I was a teen and learned how to play guitar, naturally I started writing my own songs.
Kendra: A little more than a few years separate your EP, ‘Yummy,’ from your debut LP, ‘mole.’ In that time, what do you think has been the most significant moment that’s impacted your creativity and how you ultimately approached the new album?
poolblood: It was just good old fashion growing up. The pandemic also happened and changed my perspective on life, as I’m sure it did for many people. With this record, I really wanted to challenge myself, songwriting-wise. I think ‘Yummy’ I was trying to stay within a genre but this record, I really wanted to expand my borders, chord progressions, and lyricism.
Kendra: The first single off ‘mole’ dropped in June 2022. Then we got a trio of new singles towards the end of the year. Did you sort of pick the singles as you were recording or did you wait until all the tracks were done to make those decisions?
poolblood: I actually knew that “twinkie” was going to be the first single, mainly because it was one of the earlier songs I wrote for the record and felt really proud of. The other singles sorta came along naturally, I picked everything based on the seasons. I knew my little room had a late fall/ early winter vibe, and “shabby” had a late summer vibe and “wfy” was it a sweet holiday/ winter solstice vibe?
Kendra: When you set out to create ‘mole,’ you noted that it started with the idea of dealing with codependency. That made me think of this recent article from KQED in which Dori Hutchinson from the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation at Boston University said, “…today’s 18-year-olds are like 12-year-olds from a decade ago. They have very little tolerance for conflict and discomfort, and COVID just exposed it.” Do you think it has to do more with how we’re being raised or more with the constant need to feel connected via social media?
poolblood: Wow, what a great question. I definitely think it has to do with social media. When I was growing up, I was sorta growing up with the early versions of all the platforms we use today. I think as someone who has gotten a bit more addicted to their phone over the pandemic (my New Year’s resolution is to use my phone less!), it has the potential to sway my mood.
Social media is also so new to our world and I believe there is new research being produced every day about its effects on us. It’s interesting to think that we may not know the full effects of social media, or maybe we will, later in our lives.
Kendra: Let’s get into more of the music though because right out of the gate, “my little room” hits with the line “time is an illusion.” I’m very much a stay up late and think about reality kind of person. For you though, what makes time feel the most unreal?
poolblood: Hahaha, I really like the idea that the past, present, and future are all happening simultaneously, and existing within each other. Aging feels really unreal for sure but sometimes really familiar, I guess I’ve come to terms with the way time is the ultimate teacher and healer!
Kendra: Overall, what I’ve heard this record feels like the kind of music I’d want in a coming-of-age film. With that, if you had to place “wfy” in a recent movie – which do you think it’d be great in and why?
poolblood: Oh sweet! I actually don’t know! I will say my favorite movie from last year was ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’ so potentially it could be in there but I think the score and soundtrack on that film is so well done, I wouldn’t wanna change it.
Kendra: Also, being that it’s a new year, have you set any sort of music resolutions for yourself?
poolblood: I’m really stoked to write more music. I’m already itching to produce some of the songs I’ve already written!
Kendra: Lastly, with ‘mole,’ out on January 13th, what lies ahead for you?
poolblood: I’m playing South by Southwest in March which I’m really stoked for and hopefully some other amazing shows!