Josie Moon / Taylor Mansfield / Youtube
Abigail Johnson chatted with emerging indie artist Josie Moon about music, aesthetics, and trying to put her phone down.
Hi Josie! How are you?
I’m actually sick at the moment but it’s giving me enough downtime to answer some cool questions like these, so it’s okay [laughs].
Lucky for us! Tell me about Rose Tinted. How would you describe the EP?
I wanted this EP to have songs that explored different aspects of my sonic influences, yet still be cohesive as a body of work. It feels like a big ball of pretty pink pop energy with some very insecure shadows. Definitely my most pop-oriented effort to date. You can hear in the cracks of the shiny pop production there are other directions I want to explore in my sound in future works.
Pretty pink pop energy with some very insecure shadows. Damn, that’s good. Do you have a favourite track?
It changed so much while we were writing, but now that the EP has been released, ’97 (Hurt) is the one that I can sing with my whole chest and still feel like it’s expressing frustration that I need to get out. It’s an empowering song to sing live and that’s what I love about it. Music that makes me feel things I can’t always form in words is what I love the most.
Tell me about the Call Me video [above].
Filming the Call Me video was the first time I’ve worked with a director before, so I was really nervous about finding someone I could trust to carry my vision. I chose Taylor [Mansfield] because he had some really interesting and intimate shots in some of his previous music videos, that conveyed the type of feeling I wanted to emulate.
It was really important that we found a location that had a personality that we could interact with as if it was a character. I was inspired by The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Shining with how integral the visual scape of the location was and how it was used in tandem with the narrative. I wanted the video to be more than someone who had just been left alone in the middle of nowhere. I wanted it to be more like someone who is moulded by and grows due to the nature of their surroundings.
That’s really interesting. It seems to me that the visual is very front-of-mind for you as an artist. Your aesthetic is undeniably – and unashamedly – feminine, which I love. Is that a deliberate choice?
That’s a really interesting question actually. In fashion, I’m actually a lot more inspired by male clothing and unisex fits. I gravitate towards baggy clothing. Since I was younger I really hated the colour pink and hated being told to wear dresses and skirts. Fashion was one place where I could define more of my self and how I felt.
It was then such a strange process that when I started dressing for my shows, I found myself wanting to act more effeminately. When writing for the EP I was really drawn to how Molly Ringwald is dressed and portrayed in her John Hughes’ roles. I think for me, this EP felt like it needed to express a feminine energy. The colours and sounds dictated that direction, so the current aesthetic I’m using while promoting this EP is to do the music justice.
I don’t expect that my aesthetic will always be this feminine since it seems like an extreme of my own femininity. I expect in the future that when I experiment with my sound, experimentation with how I’m visually portrayed will occur too. There’s a fluidity there that I want to dig into more.
That’s so cool. What else is big in your world right now? What are you excited about?
Well, I’m studying at the moment, but that’s kind of me doing it just to prove that I can while learning a bit in the process. It keeps me super busy though which is nice.
Truthfully, I’m just always orbiting new music. I love art and fashion and seeing how those intertwine with music. A couple of artists I’m a bit obsessed with at the moment are Rina Sawayama, and Puma Blue. Rina especially has such an awesome visual art direction, and I love that she’s working with early 2000’s pop sounds but keeping it fresh.
I also love reading. At the moment I’m working through Self-Help by Lorrie Moore. Reading’s hard because I feel like my phone is always distracting me, but I try to force myself to read every day.
Our phones will be the death of us. Is there anything else you’d like to say?
To anyone who hasn’t yet: go and have a listen to my new EP Rose Tinted out now. Let me know your favourite track, I always like to hear how other people interpret my music!
Rose Tinted is available now.Support Villainesse