INTERVIEW: Miss Grit

A genre-defying artist who has spent much of her life feeling out of place in rooms full of people, multi-instrumentalist Miss Grit has a sound that ricochets between atmospheric, angular and anthemic. The Korean-American musician has shared two tracks from her upcoming EP, the title track ‘Impostor’ and previous single ‘Dark Side Of The Party‘ and both offer a refreshing insight into her talent as a songwriter and producer. 

We had a quick catch up with Miss Grit (aka Margaret Sohn) to talk about her new record, how she’s managed to overcome feelings of intense self-doubt to create her captivating music, and her brand new single ‘Impostor’ which you can listen to below.

 

How are you Margaret? How are you coping during the on-going pandemic?
Good! I can’t complain. Watching a lot of anime and trying to stay away from the news.

Impostor syndrome is something that your new EP addresses on many levels, including class, race and gender. You said you felt like you were “impersonating a musician” on your previous EP, so has this new project given you more confidence in your abilities as a songwriter?

Definitely! I think that was my main take away from the previous EP. It gave me the push to keep writing and that’s how the Impostor EP started.

You produced the new EP yourself so you could have full creative control. Did you try new techniques? What did you learn from the process?

With this EP, I wrote and produced it with a band in mind compared to the previous EP. I tried to not go too crazy on the production end because I wanted the energy and momentum in the songs to do a lot of the heavy lifting. But I think for the next project I’ll try a less moulded approach and start with a blank space.

Any advice for new musicians who are looking to do the same thing?

Just remember there are no rules! It took me really long to unlearn that and I’m still unlearning all the stupid made up rules I have in my mind about how to be a “songwriter” or a “producer”.

Do you have a favourite track on the EP? If so, why?

I think the first track on the EP called ‘Don’t Wander’ has a special place in my heart, because the creation process for that was as organic as it had felt for me and just kind of spilled out of me. It was really refreshing to write and came to be by itself.

You’ve just shared the EP’s title track ‘Impostor’ today (Jan 13th). Talk us through your writing process for this track and what you love most about it.

It was a song that just felt so good to play and the lyrics kind of got to the bottom of my feelings at the time. It started with the guitar riff and was built from there. My favorite part is the ending. It felt like a nice atmosphere to wrap up the EP with a cozy blanket.

As a new music blog, we always ask artists to recommend a new band or artist that they’ve been listening to recently. Any suggestions for us?

Definitely Pearla, Closebye, Kate Davis, and Pom Pom Squad. They’re all really fucking cool. And I’ve been listening to Nilüfer Yanya’s new EP on repeat.

Finally, if you had to explain your music in three words, what would they be?
Organized bleep bloops.

Thanks to Margaret for answering our questions.

Follow Miss Grit on bandcampSpotifyInstagram & Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Natasha Willson

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

ALBUM: Chelsea Wolfe – ‘Birth Of Violence’

Poetic, intimate, and exquisitely melancholic; Chelsea Wolfe’s new album Birth Of Violence is a collection of instinctive songs galvanized by exhaustion, loneliness and doubt. Set for release on 13th September via Sargent House, the record is gentler on the ears compared to 2017’s LP Hiss Spun, but it still flows with Wolfe’s trademark macabre darkness.

Written and recorded in the solitude of her home in Northern California, Wolfe worked alongside longtime collaborator Ben Chisholm, and ongoing contributors Jess Gowrie (drums) and Ezra Buchla (viola) to create Birth Of Violence. This simple set-up has given her the freedom to create a record filled with understated, but poignant grandeur.

Vulnerable opener ‘The Mother Road’ centers around Wolfe’s voice and her revalatory lyrics. “Guess I needed someone to break me / Guess I needed someone to shake me up” she muses, prompted by large stretches of time spent on the road touring, which simultaneously bruised and heightened her consciousness as a songwriter. It bleeds in to the toxic yet seductive ‘American Darkness’, on which she broods “All my old ways have started kickin’ in / And my bad days are comin’ round again”. This urge to escape old habits and emerge from the shadows permeates the record.

“I’ve come to know what I need, I visualize while I bleed” reflects Wolfe on eponymous track ‘Birth Of Violence’, proving that clarity can be found even when one is at the peak of suffering. It’s followed by the moody ‘Deranged For Rock & Roll’ which smolders with smooth confidence. Powerful ambition is treated modestly on ‘Be All Things’, with its orchestral elements underscoring Wolfe’s beautiful howl throughout. The pensive ‘Erde’ is laced with fears about our poisoned planet – its final minute rising and falling like an anxious heartbeat.

The deliciously named ‘When Anger Turns To Honey’ dissolves any pre-existing angst or hostility, and is an aural elixir designed to transform states of emotion. Wolfe proves she is the “daughter of sorrow” across ‘Dirt Universe’ and the sparse ‘Little Grave’ which addresses the tragedy in the aftermath of a high school shooting. Her treatment of the social/political themes on Birth Of Violence is all the more devastating because of its subtlety. The contexts of both ‘Erde’ and ‘Little Grave’ only really become clear after repeated listens.

Despite the pensive, morose nature of the majority of the tracks on the album, there is an optimism in Wolfe’s realist approach to an ambiguous grief. On ‘Preface to a Dream Play’ she sings: “Everything is possible / Throw a spear in to the unknown” – displaying enviable bravery when faced with the metaphorical abyss. This continues on penultimate track ‘Highway’, her vocals meandering along an unknown stretch of road, accompanied by ominous, looping guitar.

Closing track ‘The Storm’ is a one minute audio of thunder and rain, perhaps signalling that the thunder clouds that overshadowed Wolfe prior to Birth Of Violence have now finally dispersed. “These songs came to me in a whirlwind” explains Wolfe about her new music, and what a turbulent, devastating whirlwind it must have been. It’s a privilege to be able to weather the storm with her.

Chelsea Wolfe’s Birth of Violence is released via Sargent House on 13th September. Pre-order your copy here.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut