A Trip to Palm Springs with Luna Shadows
While the world is at a standstill, I think it’s important for us to focus on things that inspire us and make us happy. For me it happens to be music. Without music, I can’t write, I can’t work, I can’t go for a run, I can’t do anything. And now more than ever, I need music in my life, I think we all do. Which is why I’m so excited to share this interview with you. I had a chance to chat with Luna Shadows, an amazing musical artist from Los Angeles. With over 20 million Spotify streams, I am grateful she found the time to sit down and talk to me about her craft.
While originally from NYC, Luna currently resides in Los Angeles. She says that she always felt like she belonged in California. “I am grateful for my New York upbringing, but I’m much happier in the sunshine“. And I really can’t blame her, having moved from a cold Northern European climate all the way to the middle of the Mediterranean Sea – I also need the sunshine! “I enjoy my orange tree in my backyard, having tea outside in the sunshine everyday, walking down my street and greeting the neighborhood cats, and going for a skateboard cruise down the nearby bike path“. Is it just me, or does that sound like the perfect Saturday?
Art inspires art
Luna tells me that she’s often inspired by other art. “Whenever I see or hear an amazing piece of art, for whatever reason, it prompts me to make my own. That’s why it’s important for me to constantly consume new art, whether it’s via listening to new albums, reading new books or watching new movies“. Everyone hits a writer’s block, so I was curious what helps her to overcome it. Luna admits that sometimes she’ll give herself a break and other times she will challenge herself to show up regardless. “Taking the pressure off helps. Starting with small steps – lists, ideas, single sentences or short melodies – this is a good way to get back in“.
I wanted to find out which musicians have been influential to Luna Shadows and was happy to hear we have quite a few favorites in common. “I could be here all day, but here are a few: Alanis Morissette, Avril Lavigne, Hayley Williams, St. Vincent, Stevie Nicks, Joni Mitchell, Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, Lana del Rey, Grimes, FKA Twigs, Billie Holiday, Chairlift, Britney Spears… and to throw the boys a bone, Radiohead, Green Day, Sigur Ros, Simon & Garfunkel“. That’s an impressive list!
Luna tells me her creative process is quite different every time, but she prefers to start with a strong vision, word, or singular idea. “For example, one day I was walking down my street in LA and I saw a tree that looked like a cherry blossom. I’ve never been to Tokyo, but I spend a lot of time in Little Tokyo in DTLA“. She adds that seeing the pink flowers just made her feel instantly transported. “Simultaneously, a relationship was blooming in my life. One that I had planted the seeds for many months before. It just felt like everything was in bloom. So that singular image translated into both a metaphor and a literal motif for my song, “Tokyo,” which is all about the moment something comes to fruition“. To me, hearing the inspiration behind the song, gives it a whole new outlook.
An anthem to Palm Springs
I wanted to hear more about her new single “Palm Springs” that was just released this month in collaboration with In.Drip. Luna tells me that “Palm Springs” is supposed to be like a musical postcard. “Cities like New York and Los Angeles have anthems already. I thought it would be cool to write a song for a city that hasn’t really had a musical moment. There’s a lot of celebration of Palm Springs in visual media, but not too much in music. So the goal of this song is really to share my experience and my travels, and to kind of bring listeners there with me on the road trip“. And I think there couldn’t have been a better time to release a musical postcard. While, sadly, we can’t travel at the moment, we can watch the video for “Palm Springs“.
Even though Luna Shadows has a new single out, she’s not stopping there and is working on numerous exciting projects. “I am a vocal producer for the new Ella Vos record, which is very exciting. She’s already released a few great tracks, most recently “Burning Bridges.” I am also a writer/producer on the upcoming album, “Recover” by the band The Naked & Famous“. I personally can’t wait to hear the album! She will also be joining the Naked and Famous on their US tour this summer. Let’s hope quarantine’s over before then! “I also helped out on some vocal production for a new artist called Jxst J, and his song “Like U Used To” which came out yesterday. Really excited to be involved with so many cool upcoming indie acts – and of course, working on my own album, “Digital Pacific”“. Luna Shadows fans have a lot to look forward to! (me included)
I wanted to find out who Luna would like to collaborate with, living or dead – there’s no limits. “Tough one. Songwriter – maybe Stevie Nicks or Joni Mitchell. Can’t top them as lyricists. Producer – I’d love to work with Grimes. Cliché, but I think it would be really fun. Director – Sofia Coppola. I wish I could get her to direct a music video for me. In my dreams“. Some dreams come true and I, for one, would love to see a Luna Shadows music video directed by the amazing “Lost in Translation” director Sofia Coppola.
Lastly, I asked Luna a question that I always like to ask everyone I interview. What is something that you wish more people were talking about right now? To which she replied that she wishes everyone would stay inside! “I am still seeing so many people out and about on the streets. If you can stay home, please do – let’s keep our essential workers and their families safe. <3” Exactly! Go and watch the video for “Palm Springs” to satisfy that urge to go out and travel and stay safe!
Images by Larsen Sotelo