As die-hard music fans, sometimes it’s not enough to just play our favourite songs on repeat over and over. Sometimes, we want to go behind the scenes and know everything there is to know about those songs and the artists behind them. (Not in a creepy way, of course.)At just 17, indie-pop up-and-comer Fiona Harren recently released her debut EP, …and then you were gone. Showcasing an eclectic range of nostalgia, intimacy and wisdom, the five-track collection has Harren set up as a force to be reckoned with in the not so distant future. She was kind enough to take us behind the scenes on the EP, and provide some exclusive photos from the studio. Read on below, and pick up a copy of the EP right here.
the way it goes: I wrote this song during a time where everything would make me super angry, especially a former relationship I was in. I wanted the music and tone of guitars to match how I was feeling in my head, so I came up with the main guitar riff and recorded it in my voice memos, which I later brought in to a co-write with my friend/producer/collaborator Brian Elmquist and my friend Matt Maher and we wrote the song around the emotions I was feeling at that time. I like my songs to take the listener to unexpected places which is where the bridge comes in. I was listening to a lot of Tame Impala at the time so it’s slightly influenced by them – at first Brian didn’t think it would fit, but after some back and forth we decided it was the change the song needed and it works!
go getter: For a long time I’ve loved the sound of rock guitars, and I knew I wanted a lot of them included on my EP- more rough, garage-y sounding guitars. I also wanted a more bass guitar-heavy song to be on the EP as well, which is how we started writing this one, bass riff first. I liked the title ‘go getter’ so we basically wrote around those words. My friend Alex Tomkins (aka Vampsy) who I co-wrote this with had pink clouds and purple LED lights on in the studio during this session, which inspired the bridge. He was tweaking his guitar sound and I went into the other room and the words and vibe just hit me – we both loved it and it became the song’s ending.
magic trick: I wrote the start of this song when I was fifteen in my living room. I was into conversational verses at the time, so I wrote it as if I were talking to the person this song is primarily about. I wrote it at a point in my life when I needed to get out of a relationship because of how controlling the other person was, but wished the problem would go away for me, like a magic trick. Recording this song was super fun. A lot of what started as a demo for it ended up making it into the final recording – the guitars were recorded in the moment the day we wrote it and we liked it so much we just kept them in. When we went to finish it in the studio, Alex accidentally triggered some sounds on a little keyboard that made it into the recording, such as the cool bass effect during the bridge. Brian and Matt added a bunch of cool things to fill the song out more. Similar to ‘same language’, the guitars are inspired by the iconic Weezer sound that I love so much!
same language: I went to a writing/recording session with Brian and his friend Jacob Sooter and I had this idea to write about the ups and downs and ficklness of some relationships. One day you feel one way, the next day it’s totally different and on and on… we speak the same language, but are on dramatically different pages. In the studio, I went into the drum room and just shouted the ad libs at the end and really felt it – it was therapeutic for me. Brian played guitar and since we both love Weezer so much, his tone and the little riff at around 2:03 were inspired by them. This one ended up being one of my faves on the EP – it still speaks to me and I hope others can relate to it.
what do i do: I co-wrote this song with Thad Cockrell and Brian. I was going through a really tough time in a relationship, and actually broke down in tears within the first 30 minutes of the writing session. It was so bad I had to leave the studio. I didn’t return to that song for another couple months, and when I did, Thad and Brian really helped me get to the bottom of my emotions and that is how the song became what it is – it’s very vulnerable and emotional, and deeply personal. I borrowed the opening melody and partial lyric from a song I wrote when I was 14 called ‘Stars’ that never saw the light of day. Brian and I took the song to Alex (Vampsy) who really helped blow it up into its current form. Brian was able to get the legendary Julian Dorio (The Whigs, Band of Skulls, Eagles of Death Metal, The Lone Bellow) to play on it – he actually plays on every song on the EP – and it became the grand finale.