Interview: Breaking the Habit with Dazzling UK Pop Starlet Indiana

Indiana music
UK pop starlet Indiana discusses the music on her highly-anticipated third album and new single “Break the Habit,” a dazzling injection of alluring synthpop dripping with raw, sweaty energy and passionate emotion.
for fans of Litany, Your Smith, Carly Rae Jepsen
Stream: “Break the Habit” – Indiana




You or someone you know has that person in their life that they can’t keep away from.

British pop starlet Indiana is back with an irresistible bop full of simmering synths and intimate desires. “Break the Habit,” the lead single off the artist’s forthcoming third album, fuses ’80s-inspired dance grooves with glowing vocal lines and hearty melodies as the artist laments a “chemical crush” she just can’t quit.

Break the Habit - Indiana

Break the Habit – Indiana

All my ladies say you’re bad to the bone
Feels so good but it never lasts
Now I find myself in too hot water
Baby rip your clothes off – take a bath
When did your love become my drug
You got me feeling like a junkie,
a chemical crush
Heartbreak hotline and I’m hung up
Punch drunk blood rush

Independently released November 15, “Break the Habit” finds UK pop starlet Indiana returning with a fiery burst of electropop euphoria. The moniker for Loughborough, Leicestershire-born, Nottingham-based singer/songwriter Lauren Henson, Indiana first introduced herself to the world with 2015’s moody major label debut album No Romeo, which earned her a UK Top 20 hit in its single “Solo Dancing.” After touring and ultimately parting ways with Sony Music before her sophomore record could be released, Indiana went back to the drawing board. She returned with her “raw and personal” (hey-nineteen.com) sophomore record Not Girlfriend Material in 2018, and has since been releasing music at a frequent, steady clip.

“Break the Habit” is Indiana’s fifth single release of the year, following a string of songs “Caroline,” “No Strings,” “Sweet Things,” and “Tropical Daze” earlier this spring. Unlike these songs, and arguably unlike most of the material Henson has released over the course of her five-year career, Indiana’s latest is a bubbly sunburst of electric light and radiant emotion. Indiana sings her heart out in the chorus — her gilted, pure voice surrounded by an energizing rush of pulsing, buoyant synths:

I can’t break the habit
The harder I try, the harder I fall
Into your arms once more
I can’t break the habit
And it takes all my strength
To keep my feet away from your front door and
Boy you got me hypnotized
Got me, believing all your lies and I
I know you’re bad for me but I can’t escape
I just keep on making a habit of you
I just keep on making a habit
Indiana music

Indiana is back: “It is the music I always wanted to make”



Put simply, “Break the Habit” is a dazzling injection of alluring synthpop dripping with raw, sweaty energy and passionate emotion.

And to think, it almost never happened.

After being dropped by her label four years ago, Indiana shelved all the music she was working on at the time. This included “Break the Habit” and other ’80s inspired synthpop tunes, including an as-of-yet unreleased track entitled “Physical” and more.

“I recently went back and listened and was like, What am I doing?!?” Indiana shares. “So I’ve been working on getting them up to scratch and ready for release. I’m super excited for people to hear them and I just want everyone to love them as much as I do.”

“Break the Habit” marks the beginning of Indiana’s new season: A resurgence, an exciting new chapter, a welcomed return – whatever you want to call it, Indiana is back, and her new music kicks like nothing else!

Speaking to Atwood Magazine, the artist says her new music is “the music I always wanted to make.” Of-the-moment ’80s inspired dance pop bliss, “Break the Habit” is a clean, new, modern rush of sonic lust.

Dive deep into Indiana’s new groove(s) with our exclusive interview, and stay tuned for more music in the months to come!

If it’s not heartache, it’s love or sex; I just write what comes naturally.

Stream: “Break the Habit” – Indiana



A CONVERSATION WITH INDIANA

Atwood Magazine: Thanks for chatting, Indiana! So I’ve been listening to your music since No Romeo, and I’m really loving your newest material! How do you feel you’ve grown as an artist in the past five years?

Indiana: I think I’ve grown as a person more than an artist. I’m a lot more confident and comfortable with who I am.

How did you go about picking the artist name “Indiana”?

Indiana: My dad died when I was 17; I just remembered watching Indiana Jones with him as a kid. We were really close, so it’s a part of him that I took with me on a journey he wasn’t around to see.

When did you begin making music, and what was your music environment like growing up?

Indiana: I’ve always remembered writing songs, not very good ones, but it was always something I needed to do. I needed to get stuff out, and that’s the way I did it. Even at 13, I’d sit at the piano and write about the boy who dumped me for another girl. Actually I still have those lyrics somewhere — they’re awful!

I grew up listening to a whole bunch of genres; my dad was heavily into Queen, Oasis, and Rod Stewart. My mum loved Simply Red and Prince. And I was obsessed with MJ.

Which, if any, influences are impacting your music these days?

Indiana: I’m really feeling Jessie Reyez right now.

What do you think it is about this strain of pop music that you find so attractive? In other words, what makes this style, your style?

Indiana: I guess I like synths, haha!

Indiana

Indiana



I remember seeing a video of you singing an unreleased song “Physical” a little while back and thinking, “WOW that’s catchy and bright!” That song is going to be a massive hit, by the way. Can you talk more about the songs you’ve been making these days and what sets them apart?

Indiana: Oh my god – that is my favourite song, not only of mine but of all songs ever and I’m itching to put it out! I wrote it four years ago! I wrote it after my first album, then I got dropped and just put all these tracks in the archive. But I recently went back and listened and was like, “What am I doing?!?” So I’ve been working on getting them up to scratch and ready for release. I’m super excited for people to hear them and I just want everyone to love them as much as I do.

Diving into the heart now, I love the energy on “Break the Habit” so much. Was its story inspired by real events?

Indiana: On again/off again. The one you can’t live with and you can’t live without. Your bad habit. Ross and Rachel. Every relationship in 2019…

What is it about heartbreak and love that inspires you? Why do you think you are so moved by this emotion?

Indiana: If it’s not heartache, it’s love or sex; I just write what comes naturally. I tried writing a Christmas song recently and it was hard! It’s so hard not to be cheesy, but you need to get it across that it’s a Christmas song… without being cheesy, but how do you that when it’s a Christmas song?!

What came first with “Break the Habit”: The music, or the lyrics?

Indiana: The lyrics!

Hi my name is Indi
And I’m two days clean now
Don’t think I’m gonna last a week
Third day you call me
and you caught me off guard
And now we lay between the sheets
When did your love become my drug
You got me feeling like a junkie, a chemical crush
Heartbreak hotline and I’m hung up
Punch drunk blood rush

The lyrics are so straightforward and simple, yet intimate and deeply meaningful. What’s their significance to you, and how much of these words came naturally?

Indiana: I think most people can relate to these lyrics; you or someone you know has that person in their life that they can’t keep away from. Even though your friends say they’re bad for you, even though you’re two bottles of sauvignon blanc deep into an “I’m never texting him again” phase, but you reply in 0.3 seconds when he texts you saying, “Sorry, I fell asleep“… you just can’t break the habit.

You talk about yourself like a junkie - “a chemical crush,” which is just so vivid. Can you talk these words and how you view love through this lens?

Indiana: I love metaphors and thinking of new ways to say things in a song. And this song is about that feeling, that I need another hit even though it’s fucking killing me feeling. “Chemical crush” kinda says that.

Indiana music

Indiana



I love the light, synth-driven sound you’ve got going on these days. Is this the music you always wanted to make? Why do you think these songs are pouring out of you at this time?

Indiana: It is the music I always wanted to make. I think on my first album and being signed to a major label, there were so many other people putting their two pence in that I lost my way a little. I started album two in the hope I could make the music I wanted, but I got dropped and it killed me a bit. I lost a lot of faith in myself and my music and the industry. I would make more music like this now; I guess at the time, I just stopped and tried writing what I thought people wanted to hear instead. But revisiting it now, 3-4 years on… I’m in love with it. Maybe I’ve waited this long for a reason – I dunno.

What are you most excited about with this new season of Indiana? What can fans expect as we head into 2020, and what are your goals alongside that?

Indiana: I want to tour! I need to get back out there. I feel like I’ve been in hibernation. I’ve not though; I’ve been at university. I’m in my third year studying to get my masters in visual effects production. And I made a music production album called Not Girlfriend Material. That was cool.

Lastly, who else should I be listening to these days? Who’s on your radar?

Indiana: Go listen to Jessie Reyez – fuck being friends. It’s sick.



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Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com