In an era of heavy synthesizers and dramatic drops, there’s something to be said for simplicity. Loren North, a newcomer to the Pop scene, will release her debut EP Starlight on September 30, and with it, will prove why she’s the newest asset Pop music didn’t know it needed.
Starlight is a strategically modeled, full-circle expedition through a relationship. North radiates a sort of soulful joy in capturing heartbreak and all-accepting love just the same. While contradicting feelings take center-stage in the jumble of messages, North’s calm and collected demeanor make the EP a perfect journey through real life emotion.
Since its release on Sept. 9, North’s debut single “Feel It Out” has gained close to 320,000 listens on Spotify. The song, previously featured on Atwood Magazine, expands on a couple taking time off from their relationship in order to “feel out” their independence. The single showcases a perfectly Pop balance between the buoyantly earthy vocals of North and the unconventional craftsmanship of instrumentals. Strung together by a baseline of chirping crickets, “Feel It Out” is out of left field for what would be considered Pop music, but works seamlessly enough that no one will question its placement.
Listen: “Feel It Out” – Loren North
Growing up listening to Folk, Christian and Indie music, North was rarely exposed to Pop. This may be the reason her music resonates as a refreshing change of pace from chart toppers that rely heavily on simulated instrumentals. North’s EP title track “Starlight” uses smart production to surprise listeners as it stays true to a uniform beat, at times teasing what many producers would form into a dramatic climax. Choices like this, throughout the EP, make for the tactical marketing of North’s impressive vocals and allow her lyrical talent to shine.
“Where I Am (remix)” displays North’s writing in a beautiful confusion, questioning if feelings in an early relationship are mutual. Lyrics like “I’ve been taken by the thought of a romance and I don’t know where to stand. I want to know if you’re where I am,” dance along the melody like silk and hold such gravity in a delicate light. It’s a song guaranteed to elicit a following because it’s too flawlessly designed to be ignored.
This pure emotion found it North’s music makes her a hidden gem. Her writing comes from a place free of superficiality. If anything, her writing is a sort of therapy and coping mechanism for her own sanity. It’s this that will be incredibly alluring to listeners who will relate more times than not.
In a conversation with Atwood Magazine, North described writing her title track “Starlight.”
“When I was writing it, in my headspace, it was like I had lost my identity because I was so wrapped up in this person,” said North.
Listen: “Starlight” – Loren North
Throughout the EP, North explores topics of independence, adoration, distance and confusion to name just a few. What makes the messages even more powerful than their relatable lyrics is the way each track is produced with parallel instrumentals.
The tone and pace of Starlight fluidly connect to North’s topic of obsession and lost identity by creating a sense of immediacy and pressure, all while coated in beautiful vocal riffs and calming notes. It’s as subconsciously contradicting as the ideas of love and infatuation, and the confusion between the pair. In blends like this, North has created a balanced formula that incorporates emotions into instrumentals, and feelings into lyrics, to make for a deep understanding of any and every concept.
From loss to love, Starlight is an all-inclusive journey through the life of Loren North. It’s bound to take listeners into nostalgic remembrance, and foster a sense of understanding in every stage of a relationship. It’s what will make the EP relatable and memorable to most who hear it.
Atwood Magazine caught up with Loren North to talk about Pop music, the importance of authenticity, and the idea of fame.
Watch: “Feel It Out” – Loren North
A CONVERSATION WITH LOREN NORTH
Atwood Magazine: So, you’re about to release your first EP, Starlight. Can you tell me a little bit about the inspiration behind the album?
Loren North: Sure. I’m just going through life and, you know, sometimes you think you won’t go through certain experiences and then they hit you out of nowhere. Just a lot of things I went through the past few years while figuring out my sound in music just kind of sparked inspiration in me. Just real life experience. I think it will connect with the listeners because, you know, it was coming from a really authentic space just dealing with relationships, and heartbreak and all that kind of stuff. But yeah, the progression of the EP is just really interesting. I kind of was intentional about the placement of songs and going through different times. Yeah, I think people will be able to really relate.
You mentioned that it’s kind of the progression of a relationship. Do you tend to draw content from real-life experiences or more from fictional creations?
LN: Absolutely real life. I think that from the response with the single that dropped, “Feel It Out,” people really could grasp the authenticity behind it. It wasn’t me coming into the writing session, you know, having rules in place like “Oh, this is what a breakup song is supposed to be like,” or a “breakup anthem” or whatever. And I kind of just talked to the writer I was writing with about what I was going through, what he was going through, and we wrote from that place. It’s always starting with a good, honest conversation.
How does your writing process work? Do you usually go in knowing want to write, or do you just see what comes to you?
LN: It depends. If I had gone through something that week, or in that time I’m writing, I can totally come into a writing session already knowing exactly what I want to vent out or write about. But sometimes it’s just me going into it and letting the creative process be the process and just chatting. Just being honest with myself. You know, I always say that writing is a very vulnerable thing if you’re writing from an authentic place. Just being honest with the person I’m writing with or with myself and seeing what sparks in the moment. A lot of it is just a conversation.
Is there a certain song on your EP that sticks out as the most meaningful to you?
LN: Yeah, I, gosh. It’s hard because all of them are so different and all of the places they came from. “Feel It Out,” the single I dropped, was about feeling a relationship out, you know, taking distance and space and time apart to figure things out. But the second song, “Starlight,” is about being consumed in someone and kind of where you’re in a different headspace. It goes on throughout the rest of the EP. Each song has a lot of meaning to where I was in the place I wrote it and at the time I wrote it so I don’t know if one is specifically more meaningful. They’re so different. The last song I actually wrote was the third song on the album. It’s called “Backward / Forward.” That one I wasn’t planning on putting on the EP but it kind of came from some friends from Nashville visiting. You know, we sat down to write and it kind of came out of nowhere. I would say that’s one I’m really excited about because I wasn’t planning on having that one on the EP. It was a pleasant surprise.
How would you describe yourself as an artist to someone who has never heard your music?
LN: I would just say, gosh. I wasn’t gonna go Pop. I was thinking of going more of a Folk route but as I started listening to Pop music more I decided I wanted to go that route because people love Pop music. They love being able to vibe to beats, or whatever it may be: big melodies, catchy melodies. I would say that I’m bringing an element of Pop and something that people love to vibe to with that authenticity behind it. I hope people can grasp that I’m just dealing with life like everyone else is. I don’t want to write music to write Pop music, you know? I want to write from a real place and bring real, meaningful lyrics to the Pop world.
That’s awesome. Was there a certain artist or song that really inspired you to pursue Pop?
LN: No specific song. Funny enough, I never really listened to Pop music until the past year when I was trying to figure out my sound. I really only used to listen to, like, Indie bands, Folk music or Christian music and all that. I never really cared for Pop music. I guess I never branched out and listened to the radio. And realizing how fun it is, and whatever, I don’t really know what I was thinking! I just started listening to more of the Top 40s stuff and all that and just was like “this is so fun.” You know, I just want to stretch myself and started writing with some people who write for the Pop world. They really pulled out that in me. I wouldn’t say anyone specifically did, it was really just me branching out.
That’s a really cool discovery.
LN: Yeah, pretty ironic!
So “Feel It Out” has over 300,000 plays on Spotify now.
How does it feel knowing your music is being streamed by such a large audience?
LN: It’s so crazy. I put this song out thinking, honestly, a couple thousand, or like 10,000 plays if they were all organic, meaning these people were listening because they love it. I never want to buy streams or anything like that because I’m really more proud of the fact that people are connected to the music. You know, these are real people listening to the music because they like it. So when I got placed on a playlist it blew my mind. It was so quick. It was, I think, in less than a week of putting the song out. Every day I’ve been watching it grow. Actually, the day it got placed I didn’t realize that Spotify updates their streams every night or something. It’s like every night, you know, it’s not a daily thing, like with each stream. So I was like “Oh, people aren’t listening to it. It’s still at like 2,060,” or whatever. Then the next day I looked and it had jumped to like 62,000. So I was just like “I can’t believe people love it so much!” I was just so excited. It’s grown since then and I hope it keeps going, but either way I’m so happy with where it’s already gotten.
How do you feel about the possibility of gaining major fame?
LN: I mean, it’s really not about fame for me rather than influence. I hope that if I gain people or more of a following, people want to listen to the music and follow my life, I can put out a good message of encouragement and hope and love to people. That’s more meaningful to me than being on the top charts someday.
It’s really not about fame for me rather than influence.
Yeah, that seems to go along with your message of wanting to be authentic.
LN: Yeah, exactly!
Musically, what is your goal for the next year?
LN: I want to keep putting out music. I’m going to drop this EP on [Sept. 30.] After that I’m dropping a music video. Obviously, the holidays will come around and I think I’ll take a little break from putting out original stuff, but when the new year rolls around I would love to start putting more new content out continuously and see where it goes. I’m not in any kind of rush, you know, I’m just enjoying the process of this. I’m independent. My dad helps me with a lot of stuff and we make a really great team. I’ve just been enjoying the organic flow of it. I would never want to force anything, but things seem to be coming really natural right now. Hoping for the best, that more opportunities will come and I’ll get to play more live shows. Across LA or even more throughout the U.S. Or even international! I don’t know! But I’d love to start playing live.
How do you imagine that your sound may evolve over time? I know you said you have listened to a lot of Folk and Indie but are you hoping to stick with more of a Pop sound?
LN: That’s a great question. I definitely would like to stay in Pop as far as melodies go. I love catchy melodies and all that. You know, even if I brought a folk element at some time, meaning more of, like, acoustic or a live instrumentation feel, I’d still have catchy melodies but bring more of an instrumental kind of thing rather than programmed beats. I’m kind of open. I know I’ve been enjoying working with these producers and making stuff. I’ve started being in a specific headspace so I’m kind of just going to let it be its thing. If I start working with another producer and we come up with something with more experimentation in it then I’m open. I’m not going to force “it has to be just like what I’ve done in the past.” I’m definitely open. I’m not headed there right now. I’m writing more music and it hasn’t gone that route yet. But I’m so open to it. You never know. It could be kind of a combination down the road.
cover photo: Loren North © Mackenzie Lenora
Starlight – Loren North