ELUNIA shows us the beauty in keeping it 100% authentic and raw on “Pressure Points,” and Atwood Magazine spoke with the artist on what’s in store for her upcoming EP ‘DEEP END.’
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Opening up in her vulnerable music, ELUNIA shows us the beauty in keeping it 100% authentic and raw. After the release of her latest single “Pressure Points,” we caught up with the New Hampshire artist and chatted about all things music as well as her upcoming EP, DEEP END.
You make me feel like I exist
When I need acknowledging
You’re the realest thing I’ve ever had
Yet you don’t belong to me
So I will tread carefully
So I don’t lose everything
The haunting single “Pressure Points” talks of finding light in someone through dark times and appreciating that they show you hope when you feel all is lost. Plunging headfirst into ELUNIA’s music, the electronic textures flow through a fluid surface of goosebump-inducing melodies and highly affecting, open lyrics, boding for a very emotional and engulfing musical experience.
You’ve left me in a state of confusion
I’m not the one who ever gets to do the choosing
Your mind here for the using
My heart is naturally intruding
From graduating college, alongside her musical commitments, ELUNIA knows how to hold it down even in the most hectic of times. Talking about conformity vs. individuality while struggling with mental health, the songstress will tug on your heartstrings whilst giving you the comfort of her relatability and warmth amongst the sometimes icy world of life.
Listen: “Pressure Points” – ELUNIA
A CONVERSATION WITH ELUNIA
Atwood Magazine: Your latest single ‘’Pressure Points’’ is an alt-pop escape. Can you talk to me more about the meaning behind this single?
ELUNIA: Thank you! It’s interesting that you say that, because “Pressure Points” came about during a time when I not only wanted but needed an escape. I had been deserted by a lot of people I cared about, I didn’t feel accepted in my environment, and a feeling of constant anxiety was resurfacing, which is something I’ve struggled with throughout my life. There was a moment in which I remember literally sending out a silent message to the universe for something to change – and suddenly, it did. I wrote “Pressure Points” about the relieving yet simultaneously terrifying discovery of someone or something that promises a glimpse of possibility – both the hope it brings and the fear of its disappearance. It’s about manifesting fate and letting in a presence that exists in the right places and the right ways, and it’s really subtle, but that makes it all the more powerful.
What were you going for with the production on the track? How does it reflect in the meaning?
ELUNIA: Most of my songs start at the piano, but not all of them end there. I knew “Pressure Points” had to revolve around the piano because the sentiment was so vulnerable. I wanted the piano to have this haunting, dark tone, almost reminiscent of bells chiming, and I wanted the surrounding synths to be these perpetually surging and cycling rushes of sound. I think there’s definitely a nod to the idea of fate there – I strived to create an otherworldly, immersive soundscape with forces carrying the listener like a current. There are a lot of breaths, whispers, and sighing background vocals in there, as well as raw voice memos, which capture the stream-of-consciousness feeling of a moment when your breath is taken away.
You were classically trained in music from a young age. How do you think your musical education has influenced your current artistry?
ELUNIA: I think it allowed me to both acknowledge the limitations of music and explore its possibilities. I had some teachers who were very strict and classical and didn’t understand why I was more fascinated with playing around with the sounds on the keyboard than learning a piano piece. It’s no surprise that I became a producer. When I started learning guitar when I was about 11, though, my guitar teacher who is a creative genius saw that I had an intense curiosity about music and an affinity for making my own creations. On a whim, he helped me develop that by teaching me music theory and songwriting in a very non-traditional way and encouraged me to go home and produce my visions in demo form. Without that background and the freedom those lessons offered, I don’t think I would be where I am today.
Let’s go back to your childhood, you often found yourself escaping to music rooms in your lunch breaks and indulging in music. How has music helped you throughout your life?
ELUNIA: Music IS my entire life. Everything I’ve ever done, everyone and everything that’s ever impacted me, has come back to music and has become a song in one form or another. I would turn every moment of hurt into something tangible, because if I could only create something meaningful from it, maybe that would justify it somehow – like there was a reason for it to happen. I feel everything too deeply, and have a fascination with understanding the world around me, and society, and human interaction. I’ve always joked that I’m more comfortable being the person behind the camera in any social situation rather than participating, and not just because I spend a lot of time behind a camera (I produce all of my own visuals). Creating music has always been like that for me – it’s not only been a coping mechanism but a lens to view my experiences that makes everything feel like there’s this other dimension beyond the mundane.
Your experience writing ''Pressure Points'' was utterly organic, with the track including original voice memos and snippets of bird songs. What did the songwriting process look like for you and what came first - the music or the lyrics?
ELUNIA: I think the first part that came to me was the chorus lyric: “All my dreams have reached their melting points // But you’re hitting all the right pressure points.” That was tucked away in my notes for a little while. And then, I remember the day I properly wrote it clearly. It was an afternoon in the middle of summer with all of the windows open, and as I pulled up that lyric, I finally felt at peace with something inside of me. The right chords stood out effortlessly, and the rest of the words came at the same time as the melodies, which is a rare occurrence. My process that day was so free-flowing that strange developments came about such as having seven beats per measure in the pre-chorus/bridge, which is something that you pretty much never hear in music, yet it somehow worked. It felt magical.
You just graduated from college, firstly congratulations! How was it balancing life, music, and school all at once?
ELUNIA: Thanks! If I’m being completely transparent, it was one of the most stressful things I’ve ever experienced, but at the same time, I got to “double-dip” in a lot of ways. For example, I actually got school credit for producing the music video for my debut single “Borderlines” as a video production independent study. It helped to be part of a media program that allowed me to focus a lot of my classes on music and learn useful skills that I could apply to my musical project. I definitely didn’t have much time to breathe, but I’m a bit of a workaholic anyway so I managed.
You have an EP coming out this month called DEEP END. This is an EP about individuality - talk to me more about the themes and meanings behind some of the songs on it?
ELUNIA: DEEP END centers around the idea of conformity vs. individuality while struggling with mental health, and my journey moving from one mindset to the other. With each song as the EP progresses, the listener follows my path to finding a feeling of purpose, from the growing pains of oppressive social situations to discovering people and experiences where I felt wholly accepted, and for the first time, at peace, with my own identity. “The Cycle” tackles the crushing reality of being a bullying victim, “Borderlines” captures being torn between two sides of yourself while battling a mental illness, and “Tunnels” is based on an analogy about social anxiety. And then “Soak” is about finding refuge in music, and “Pressure Points” ties it all together with that tentative sense of hope.
Quite simply, what does DEEP END mean to you?
ELUNIA: The DEEP END concept comes from a lyric in my song “Borderlines”: “I’ve been swimming in the deep end // But I want to feel like myself again.” The idea of “swimming in the deep end” is symbolic of being outside of my comfort zone and not feeling like my true self. I always felt like I was treading water in unfamiliar territory, stuck in this emotionally exhausting place, until I decided that I was going to find meaning in life my way, and not the way everyone else was finding it.
What would you hope for people to get emotionally out of listening to your music?
ELUNIA: I hope that my music helps people see the world through a lens of greater depth, like the smallest conversational exchange or the most delicate movement has significance. I also hope it makes them feel understood and comfortable with their identity and allows them to express themselves without limits.
Other than your new EP, is there anything else we can look forward to from you this coming year?
ELUNIA: There’s a visual coming soon for one of the songs from DEEP END. I’m really excited to bring another side of this universe to life. After that, I’m completely throwing myself back into the creation process. Whether something emerges from that this year remains to be seen. I’m always thinking of new ways to get everyone involved on my socials and discord channel, though.
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