Feature: Primo the Alien Traverses a New Sonic Landscape in ‘We All Hate Ourselves Sometimes’

Primo the Alien © NaStacia Ellis
Primo the Alien © NaStacia Ellis
Primo the Alien doesn’t care if you don’t like her music – but for those who do? She hopes you feel the comfort of a “warm hug” in her songs, realize the importance and beauty of your existence, and ultimately feel just a little less alone.
‘We All Hate Ourselves Sometimes’ – Primo the Alien

We All Hate Ourselves Sometimes is Primo the Alien’s fourth release – not including more than a few handfuls of singles she’s continuously released since her 2017 debut.

Released September 22, 2023, the four-song EP strays sonically from the ’80s-inspired synthwave sounds of her origin and from her more recent evolution into an alt-pop/electro-pop infused world. Electronic-based pop elements still remain but on much lighter notes, giving way to a warmer, more analog tone with an entirely new level of vulnerability. Yet, this does not act as complete re-introduction to the extraterrestrial being but rather allows for a more intimate encounter, still existing within the same musical universe of her past.

We All Hate Ourselves Sometimes - Primo the Alien
We All Hate Ourselves Sometimes – Primo the Alien

Primo the Alien was initially brought to life in the Austinite’s guest bedroom-turned-home-studio, proving not only to outsiders – but to herself – that she could produce a project entirely on her own, which she established with her debut To The Max! in 2017. It wasn’t until during the COVID-19 pandemic that she began working with fellow local producer Taylor J. Webb, now a production partner in all of her music.

“I was very scared to bring in any outside help in any way,” Primo says. “Because I wanted to prove to everyone that as a woman, I could produce my own music and deliver great production and great writing and performance and all that kind of stuff.”

Primo the Alien © NaStacia Ellis
Primo the Alien © NaStacia Ellis

Primo admits that while it was difficult to let go of being the only person involved, it has ultimately made her work better and she still remains “just as precious now” with her music as before.

She adds that working alongside someone has helped alleviate the workload, at least on the creative side of things. Though, she questions if those outside of the industry fully understand “what musicians are really doing and what it takes to have any sort of sustainable career in the industry as an independent artist.”

She emphasizes that the process of writing, recording and producing alone takes hours on end – not even including every other responsibility.

“We’re doing album art and I got to do my cover art and music videos and social media stuff and interviews and uploading it and distributing it and making physical merch and playing shows, booking shows,” Primo says. “There’s just so much that goes into it and I am a solo operation. I don’t have a manager, I don’t have a team of people helping me do that so it is really overwhelming.”

"Move" single art - Primo the Alien
“Move” single art – Primo the Alien

Despite this, she is also clear to add that the process of making music is not “a chore” to her, and that she very much possesses the drive of wanting to create.

“The inherent need to express myself overpowers any exhaustion or burnout I have because I should by all accounts be burned out by now,” Primo says.

Primo excels in navigating a new sonic landscape without ever coming close to crashing. Songwriting and sound compliment each other ever so perfectly – which rings true not only on the opening track but throughout the EP in its entirety.

The title track “We All Hate Ourselves Sometimes” immediately pulls listeners attention, with its soft, swift lyrics accompanied by perfected pop production. A careful listen of the quick verses reveal intimacies that the 30-something had yet to ever share, her raw honesty only making her more human.

I laughed today at a stupid thing
Remembered sometimes I like to smile
Funny girl when I want to be
But ain’t joked much in a while
Still fixate on my f*ing age like a cliche thirty-something
But you couldn’t pay me to go back to being twenty

“It’s also not easy to be that honest and then say, ‘Here you go everybody, hope you like it,’” Primo says. “And, you know, maybe feel like it doesn’t resonate or they don’t hear or they don’t listen.”

Tender, yet still captivating vocals accompanied by a layer of acoustic guitar opens “More Love,” the EP’s first single aka gateway into Primo’s steady transformation – just a peek into the expansion of the world to come.

Maybe we’re impulsive but both of us want this
And something ‘bout the moonlight makes us honest
Time keeps moving faster and I won’t waste it all away
So take me by the hand into the city
Whisper in my ear how much you need me
We can think when the sun comes up
Tonight I just want more love

Whooshing instrumental breaks reminiscent of a montage scene leaves listeners envisioning and replaying their own personal montage reels, including the greatest highlights and the low points – all crucial scenes in any person’s story (“Sad Part of a Happy Movie”).

I’m running through the scenes in my head just to feel us
But the color starts to fade around the edge
If I could memorize each line to keep forever in my mind
I’d play it back a thousand times, never let it end

A promising look towards the infinitely unknown future brings the 15-minutes of transparency to an apt close (“Move”). Her strength lies in her growth and willingness to expand past the “otherworldly persona” and “character” that Primo the Alien was at her inception, now blurring the distinction between Primo and her personal identity. Being “over the top and silly and fun” but still recognizing her own emotions and expressing those feelings of vulnerability allows for a deeper sense of connection with her fans.

“​​Everything I’ve been told about my music that wasn’t right for Austin before, like it’s too pop,” Primo says. “After I made this, I was like, if they don’t love this, they will never love anything I do and I need to just get that in my head and accept it.”

Primo the Alien © NaStacia Ellis
Primo the Alien © NaStacia Ellis

Primo is currently working on her next release, a “wild, weird and hopeless” full-length album set against the backdrop of a club amidst Armageddon

Or, just imagine being at a rave during the end of times while a meteor hurls towards the Earth for impending death.

And for those who don’t like her music? Well, Primo has transcended past the point of caring…

“Maybe I don’t need to send this to anyone ‘cause I don’t need anyone’s opinion on it because I know what I’m doing,” Primo says. “I know what I’m making. I know what it is and I really don’t give a shit anymore who likes it.”

Maybe Primo the Alien is just destined for a life greater than the city of Austin, Texas can provide. Either way, it’s clear she shows absolutely no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Primo the Alien’s We All Hate Ourselves Sometimes with Atwood Magazine as she takes us track-by-track through the music and lyrics of her new EP!

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:: stream/purchase We All Hate Ourselves Sometimes here ::
:: connect with Primo the Alien here ::
‘We All Hate Ourselves Sometimes’ – Primo the Alien

Inside We All Hate Ourselves Sometimes

We All Hate Ourselves Sometimes - Primo the Alien

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We All Hate Ourselves Sometimes

Atwood Magazine: From an outside perspective and from what you’ve said, “We All Hate Ourselves Sometimes” really is your most vulnerable track. I kept going back to this song specifically. I was listening to it and there's certain parts where it's like, “Oh! It's almost like you're in my head.”

Primo: Oh, that makes me feel so happy. Thank you! Maybe I’m crazy, I assume everyone hates themselves. Maybe not as much as I hate myself [laughs] but I assume we all do on some level. And I assume we’re all kind of feeling all these feelings at once. That’s super confusing and crazy and we don’t know what to do with all of it.

I’ve always been like a sad clown. I’m a funny person, that’s really important to me. To make people laugh and to make people feel good and have fun and I joke around a lot. But wanting to confess I’m not this funny, really. It’s all bullshit. It’s such an act. I’m so upset all the time. I’m losing my mind. I’m miserable sometimes.

And that’s not just with mental stuff. I mean, it’s with my music. Like having imposter syndrome being like “I’m terrible. I’m a failure. I’m never going to be anything. There’s a reason this hasn’t happened for me yet because it’s bad and terrible. I should give up.” Just all those thoughts that we have. And just being at a point where if I don’t say this right now, I’m gonna lose my shit, I have to say this.

And that line “Am I sad today or just being me? /  I gotta identify my baseline,” is one of those things where it’s like, “Am I depressed or am I just… is this just who I am?”

But I really wanted to also express that I am also really joyful and I also do have a great time and I laugh a lot and I like to be silly and playful and all those things. So it is one of those [things], we all hate ourselves sometimes. Sometimes. It’s not all the time. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy and we don’t always get all the way out. But even when I’ve been really low…  I always find a way out, at least enough to get my head above water and take a breath. And it’s moments like this, like finishing this album where I’m like, “You know what? I’m proud of myself and I did this thing.”

I never celebrate any release. I spend so much time, the victory is always like “Oh, it got playlisted” or “Oh, somebody wrote about it” or “It got this many streams.” And that’s so stupid, that’s not the victory!

The victory is that I expressed something that’s been bothering me – and plaguing me – My. Entire. F*ing. Life.

Something that I’ve tried to say in a hundred different ways but never could properly nail down. I can think of so many songs I’ve written where I’ve said something like this but I just couldn’t get it right. I got it right! At least for me, for what I needed to express. That’s something to celebrate. Even if it’s f*ing depressing, [laughs] I got it out.

I’m going to start crying but like… [tearfully] you heard it and then it made you feel like you weren’t totally alone. That’s the whole point of all of this. I just really want to stress that… I know people say this and it sounds cliche but it’s so true – you can’t make music for anyone but yourself. And when you do that, you create music that is honest and genuine and raw and it will reach people who need to hear it. That’s what music does, it will help someone. One person, a hundred people. We have to create because we have to connect.

And the rest of it’s just bullshit. So I’m here for the real people now, I’m here for the real ones. I’m here for the connection and if the connection is we’re f*ing depressed together? Okay! And if the connection is we’re at the club and we’re living our lives and everyone can eat shit? Then, I’m here for that too! I’m all about being real now. So that’s my new era and my new phase, Austin, Texas!

“More Love”

Primo: “More Love” is so special to me. It is real and it’s about all love and living in the moment. I wrote it after going out with my friends one night and I had this beautiful night and beautiful experience and it inspired the song. That one came out first because it was the beginning of what I needed to say, I guess. The EP is kind of like a little journey and it’s sad but it’s hopeful and all those things.

“More Love” was just like, “Here I am, I’ve changed.” That one just felt right as an entrance into what was about to happen with the others and the change that was going to happen.

If you don’t like your own music, then I don’t know why anyone would put it [out]. Obviously everyone who puts out music likes their own music and if you don’t, that’s so bizarre and wild. So I’m going to say it. It’s a f*ing great song. It’s a great song. The chorus is so simple but it is one of those lines “Tonight I just want more love” that you’re like, “Man, I wish I wrote that.” Because that’s true, I just want more love. It’s just saying it so simply and the production, it’s just so lovely. The whole process… that was the beginning of making these songs and changing up the vibe and kind of when I really decided that this was going to be a new Primo the Alien.

Atwood Magazine: When I was going back and listening to that song and rewatching the music video… I was like, this song really makes me think about my friends and I miss my friends. I just want to be with them.

Primo: Right! Like obviously when it comes to writing music a lot of times we do go to love and love always goes to romantic love and whatever. But you know, I’ve always said no one person can be everything for you and you can have beautiful love affairs with your friends. You’re like dating your friends in a way. I go out with my friends and we can get dressed up for each other and get excited to see each other and we have so much fun together and it’s such an intimate relationship and there’s so much trust and it’s so vulnerable. There is like a romantic component to it. So I wanted the song to express that every kind of love is beautiful and that love isn’t necessarily just like boyfriend-girlfriend or whatever, it’s a lot more than that and that’s super special too and meaningful and important.

And I want more of it! [laughs]

Sad Part of a Happy Movie

Primo: I am so proud of that song for a lot of reasons. It started as one thing and then we started working on it and Taylor didn’t like what I was doing with it production wise and I didn’t like what he was doing. Neither of us had a really strong vision but we knew that the vision that each of us had was not the vision for the song. So our friend actually, Heartcave, I sent my demo production stuff, I sent Taylor’s ideas and I sent it to him and he was like, “I hear something more cinematic here.” He’s the one who kind of came up with the idea for having that more cinematic feel of the instrumental interlude that comes after.

Atwood Magazine: I did write down that at one part it feels like a movie scene, like a montage scene or something that I can see with that sound.

Primo: Yeah! And that was in my head so that’s what I wanted this song to feel like. Somebody running through the streets, running through the airport or that moment in the movie where you’re turning it all around. I didn’t want it to just be feeling like a love thing but more like – even like a love affair with yourself. The moment where you’re like, “This sucks but this isn’t the end of my story. I’m just in that sad part but this is going to end the way I need it to end.” And needing to believe in that and really believing in it.

That song was so hard for me to sing. I had a lot going on in my personal life at the time. It was hard for me to get through it but I had to get through it. I was just struggling with the vocals and at the very end of the song I sang that last line, “I believe in something bigger than me” just out of nowhere. It wasn’t written ahead of time, I didn’t plan it, it just came out of my mouth. And then I just started sobbing, I probably have it recorded somewhere [laughs]. And I was like, you know what? That’s it. That’s what I wanted to say. That’s what this whole song is. I say “Let me lie a little longer / Let me keep the dream.” If I have to lie to myself, that’s fine. But I’m going to believe in something bigger than me, I have to. That was really emotional and I’m so proud of how it turned out.

I don’t want to toot my own horn but I just think it’s beautiful. I think it’s a beautiful song, a beautiful sentiment and I think someone needs to put it in a movie and give me a lot of money for it! [laughs]


Primo: We had the song done like sketched out and everything. And then the bridge changed, I feel like a lot of times. I was not happy with the bridge. People say the bridge is dead. Again, I don’t care. I do whatever I want. I like a bridge if I have something else to say.

I felt like with “Move,” I needed to say, “Why did I need to move?” And so the verses are kind of like, “I left and I’m moving. At least I’m moving.” And then the bridge was kind of like, “Maybe I get it. I don’t have everything figured out and I’m probably going to f up and I’m probably going to fail and I’m going to crash and burn but at least I tried. And this is why I had to and I get that maybe you can’t. Maybe you’re not ready to do that and maybe you’re too scared to try but I have to go now and you have to stay.” And that’s just the way it is. And kind of like choosing myself and my dreams over stagnancy.

Give me time, give me space
I’ve gotta find myself, find my way
Everyone else thinks
that they’ve got it figured it out
but I’m still finding my way around

Take a step, take a chance
Maybe I’ll mess it up, have regrets
Baby I can’t stand still for you
I can’t stay here
doing the same old thing
same old way that we’ve been doing

I gotta move
I wanna see the world, I wanna feel it all
I wanna touch the sky
but there’s a chance that I might fall

I wanna change my fate
I gotta break the rules
And if I crash and burn
then at least I know how to move

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:: stream/purchase We All Hate Ourselves Sometimes here ::
:: connect with Primo the Alien here ::

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We All Hate Ourselves Sometimes - Primo the Alien

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? © NaStacia Ellis

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