On the heels of her first-ever tour, Suki Waterhouse intertwines past and future with her latest psychedelic single and newly released EP, ‘Milk Teeth.’
Stream: ‘Milk Teeth’ – Suki Waterhouse
Less than a month ago, Suki Waterhouse — the model, actress, and musical sensation — wrapped up her first ever tour, where she opened for legendary performer Father John Misty.
In just a few short weeks, the artist went on to deliver her first single following her debut album, I Can’t Let Go, announce a solo North American tour, and recently released a new EP, Milk Teeth, composed of five songs from Waterhouse’s early career and a new track, “Neon Signs.”
“They’re probably my favorite songs that I’ve ever done in a way,” Waterhouse says in regards to Milk Teeth. “They feel like victory pieces for me to have them on a vinyl. I think that they’re all very cathartic songs, and that’s always what I hope.”
You appeal to a girl like me
Told me every blessing has a scar and
Love is held in the cathedral
God exists between people homie
Humans fuck up more than anyone else and we
Shouldn’t be scared to want less
To call Milk Teeth cathartic is an understatement for the lyrical vulnerability and hallucinogenic melodies the artist creates in these songs.
Following a resurgence of the 2017 single “Good Looking,” Waterhouse’s reputation as a dynamic indie artist reminiscent of Lana Del Rey has only strengthened with time. With the release of the single and music video for “Nostalgia,” directed by Émilie Richard-Froozan, Waterhouse continues to stun with psychedelic vocals and grounded, captivating concepts. “I think that song represented the closest thing to what I felt very intensely in the most recent times. And I always want it to reflect the time that I’m in.” Fans are now looking forward to the EP Milk Teeth, which releases on digital and vinyl November 4th.
Raised in London, the multitalented artist often found herself drawn to music, finding inspiration from Alanis Morissette, Missy Elliott, Oasis, and more. Since releasing records of her own, Waterhouse has amassed over 20 million streams independently and executed the stunning and critically acclaimed debut album I Can’t Let Go, executive produced by the Grammy nominated Brad Cook (Bon Iver, The War on Drugs). With fans eager to experience her music live, even more so now that her intimate performances have accumulated millions of views on social media platforms, Waterhouse announced the “Coolest Place In The World” tour, which is set to begin in late November.
“I feel like I’m just daydreaming about the next time I’m gonna be back on stage… It’s an incredibly hallucinogenic experience just waking up in a different city and pretty much just getting there right before soundcheck and just having that on repeat for that long. So yeah, I definitely feel like I’m kind of coming off an adrenaline rush.”
Suki Waterhouse sat down with Atwood Magazine to discuss her latest single, the upcoming tour, and her Milk Teeth EP, out now on digital and vinyl.
Stream: “Nostalgia” – Suki Waterhouse
A CONVERSATION WITH SUKI WATERHOUSE
Atwood Magazine: When I found out you’d released new music, I went to your Twitter and saw a video of you digging your own grave and thought “Wow, she's really embracing the darkness with this new music.” Could you explain the creative process to start behind that video?
Suki Waterhouse: Oh my goodness. Yeah, that was the recent single Nostalgia and that’s actually probably one of the most… everybody that was involved in that video was very much in this for the love of just making things. I’ve kind of had a core group of friends that I’ve been collaborating with and making music and videos with for the last eight years. I worked with Émilie Richard-Froozan for years and this was our first music video together. We’ve always pushed each other about what we can do. It was actually made in the middle of tour in Ireland. We decided that we were both very obsessed with Wuthering Heights and a scene between Tom Hardy and Charlotte Riley. We exchanged a lot of pictures and mythical stories about Orpheus crossing the sticks.
In reference to the song “Nostalgia,” I was like, “I can’t believe I’ve written a song called Nostalgia.” The feeling of it kind of makes me feel gross and cheesy sometimes when I go there so much, and I almost wanted to put that energy into the video in some way. So we fully went for it. We went to Ireland, because luckily, Émilie’s boyfriend is from there. And it was great. We basically had farmers helping us dig multiple graves to shoot in. We had so many farmers involved helping us, picking us up in tractors to cross lakes and go up cliffs. And someone had a horse, and we got the horse in the sea. It was quite precarious the whole thing. But yeah, it was, it was really one of my favorite videos that I’ve ever done. It was also very much a thing of dodging, dodging the Irish rain.
I know, you mentioned you were working with quite a few close friends for quite a few years with your music. What was the writing process like for nostalgia after releasing your debut album?
Suki Waterhouse: It was kind of tricky. As far as I was, I had maybe a week or two where I just changed my mind so many times. And everyone was just annoyed with me and telling me that I was too indecisive, and I was annoying everyone and this was all too much. I actually pretty much decided not to release Nostalgia and was going to go with a different song. And then, I think in the middle of the afternoon in my car I went on TikTok or Instagram Live, didn’t tell any of my team about it, but just started playing each song in the car and then was like, “Please, please everyone, don’t post this, don’t mention it, don’t record the song or whatever.” And no one did!
And I kind of made my mind up from that. Also sometimes a couple of friends will feel really strongly about a song. And they’re like, “Please, I want this on my Spotify.” And then there’s timing as well. The other song that I wanted to do, I think will go on on the next album. So sometimes you think about the sound of the time you’re in. I think that song represented the closest thing to what I felt very intensely in the most recent times. And I think, I always want it to reflect the time that I’m in, so that that ended up being the choice.
Last time you spoke with Atwood, you were preparing to go on tour with Father John Misty. Now that it’s over, how was it?
Suki Waterhouse: It was pretty… It was pretty wild. I’ve felt like I’m walking around in a daze since I’ve gotten back to London. I think it’s been a week or two and I still don’t feel very normal. That was the first one I’d gone on. I feel like I’m just daydreaming about the next time I’m gonna be back on stage. And there’s this funny feeling, a mix of dread of being like “Oh my god, I’m gonna go back and do that again.”. You come out of it a bit shell shocked. It’s like, “Whoa, I really just fully lived on a bus for two months.” It’s an incredibly hallucinogenic experience just waking up in a different city and pretty much just getting there right before soundcheck and just having that on repeat for that long. So yeah, I definitely feel like I’m kind of coming off an adrenaline rush. I just got home and I’ve just been very much just wanting to be in bed as much as possible. It just feels like the most glamorous thing, a duvet at the moment.
So you recently announced you have another tour upcoming, ‘The Coolest Place In The World.’ Were there any tricks or lessons or things you learned from this first tour that will help prepare you for the next one? Or anything you want to do differently?
Suki Waterhouse: Yeah, absolutely. I mean I also was around. I was also around Joshua who has 10 of the most incredible musicians on stage every night and he’s at the top level and I’m right at the beginning of everything. So yeah, for sure in watching the show every single night and trying to pick up as much as I can. I think I have taken away a lot from it, especially as well as doing support every night. I’m glad that I got to do that actually, in such massive rooms where people weren’t really coming to see you. That was a completely different setting and that gave me a lot. When you go on tour for two months, you have great shows and then you also have times where your worst nightmare happens where the mic flows out and somebody has to come on stage and take it off and you know, all those things happen to you. But you actually learn how to get through those things and survive those things. And you realize that you can still have a great show, even if those things happen. And so probably, like, fuck ups have been the things that I’ve really benefited from in a way.
So next I wanted to ask about Milk Teeth. It's a series of the singles that previously existed quite separately. And then this new song neon signs. So I guess the first question about it is what, what kind of story do all of these singles now tell together?
Suki Waterhouse: Yeah, they were all written, they were all with the same two or three people- the same group of friends I was telling you about. The first people that I ever worked with were really talented and gave me the time of day to … I often think, there was nothing in my toolbox. Like, I didn’t have any songs at that point, really. And there was something there with that beginning synergy. And with that energy behind all of them, they were all incredibly raw. They all came from a very strong place where they were pulling me away and out of the direction that I didn’t want to go any more in my life. I wanted to redirect my life, and being able to even have this place in my life where I could express what I wanted to was kind of like a basis. So they’re incredibly important to me. And they’re probably my favorite songs that I’ve ever done in a way.
Could you describe the story behind your new song ''Neon Signs''?
Suki Waterhouse: I made “Neon Signs” with Jules and Matt. I think we made it and we made it in Britain and in France in the middle of winter. The lyrics I’d written with my friend Lux, who’s a poet. We would always come in and out of each other’s lives, usually when either of us was in some kind of despair or disaster, and have these intense moments of creativity together. The first apartment that I ever got that had like a giant neon sign in it. And it was sort of like the only light that I had in this apartment, the whole place which was always drenched in this red light. And I think we wrote the song under, like in that red light.
For a final question, if someone's listening to the entire EP for the first time, how would you tell them to set the scene? What's something they should know before listening to the complete work?
Suki Waterhouse: I’m very happy that with Milk Teeth we get these songs that were almost lost to me when I first made my album. These were considered the older songs, the first the first drafts. And it’s funny, people I was working with wanted to take them off Spotify; everyone was like “Let’s clean them off, let’s get rid of them.” And so in some ways, I had to really fight for them to stay on. And then several years later, ‘Good Looking’ kind of had this re-fire behind it — it changed the perspective around those first pieces of those first songs that I’d written. So for me to get to this point where we’re like, “Nah, now I get to have them on vinyl and they get to be tangible and live inside people’s homes like the records that I’ve had inside my house.” They feel like victory pieces for me to have them on a vinyl. I think that they’re all very cathartic songs, and that’s always what I hope. But you know, I never know or can say people are going to receive them.
Stream: “NEON SIGNS” – Suki Waterhouse
— — — —
? © Émilie Richard-Froozan
:: Stream Suki Waterhouse ::