An Interview With She Said She Said
The brand new album release from She Said She Said is an ambient and beautiful indie-pop record that reaches into singer-songwriter and gives off a heavy cinematic vibe.
The Your WOrds album is vibrant and deepening as it plays through its 7 song course and takes you into their world.
Laced with gorgeous vocal harmonies, acoustic guitars, and an atmosphere that breathes and surrounds you.
The record has the ability to swallow you and if you listen to it all, you may need to shake it off.
Songs breed pop and indie folk together seamlessly as the tracks build and sway.
This record is an engulfing one and makes you think as sogns feel very personal and you begin to relate with each one on its own.
This is also a major factor in the aesthetic of this record. Each song feels like it's own world but the album as a whole is very confluent and She Said She Said obviously put everything they had into the creation of this album.
With a powerful album like this, we wanted to sit down with the duop to talk shop. Here's what happened.
TSWS: The album feels ambient with a pop undertone but with some alternative edge to it. Where did this record come from?
Kendra: Our biggest influences are The Beatles and Radiohead, but we love a lot of ambient sounds. I was listening to a lot of Air and Burial while working on the production of these songs... That's likely why we are a little heavier on the reverb and delay.
We've had these songs written for a while, but it wasn't until the unsettling times of this year that we were really able to solidify the songs into something.
Adriana: We’re both really into electronic music, but we’re also both singer/songwriters at heart. I feel like our sound kind of merges those two different styles in a unique way. We’re drawn to an edgier production sound, and that’s the kind of stuff we listen to…but we also love singing and playing guitar and piano. That’s the root of where our songs come from… this really acoustic kind of mentality.
TSWS: When does the album release? Will it be on all platforms?
K: Your Words comes out December 29th, 2020 and can be heard where ever you like to listen to your music.
A: I’m really happy we got to put a cherry on top of this year and spin it into a positive for us with this release.
TSWS: How long have you two been doing this and how did it all start for you?
K: Music has always been my solace and my safe place. It's been extremely therapeutic for me. I'd like to say music has always been a huge part of my life, but it wasn't until I was about 11 years old that I started to play guitar and piano. Then in high school, I started to write my own stuff and play it at the school's talent shows.
I consider the start of she said she said as fated. We met at a study session for a modernist literature class. We became Facebook friends, and I saw Adri uploaded a recording of herself playing and singing Samson by Regina Spektor. I was actually drinking tea and scrolling through facebook when I heard her sing... and then I spilled the tea all over my laptop and fried it! I wasn't upset about my laptop, I was just soo excited about her abilities! Next class, I quickly asked if she wanted to try writing music...
A: I remember that day so vividly. We had just met once for this quick study session and back then when you meet someone even for the shortest time, you’d add them on Facebook. I added Kendra not thinking where it would lead us…. And then I remember her approaching me in our Modernists class. I didn’t even know she was in that class until that mutual classmate of ours invited us both to study. She told me she saw my video and asked me if I wanted to hang out after class in a music room at York. We did and we wrote a song together at that hangout. And from there we just kept hanging out and writing songs. I had been singing my whole life and had gone to a Performing Arts high school… it’s been my dream since I was a kid. Meeting Kendra for me was this opportunity to actually write songs and perform because I never had the courage to do it on my own. I had been writing songs but never did anything with them until I met her.
TSWS: Have you ever performed live? Do you think you might when the time comes?
K: In 2014 we started to perform in local bars around Toronto. Since then there have been a few setbacks, but we intend to play as much as possible when things start to open up after COVID.
A: Yeah, we’ve played this one bar in Toronto called The Cavern a handful of times. We had some random shows back in the day at like a cafe, a film festival, we played The Painted Lady on Ossington once… there was a period where we were just taking any gig we could get. Then some life stuff happened and Kendra moved out of the city and it became harder to get together to perform. But we never let any of those obstacles stop us from working on our music. I can’t wait for COVID to end so we can perform again.
TSWS: Since you both write and perform everything, did this album come out the way you expected? Are you happy with it?
K: I am really proud of these songs. Some have been collecting dust for a while now, and I'm really excited to have them out in the world! When we are sitting in our bedrooms writing songs, I could quickly hear each song's production ideas in my head. Sometimes it's difficult to execute those ideas. So for me, there is so much I want to learn and explore about production; percussion and beats in particular. I think a shift to more of an electronic sound would pair really well with our writing and melodies.
A: We’ve had these songs written for years and different versions have existed, and some we had never really properly recorded at all. I am so happy with how they all turned out for this record. Even though they’re old to us, the production on them makes them feel new, and since no one has really heard them unless they’ve seen us perform or heard an old version on like… bandcamp or something years ago, they’re going to feel like brand new. And I love that about this record. It feels like an evolution of the old us.
TSWS: What do you use to record your stuff?
K: Right now our "studio" set up is very humble. We use a laptop, a midi keyboard, acoustic guitar, and mic.
A: We used to call it bedroom recordings cause so much of what we had done was literally just in Kendra or my bedroom haha. But I think they all sound really good considering our low budget and diy vibe.
TSWS: In terms of songwriting, do melodies come to you guys? Do you write lyrics first? How does that work?
K: I always describe songwriting as a spiritual experience: it just comes to me. I start with my guitar and a chord progression, then the melody and words kind of flow out afterward. I always revisit it and work on the lyrics and melody after, but the initial idea has no premeditation.
With she said she said, I'll play a chord progression and Adri will usually start singing a melody with poetry she's already written over top. I like to write my own verses, so I'll write something that fits with her idea or vice versa. Or I'll come with a vocal idea and Adri will sing it back with 6 different and incredible harmony lines... She's brilliant!
Sometimes I'll bring half-written songs to the table. "What Do I Say" was originally just a chorus I wrote years before meeting Adriana. I ended up writing a verse to it, I showed Adri and the next day she had an incredibly perfect second verse and alternative chorus. She said everything I never knew was missing from the song.
A: I’ve been writing poetry my whole life. I have journals and journals filled with poems, and then I’d often use those to make lyrics to our songs. So many of the songs we’ve written together like Kendra said, she’ll play something on the guitar and I’ll take a line of mine that I wrote and liked and try singing it on top. And usually our songs would evolve from there. Kendra brings lots of lyrics to the table to - I’d say we’re mostly lyric first with our writing. However Kendra is a super talented guitarist and so her ideas probably come guitar first a lot of the time. I play the piano but if I’m out to write a song on my own, it’s because I have good lyrics to work with and then I’ll try to do something simple on piano and sing over it. I feel like my experience as a singer, being in choirs, singing jazz and classical stuff my whole life, gave me the skills I needed to make quick melodies and harmonies. I didn’t even realize it when I was studying music the depth of what I was learning and how strong those skills developed.
A lot of the songs on this record are about unrequited love, which was a space I was in for years haha… and Kendra too, we both had our ups and downs. "Just" was this song I had written about like… just wanting to skip the hard part of getting to know someone and just already being in that space of being in love and knowing who each other were and accepting each other. Kendra played two chords and the melody just came on the first try. And Show, for example, I had a couple lyrics for that written already and then we wrote the rest of the song on the back of a phone bill in Kendra’s old Toronto apartment… that song was about trying to get someone’s attention - like a crush. Doing stupid shit, especially online, just so that they’d see it. It’s funny cause now we’re both in super loving, happy relationships so these songs speak to a time that’s long gone, but that I think anyone could relate to.
TSWS: What's next for you as a duo?
A: We really want to evolve our sound, veer into more of an electronic realm… we’re both huge fans of Radiohead and Thom Yorke’s solo stuff… I feel like he really conveys the energy of the sound we want. I also think we’re a bit over writing sad love songs, since that’s not where we’re at anymore. I can only ever write about what I’m feeling… it’s funny though because although we’re both in a happy, good place in our lives… I still only know how to write sad music haha…. But I think we’re trying to find a way to merge these happier ideas with a melancholic sound because I just think melancholy is so beautiful.
K: We have a lot of song ideas on the go right now. We really want to perform live more and keep writing. I think we are also open to expanding and seeing what the addition of others could do for our sound. Adri said it well: Thom York's sound is complete goals.
TSWS: This is a big undertaking for you two. Any advice you may have for up and coming artists out there trying to get heard?
K: Ask everyone all sorts of questions about creating music, support local and emerging artists, and record your music with any means you have. Music has such a connecting quality, you never know who your words and sounds will resonate with. If Adri didn't use her webcam to record Samson, she said she said might still be a dream...
A: I don’t know if we’ve even figured it out ourselves but… I think my best advice would be to just keep going. If music is something you love, you have to do that for you. Not for people to listen to, for the idea of getting popular or rich or famous or whatever. I used to dream big like that as a kid but now I’m at this place where I’m just happy to be doing it for myself. And if people listen and can resonate with it, that makes me so happy. But just the process in itself can be enough. Making music gives me this absolute high like nothing else does, I’m so glad we’ve stuck with it.
TSWS: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?
K: thank you for listening ♥
A: I hope our songs can resonate with you in some way, make you feel something and make you forget something. Oh, and also, loud with headphones is always the best way to go :)