Stalgia Rip Open Their Wounds on ‘Nomad': PopCrush Premiere
The bathroom mirror doesn’t just reflect our outward appearance, but it functions as a scalpel, slicing away the flesh and bone to reveal the damaged subconscious. Or so, Stalgia opine on their new single “Nomad,” a heaving alt-pop track depicting a troubled psyche masked behind dirty, underground synths and shattered shock waves. “I’ll be dry / I need the high just like an addict,” vocalist Lauren Day sings, illustrating the charred frays of a past relationship currently curling around her mangled heart. “I know you feel the same but you won’t admit it.”
The song’s brooding ambience quivers between tender whispers and penetrating drops, jarringly beckoning the listener into a warped mental state. “Imagine being constantly confused by someone who opens up their world to you but then is constantly hiding and running,” the duo, also comprised of musician and songwriter Brandon Leslie, share of the song, premiering exclusively today. “Then, imagine taking all of your frustrations out on your bathroom mirror as you stare and scream at yourself… because you’ve been running and hiding, too.”
“Nomad” samples the duo’s long-awaited debut album, which promises to highlight a troubled past and chronicle their triumphant ascent from the ashes. Below, the pair describe the album’s arc, how songwriting became Day’s refuge and Leslie’s advice to someone being bullied.
You two have been performing and making music for years. Why have you not released an album before now? When did you realize you were making an album?
We wanted to take our time with our first album. We wrote a lot of songs, and the process of selecting just ten songs is not an easy one. You want it to be a perfect representation of you. We started with an EP, but after writing so many songs, we had enough material to release an album.
When you listen to this music, what do you feel?
Every song is different, and each one has its own memory attached to it. For instance, “Electric” makes me tear up during the break down. It reminds me of the energy on set, while filming the music video. We put a lot of effort into writing chords and melodies that will make you feel an emotion. I also feel very humbled when I listen to our album. Humbled at the fact that we get to write music and be backed by a team who truly believes in us. That’s f—ing cool.
What has been your personal journey through baring your heart and soul on this record?
Writing an album is a roller coaster ride. Every new single released comes with its highs and lows. We are revealing so much of ourselves through our music, and at the same time, you have the pressure of “how will people perceive this?” Being vulnerable isn’t easy, but it is so necessary.
How does the contrast of your past lives and upbringing influence the evolution of your songwriting?
Every song is a tangent of something one of us has gone through. Literally, a struggle or [phase] that we have lived out. So, I don’t know if there’s really an evolution of our songwriting. Our ability to write is renewed with each song.
Over the past seven years, what have you two learned about each other, and how have you grown as one?
We are very alike in a lot of ways, and we have the same goals. We have learned each other’s strengths and weaknesses over the years, which has really helped us in every aspect. Our writing is stronger and more cohesive than ever. We have become best f—ing friends, and that really helps.
The intro of “Euphoria” is built on wave sounds, leading into your speaking directly about being close to the ocean. What is this song about, and what role does an ocean’s replenishing characteristics play?
“Euphoria” is about life’s inconsistencies and how we deal with them.
On this album, what are some other key songs and their meaning?
They’re all key songs to us. Songs of anger, loss, love, heart-break, awareness, anxiety, depression: the real things.
Leslie, you have such a storied past on being bullied. What would you say to someone who is going through those same things now?
Don’t be afraid to talk to someone. Be confident in who you are. The person bullying you is the one with self esteem issues
What about to the bully themselves?
I would kill them… with kindness.
Day, having grown up a pastor’s daughter, did you feel suppressed by religion in any way?
No, I never ever felt suppressed. I learned what it means to try to be a good, moral person. I learned that love, kindness, openness, humility and grace are what we should push ourselves to live by. I embraced my religion, and I still do.
How did songwriting and music become a conduit for your own growth and transit into womanhood?
I love this question. Songwriting and music has been the number oneoutlet that helped me through so many of my insecurities and struggles. Literally, music doubled as my therapist and/or boyfriend. It also helped me become completely aware to the fact that I am beautiful as I am. I struggled with body image issues all my life, and over the past year, while writing this album, I taught myself that I need to let my body blossom into what it’s supposed to be. And I am honestly embracing it. Music has helped me realize that it is imperative to embrace the beauty that we are.
Where would you two be without music, not just professionally but personally?
Day: Without music, I would be a completely different person. I have seriously grown and changed mentally and emotionally through my course of artistry. I would be very interested to be able to see a glimpse of the person I would have been. That way I could celebrate the growth music has given me.
Leslie: I would be a firefighter. I got my bachelor’s degree in Fire Science, and I’m a certified EMT, as well. Always wanted to help people in some way, whether it was music or fire.
What is the most thrilling thing about music?
Just like poetry, music is endless. It’s fluid, and there is no right or wrong.
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