Folkmore: Interview with HEIGHTS
Welcome to Folkmore, a special blog series where we dive into the world of the talented artists within the Folklore Sessions community.
In each instalment, we'll be uncovering the stories behind the music, and shedding light on the inspirations, struggles, and triumphs that shape some of our favourite up-and-coming acts' artistic journeys.
To kick things off, we recently had the pleasure of sitting down with self-produced songwriter HEIGHTS to discuss her highly anticipated sophomore EP, "Glow".
Born out of a period of instability, "Glow" captures the raw essence of HEIGHTS' personal experiences. The EP delves into the rollercoaster of emotions that accompany new love, the complexities of fractured friendships, the battles with deteriorating mental health, and the realisation of one's own vulnerability. As you immerse yourself in the songs of "Glow," you'll be taken on a journey that is at times euphoric and empowering, while also delving into moments of devastating honesty. Through her unique musical lens, HEIGHTS provides a deeply personal and captivating experience that is bound to resonate on a profound level.
Congratulations on the release of "Glow"! How does it feel to finally have this project out for the world to listen to?
"Thank you! To be honest it's been a long road getting this one out, so more than anything I'm relieved. Some of the subject matter I cover in the songs is quite heavy for me and so releasing it almost feels like finally moving forward from it and getting some closure. Overall it feels very healing."
One thing that really stands out to me in your music is the way you balance vulnerability and strength. Can you talk about how you approach incorporating these elements into your songwriting?
"Honestly, it's not really something I do consciously. I just tend to write about how I'm feeling at the time and that can vary drastically from feeling strong and empowered to very vulnerable. I'm glad that Glow is on the EP to balance out the vulnerability because I feel that most of my work tends to err on the side of the vulnerable."
The EP is a very personal and introspective project. Was it difficult to share such personal experiences?
"It's quite a funny thing to write about personal experiences because, on the one hand, you want to write about what you know and in a way it can be very therapeutic to get the feelings out, but on the other hand, if it's about someone or a situation in particular, you wonder if the subject will hear it and realise it's about them. For me, that's where resistance and self-doubt come in and I can second-guess what I write. I don't ever want someone to feel bad about what I've written and I am very aware of how other people could interpret things. I wonder if Taylor Swift ever has that worry!
If it's more introspective and about the way I feel about myself, then people will hear the neurotic and self-deprecating thoughts that spiral through my head which I can also be self-conscious about. At the end of the day though, I want to be honest and so I have to push past those worries. So yes, difficult but necessary (I think)."
What was the creative process like for crafting the EP? What was your favourite part?
"Making this EP didn't really follow a linear process and it's spanned quite a while- the first sketches of Glow (the song) were made back in 2019! I worked on that one with Nick Hahn which was a super fun experience as it was my first time co-writing with someone. The rest of the writing and producing was just done in my bedroom and I took the songs to Rob Flynn's studio for mixing and general sonic elevation. I love the collaboration process so I guess working with Nick and Rob was my favourite part! "
Do you have a favourite song on "Glow"? Why does it stand out to you?
"I think my favourite would have to be Metchu. Once I'd written and produced that one, I realised that that is how I wanted HEIGHTS to sound and I've used the same sound palette in everything I've produced since. It's euphoric and has more of a feel-good vibe compared to a lot of my other work. While it's not your conventional pop song, I'm really proud of the subtleties and intricacies in the production and arrangement and I love playing it live too."
Who are some of your musical influences that might surprise your fans?
"I'm not sure how surprising it is, but I've seen Coldplay maybe 5 or 6 times... The first two albums in particular are goat-level and I think have probably subconsciously shaped the way I write. I was also a teen emo and I still love My Chemical Romance as much as I did then, the emotion that Gerard Way puts in his vocal performances gives me shivers every damn time."
Fuck, Marry, Kill: Writing, recording, playing live... why?
"Jeepers, this is a toughie! My typical creative process means I'm usually writing and recording as I go. I think one of my favourite ever feelings is getting into a flow state with writing- you feel the excited buzz and ideas just flow out as if the parts were there the whole time. It's other-worldly and I love it. I'm usually recording those things in as they arise. Can I fuck and marry both writing and recording? If so, then that, please! I also love to play live, and as exciting as it is getting to share my songs with people, I can get really anxious beforehand so I guess, with regret, I'll have to kill playing life off."
Do you have any pre-show rituals or superstitions before performing live?
"Does quivering in a corner with anxiety count?"
What's your favourite venue in Brighton to catch a show at? (Other than The Folklore Rooms of course!)
"Other than The Folklore Rooms, which is ABSOLUTELY the best venue for intimate shows and community vibes, I love the Dome for bigger shows- there's such a big history to that venue and I always feel excited walking through those doors, it has a real cultural buzz. I love The Green Door Store for getting lost in the crowd and feeling completely engulfed by the music. I also love the Prince Albert, which is where I played my first headline show! So it holds an extra special place in my silly sentimental heart."
A huge thank you to HEIGHTS for taking the time to share this intimate glimpse into her world with us.
Stay tuned for more exciting interviews with other talented artists as we continue our Folkmore series and remember to support HEIGHTS and check out her music on your favourite streaming platforms.
Words by Rebecca Brandler
"Glow" is available now to buy or stream on all major platforms.
Take a listen- we promise you won't regret it!