Eartheater is Taking Her Distinct Musical Code On Tour This Summer
Whether it be using electronic or acoustic sound, Eartheater’s distinct musical code is defined in its rich harmonics, flexing between tension and release. Her insatiable curiosity and desire to deposit complex feelings, atmosphere, stories, messages, and mirrors in music has led her to being a multi-instrumentalist, producer, composer, and director of many worlds. Her signature lazer whistle tone and octave-hopping vocals are often contrasted against deliberate restraint in her romantic, lavish, and sometimes cheeky records. She embraces the use of “ugly” elements in noise and emotion to amplify her ascent towards the ethereal.
Eartheater debuted in 2015, releasing two consecutive albums — Metalepsis, followed by RIP Chrysalis. She then signed to experimental label PAN, who released her album, IRISIRI, in 2018. Following IRISIRI, Eartheater launched a mixtape titled Trinity on her own imprint Chemical X.
Her latest album Phoenix: Flames Are Dew Upon My Skin, also released by PAN, was composed, produced, and arranged by Eartheater, and testifies to the reincarnating resurrections the project has undergone over its first full decade of existence. While the album renews her focus on guitar performance and legible structure, Eartheater balances the unabashed prettiness of acoustic harmonic songs with the dissonant gestural embroidery of oblique instrumentals. Since Phoenix, Eartheater has pivoted to releasing music on Chemical X, most recently singles “Mitosis” and “Scripture,” soaring pop anthems produced by friend Sega Bodega. Chemical X was created to serve as not only an outlet for her own material, but also for other developing artists that she takes under her wing. In 2022, the label released an EP by rapper Ish Couture and is currently incubating multiple other projects.
In addition to her own music, Eartheater has collaborated with a wide range of artists, from Grimes and Caroline Polachek to Show Me The Body and Moor Mother. She has lent her vocals to new songs by Yung Kayo, Tony Seltzer and LEYA. Eartheater has also composed original work for Proenza Schouler and the Alarm Will Sound orchestra, and has modeled for Mugler, Jimmy Choo, Fenty Savage, Barragán and Puppets & Puppets. Her music has been used by Chanel, Dior, Mugler, Stella McCartney, Acne Studios, SHAYNEOLIVER, Adidas and more.
1. Hi Eartheater! You are a multi-instrumentalist, producer, composer, and director. In what ways do you bring synergy and use all your skills in a track?
I’m just always looking for the magic, or sensing how the right light, positioning, composition, sound, casting, collaboration, or confluence of elements can crack open an environment and invite in energy. It’s like art is the spell, or the wand, or the ritual, that conducts the flow.
2. What are some key moments in your life that have served as inspiration for your music?
My first kiss in a graveyard, under a huge angel sculpture, in the moonlight with a punk rascal, from the next town over, who I never saw again. I’m always talking about my sources of inspiration, but one that I haven’t brought up, is the defiant choice to listen to my gut in spite of “well qualified” or trained or “experienced” people advising me to not make these certain choices — and now after the years I’ve noticed those intuition-trusting decisions became the ones that had significant impact on my work. — I often played “Supersoaker” for people before it came out and people didn’t know how to respond to it and were like “I don’t know about the beat” or “that lyric is so goofy”… yet “Supersoaker” became my biggest hit. When I made “Concealer” the label that was trying to sign me at the time stopped responding when I sent them that track, so I self released it. 10 days later Chanel licensed it for use in a campaign. So just trusting my gut and knowing that I’m a true innovator that makes future sounds and lyrical concepts that people don’t yet understand is a deep well — it’s also a great responsibility that I take very seriously, while also not giving a fuck at the same time, you know? Then there are times when I fundamentally crave a sound that I can’t find anywhere so I have to make it myself. Then just being in love with life, lovers, friends, and the brutality and beauty of nature.
3. You have 4 albums Metalepsis, RIP Chrysalis, IRISIRI, Phoenix: Flames Are Dew Upon My Skin) and a mixtape (Trinity) out. Can you describe your evolution since 2015?
Trinity is an album too, I just needed to call it a mixtape at the time for legal reasons. My evolution has been lubricated by my desire and curiosity to push myself in places where I have to learn new things. But on some real shit, I started with no support or resources. Over the years I’ve learned to make the most of what I have at my disposal. It’s been tough, but as a result, bigger opportunities have unfolded where I’m able to achieve more grandeur. Also, as life goes on, I keep finding more people that I have genuine chemistry with, so those collaborators have played a major role in the journey. Though, with my last album Phoenix, I made it a strong point to be the only writer and producer…. to be in complete control of all the minutia.
4. If you could attribute Trinity, Metalepsis, RIP Chrysalis, IRISIRI, Phoenix: Flames Are Dew Upon My Skin to an icecream flavor, what would they be?
Phoenix: charcoal, cayenne, turmeric, ginger, lemon, pink salt. Trinity: saliva, mint, cum, sweat, tears. IRISIRI: horse tail, bone marrow, dust, pollen, frankincense. Metalepsis: silk caterpillar, lotus flower, acid, pheromones. RIP Chrysalis: butterfly wings, sweet corn, dove egg, cake, grapes, stinging nettles
5. What was one of your favorite moments working with Grimes?
She’s extremely genuine and funny — also deeply gushing in her appreciation, which allows me to feel completely free in my expression when we collaborate. We connect on a very pure level, founded in just feeling the music – void of any kind of overanalyzing. It was an effortless process.
6. You have modeled for Mugler, Jimmy Choo, Fenty Savage, Barragán and Puppets & Puppets. In what ways is your artistry different or similar when you model vs when making music?
Modeling is interesting because I realized it’s so much more than just knowing your angles and being creative in shaping one’s body – it’s really about omitting energy that hovers in the air around you, and that part is very similar to what happens with music making.
7. What’s a new talent you hope to acquire/learn?
Accounting lol… jk… but no for real, I need to be better at managing money, especially as for the first time in my life I’m actually making some.
8. If you could organize your own festival, where would it be, who would you want to perform with, and what would be the name of the festival?
It would be called sPisces and everyone that would perform would be Pisces — Lagoony Chonga, Tokischa, Rihanna, me, Grimes, Erykah Badu… it would take place at the Seven Sisters Waterfalls in Norway. Each artist would have a floating stage in front of their own waterfall and the audience would be in a network of boats that would move from one waterfall to the next.
9. You are going on tour this summer! What are you most excited about? What city are you most thrilled to perform in?
I’m excited for it all — it’s the beauty of the people that makes the moment and I have such cute fans everywhere — I can’t wait to see all their glowing faces.
Editor SHIRLEY REYNOZO @moyamusic_
Photographed by JOAQUIN CASTILLO
Graphic Designer for Cover CARLOS GRACIANO
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Styling Alana Mey at PaubyPaulina
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