Did you feel like you discovered new things about yourself?
Totally. I feel like I came to a lot of realizations about myself -- and that's thanks to therapy, but also thanks to the the time I had to stop and sit around and figure out what it is that I like, and who I am when I'm not doing music. As much identity as I place on being a songwriter and doing this for a living, there's so much more to me.
I learned that I love to cook, which is really nice. I spend time at home being, like, super domestic -- just doing laundry, taking care of my own space, which is quite nice, because I didn't know what I would be like as a homeowner. Getting my new apartment was a nice thing, in terms of having time to spend and seeing who I am in my own space. Through doing therapy, I just learned a lot about my fear of death and what that actually means, which I think is actually a grappling with living.
With a song like “Fishbowl,” which is a distillation of being stuck at home and having your perspective shift, sometimes in difficult ways -- how helpful is writing a song like that, and getting those ideas and feelings out?
It's cool to be able to do that, because I feel like on this album, I definitely zoomed in a little bit and I was able to write songs about more mundane things, more nuanced things, and just expand on them as much as possible. While on a more literal sense, that song is about being stuck at home and feeling like you're trapped in a fishbowl, in a more personal sense, it's also about my struggles with anxiety and panic disorder and how those feelings can manifest physically for me, too. I was not only stuck in one place, but I also felt very stuck in my own body as well. And that's what anxiety can do to you — it can make you almost feel like your body's turning against you, in a sense.
How much were you thinking about your professional legacy, and all that you’ve accomplished in the music industry already, when writing about who you are and analyzing your purpose?
A little bit in the beginning. On a professional level, just that fear of being seen as disposable -- I think we live in an industry and a day and age that makes a lot of artists just feel like that, if they're not churning out content all the time, or if they're not saying something extraordinary at all times, that people will just move on. So there was this thought of, do I need to hurry this up? Do I need to change something about myself? Do I need to do things differently in order to be heard, and are people still going to care? It had been three years since I released a full project, so there was that sense of, what if they forget?
But then also, on that more personal and human level, there was that feeling of, one day I'm going to be gone, and there's going to be a moment where everybody stops talking about you, and your family might not remember you anymore. It's a really weird thing to be a person, to know that you're at the end of your life is a thing, to be the only species that is aware of our death. It makes us live life a little differently.