Deb Never is finally getting a moment to breathe. The lo-fi pop-rock up-and-comer has just returned home to L.A. the day after the first listening party for her new EP in New York City, and she’s set to perform again tonight in the city. “I literally have to eat and then get to the venue,” she says, a lilt in her voice. “Things are crazy.”
Over the phone, Never sounds excited to finally be putting out her debut EP House on Wheels (out today via WeDidIt), a 5-song collection of dreamy, beat-driven pop-rock music that introduces the singer, and her dry, sharp personality, to a new audience. “I wanted the project to embody me as a person, and give people a better understanding about what I like, and what I’m like,” she says, sighing. “Like, ‘Oh, you’re crying, but you’re gonna dance.'”
Never has plenty of reason to be excited — along with prepping and releasing her debut album, Never has also been getting to know an entirely new fan base. On Wednesday of last week (Aug. 21), rap collective Brockhampton released their latest video for “No Halo,” with Never herself appearing throughout and singing the woozy hook. She would later go on to perform with the group at their Friday Therapy show to celebrate the release of their new album Ginger.
Never says she was already friends with members Matt Champion and Ciarán McDonald, and one day while hanging out with the group at their house, they asked her to lay down a vocal for their new song. “I think we had a mutual respect for each others’ music, and so it just kind of happened.”
She recognizes that the timing of the collaboration’s release couldn’t have been more perfect — just as she’s gained the attention of an active and vocal fan base, she happens to have her first full body of work to show them. “Brockhampton has amazing fans…everything just fell right into place, where I could be like, ‘Yo, this is me,'” she says.
Below, to celebrate the release of House on Wheels, Deb Never breaks down each of her 5 new tracks, giving fans an insight to her writing process, her raw emotions, and which song she wants fans to “fucking mosh to.”
“Ugly” was more of a ballad-y approach to this whole project. It was inspired by previous relationships I’ve had, and relationships I see around me where you get comfortable and you get stuck in a shitty relationship. I didn’t have the song already written when I went in. I met Dylan [Brady] for the first time, and this song just happened. It was a two-hour session, and the whole song was completed in that time. Things just clicked and it happened instantly. Everything I was thinking just came out of me, which I feel like rarely happens, you know?
Oh, “Same,” “Same,” “Same.” A lot of the other tracks on the EP have been based on reflecting on previous experiences, and “Same” was originally about how I was feeling like…nothing at that moment. So all of the lyrics are very straightforward — I was literally just wondering, “Will I always feel the same?” because I was feeling pretty numb out in L.A., you know? Like, “What the fuck am I even doing?” I think at that point, I was in a place where I was…not lost, but just trying to figure out what I was doing. I just felt completely…yeah, like nothing. So the song is just a complete creation of that feeling.
“Out of Time”
Fuck yeah, that one’s a fun one. That one was written based off of this guitar track. Henry Laufer (professionally known as Shlohmo) just took all of the vocals and just put his own production underneath it, and made it into this rad-ass song. Yeah, he should get a lot more credit for that song, if anything. It’s like…I almost wanna say that it’s grunge-y rock, but it’s current, you know what I mean? That one is for sure one of my favorites, because it lets me get this other side of me out. Like, just fucking scream and play fucking loudly, get the rock out of me. This is the one song where I want people to fucking mosh to it. Like, let loose!
When I wrote that, I was kind of feeling pretty angsty, which I think shows in the song. I was in this moment where I felt, like, alone…and that no one really gave a fuck about what I was trying to do. So I said, “Alright, I’ll do it myself,” and I wrote that lyric, “Treat me like you give a fuck about me now.” It’s like, people are coming out of the woodwork now that I’m starting to do cool things. So yeah, I was just feeling angsty! And it’s one of my favorite ones on the EP, for real.
This one is nice and easy. I kind of just made this as a demo — it originally didn’t have as many lyrics, and it was kind of more of me just repeating the lyric, “Don’t know what you want from me,” looping it over and over again. It was meant to be a demo, and I wanted the ending to be like a bow out of this EP. That’s why I put the strings at the end, because I wanted it to feel like the closing song. It embodies where I started, which is a guitar and me, and then transition to this beautiful string arrangement with this very cinematic feel to it, to showcase the range of where I’m trying to go. Just trying to let the people know that this is just a little taste of what I have to offer.