“Walk Sideways,” premiering exclusively below, has had a long journey with Dyllan.
The Los Angeles native (real name Dylan Nichols) wrote the ambient, airy pop track back in 2015, when she was living in Brooklyn. She acknowledges that, “It’s been a long time coming, for sure,” and tells Billboard that it took her awhile to come to fruition.
“It’s been rewritten a few times,” Dyllan says about the track, whose final version was produced by Andrés Rebellon. “It’s gone through a few transformations, in terms of sounds and also in terms of my songwriting. It’s my favorite song I’ve ever written, so I was pretty precious about it and it took me awhile to hone the sound. I used to go on stage with just me and a guitar, but lately I’ve been really interested in electronic pop production, and then a lot of music I listen to now — James Blake, Christine & the Queens — had some influence, too. I finally feel like I’ve gotten (the song) where I wanted.”
What hasn’t changed, however, is the song’s message about overcoming shyness and fear to express one’s self. “I was dating this guy and he just wasn’t in the same emotional state that I was, and I had a really hard time expressing that to him and articulating how I felt,” recalls Dyllan (who’s actually quite engaging in conversation, despite her professed shyness). “Rather than tell him personally I just told all my friends and talked to myself and was kind of a crazy person, letting it burn inside of me instead of communicating it — which is something I struggle with a lot. I’m often kind of passive and waiting for someone else to initiate because I have a lot of anxiety and shyness. So that’s what the song is about, having a hard time communicating your desires and feelings for somebody.”
“Walk Sideways” will be part of an EP Dyllan is planning to release later this year, though we’ll probably hear two more singles first during the next few months — both of which she says, “were written a number of years ago.” She then plans to bridge into more recent material. “It’s really going to be nice to get this (older) material off my chest, and after that I think I’ll be able to write a lot more new stuff once I have this stuff out of my psyche,” says Dyllan (who, by the way, adopted her performing name because Google searches for Dylan tend to yield too many results for Bob Dylan). “This is material that’s very close to me and dear to me, but I also feel confident about this next stuff. This is kind of like a new start, which is a really great feeling.”