Rebecca McCartney – Remember Less [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Eclectic, moody, smooth.

What is your creative process like?

Most of my songs start off as 30-second-ish voice memos on my phone, where I get an idea for a melody and some lyrics, usually at the same time. I’ll record whatever comes to me and then usually come back to those ideas later and build them out into something longer and more developed. Usually both the original words and melody will change, but sometimes there’s a piece that sticks all the way through. My new song, “Behind Closed Doors,” actually came really quickly almost as one whole piece. I sat down with my Strat and played two chords over and over for the verses, which came together pretty easily. Then I faked a bass line on the guitar for the chorus, and had this idea for a melody that I thought was really fun. That’s the same one you hear in the final version. The last piece of the song to really lock in was the bridge, which didn’t get written until I was in the studio with my producer (and friend) Jakob Leventhal. I don’t think I had a bridge yet, or maybe I had something mediocre, and we came up with this mood-changing-feeling of the “why don’t you come over” line, where the song becomes less about the annoying dude and more about my perspective of the relationship. If you’re reading into it, you know. After we tracked the song and Jakob played most of the instruments, we sent it off to this great drummer Jason Berger, who brought a totally new feeling to it with those driving drums. Then I got the idea to make the drums in the bridge feel a bit more like a breakdown, which Jakob actually maneuvered in the mixing phase with a bunch of chopping. Then with Dan Knobler to master it in Nashville, the whole thing came together — which is a pretty good microcosm of my creative process a lot of the time: it’s a lot of hands on one project trying to help me bring out my voice from some small idea that starts it all off.

Do you like the idea of collaborating? Is songwriting a lonely process?

I really love working with other people to make something together that we could have never done on our own, but I don’t get that privilege all the time. Like I mentioned before, having other people on a project really helps me do things that I couldn’t have ever thought of on my own, and I love getting to pull other people into genre zones they don’t usually get to explore. I also love hopping into other people’s projects to do the same for them, and usually have to work on putting my ego aside to help voice their ideas more than my own. So yes I love collaborating. It can be taxing, but there’s nothing more rewarding to me than making something together with friends. Per the loneliness of songwriting, I’ve definitely written my share of songs alone, and sometimes have felt really proud of those, too, but I’ll take working with others over working alone any day.

Favourite album of the past year?

“Lianne La Havas” by Lianne La Havas. It’s insanely good. No skips.

What would you change in the music industry?

I’d LOVE to see more representation of non cis white men in positions of power in the industry. I think we could have a much more loving, community-driven way of making music if everything weren’t oriented towards profit for those men at the top.

In which state of mind do you imagine people might listen to your music?

I hope people can come into my music with all their full emotions, after any sort of day, and just be able to zone out from the world and dance on a table. Then when a super in-your-feels one comes on, they can sit down and cry. Emotional range.

Should we expect an album in the near future?

Wellllllllll there’s an EP on its way. I’m releasing four singles through the fall (the second just came out) and then the full EP with five songs will be out in December. An album will definitely follow at some point……. Follow me to stay updated about when everything’s coming out!!

Thank you!

Follow Rebecca McCartney
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