Earlier this month, we witnessed singer Eloise Alterman perform songs from her all new EP Sad Bird, out today on all streaming platforms! We were completely moved by the conversations and the stories that Eloise tells throughout her immersive music style, and it was wonderful to hear her talk about these songs in addition to performing them. We sat down with Eloise to talk all about the new EP, check out the conversation below!
The Knockturnal: Eloise, how are you?
Eloise Alterman: I’m good. How are you?
The Knockturnal: So to start us out, you wrote most of this music during the pandemic. What was that process like?
Eloise Alterman: It was definitely very weird for me in the beginning because I’m so good in a room with other people and when you can really connect. Most of the time for writes, too, you sit down with people and you kind of talk about where you are in life before diving into an idea. And with writing for this EP, you sit on Zoom and it was immediately like, “ok what’s everyone’s ideas?” We’re all just stuck in our apartments just trying to make sense of it all. But the great thing about it was that I was able to write with people I never would’ve written with – oversees, people in London, one guy in Sweden. It gave such an opportunity to work with so many other creatives. And I really enjoyed that.
The Knockturnal: I love that. You have such insightful things to say about all of your music. You were talking about 4AM and you said it was that period in time where it doesn’t feel like morning or night. Can you walk me through some of the creative processes behind your lyrics?
Eloise Alterman: Yea, so with “4 in the Morning,” I had written after I had felt that about that weird time of day. Trying to get over someone I think is one of the most difficult things to do, as we know. And for me, I need to take a second and step back and check in with myself usually to understand exactly how I’m feeling about something before writing about it. And I think with lyrics, they have to be so concise. If you think about it, you can have a million feelings but try to fit it into one sentence or two minutes or something. But I usually start with a notebook and I just will free-write for a long time. It’ll just be random thoughts, random titles, and they won’t even have meaning behind them sometimes. But then once I go into a room with another co-writer, I’ll speak them out loud and they’ll say, “what does that mean to you?” and it’ll just come to me.
The Knockturnal: I really love that. Now tell me a little bit about your music video. What can viewers expect to see in it and what are you trying to channel?
Eloise Alterman: I mean, the song is pretty self-explanatory. I was in love with someone who was in love with someone else still. And we were together and it was really difficult on me. I had never experienced jealousy like that and also changing how I viewed myself. It was kind of this unraveling that happened out of nowhere while loving him and while watching him still be in love with someone else. I wanted the music video to really, really encompass that, instead of tell a story of the girl and the guy and the fight and all that kind of stuff that’s so surface level, when what was really happening was I was falling apart on the inside but trying to keep it together on the outside. And so, I wanted to create a really beautiful dreamlike world that started to go darker and darker as the music video went on and show how easy it is to pretty much just unravel in front of someone.
The Knockturnal: That’s incredible. What was the filming process like?
Eloise Alterman: It was a crazy day. It was really fun, though. It was my first music video, but… it was on the beach in Malibu. An early set time. We also were doing the photo shoot for the EP, so in between takes we were doing a photoshoot, as well. So it was quite stressful. But I actually thrive off of stressful environments, but the first two takes I was just like, “okay.” I think I kind of got settled into what felt good and it honestly was just really enjoyable to be at the beach all day long and experience what a hustle it really is to get through that long of a day videotaping yourself all day long. Lots of cameras on you – that‘s something I was not used to – but good thing for a glam team that’s got you in check the whole time. So yea, it was a really cool experience.
The Knockturnal: Absolutely. You’ve been writing all these songs for a while. How long has the EP been in the works for?
Eloise Alterman: So I’ve been writing the songs for about two years. The EP was originally supposed to be an album when I signed, and so I wrote it as an album. But as we were talking – as a new artist, too – and with people’s attention’s spans, especially breaking through in the beginning, I didn’t know if I wanted to come out with a huge project of songs. I think some of them could get lost within each other. And so we came up with “The Hurting Phase” being the first phase. That’s what I was really feeling in the beginning of heartache. The process since then has kind of just been… my favorite part is the creative part after the writing, you know? Coming up with the cover and kind of what I want to come across and picking the songs for it, too. Going through and remembering the order I’d written them in and staying true to that because I don’t want to put songs on there when I was starting to feel even a little bit better. This EP is supposed to really encompass the roller coaster in the beginning of feeling really sad.
The Knockturnal: Speaking of roller coasters – just from talking to people today, hearing what people have had to say about you, about the set and everything – so many people are so excited for your music and you’re starting to get a lot of attention. How does that feel? What are those emotions like?
Eloise Alterman: It makes me feel really, really special. And it’s such an interesting feeling. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt like this in my life before. But, you know, life is hard as a teenager, and middle school and even just moving to Nashville and not feeling special in so many different phases of my life. It’s so weird now to have all these people who care a lot about you but also care a lot about your career. It really does take a team and I would not be able to be doing any of it without… I mean, there’s so many hands on deck with just even getting this music out. And being able to have that weight lifted where I can focus on the writing and the stuff I’m actually good at instead of the business side and all that. But it’s really crazy to look around and be like, all these people are like, it’s like having a family a little bit. Just a support team. It also makes me more creative. Because when you know you can bounce ideas off people, there’s someone to listen to you all the time. I love it.
Stream Eloise’s New EP Sad Bird here!