Hello! Welcome to “Under 1000”, a new column highlighting artists with under 1000 likes on their official Facebook pages. Each piece will profile and interview an artist we feel is worthy of your “like”, with the hope of spreading their sound and getting them that all important fourth digit. Thanks for checking it out!
Facebook likes (at the time this was written): 922
You’re asleep. You wake up. You’re definitely awake, right?
We’ve all experienced that disorient, somewhere between the thick nest of our dreams and the reset of a new day. Am I still dreaming? What day is it? What time is it? As blurring as these moments can be, there’s also something quite pleasant – your daily stresses and responsibilities take time catching up with your mind, and you’re left feeling free, optimistic, and curious – if only for a moment.
If anyone were searching for the perfect soundtrack to accompany this state, look no further than Tiny Engines-signed folk artist Thelma. The brainchild of songwriter Natasha Jacobs, Thelma weaves lush, dreamlike soundscapes with a startlingly unique storytelling voice to create a world completely their own. Thelma’s self-titled release is an enthralling collection that sweeps confidently between endearing quirk and triumphant elegance; every track sounds as if you just finished your last sip of tea, then looked down to see there’s still a few perfect drops left in the mug.
It’s these qualities that make Thelma the focus of this edition of Under 1000. Find my conversation with Natasha below:
MEB: First and foremost – why do you make music?
I don’t really remember a time when I didn’t feel the need to make something. I’d imagine a lot of people who make things feel that way. But it wasn’t music until around 2012 for me. I had been making visual art my whole life, but just couldn’t seem to find a voice that felt natural or important. When I started doing music I felt like my voice just kind of happened and it felt fulfilling in a way visual art never did for me.
MEB: Your songs carry a lot of personality. What aspects of your personality do you try to convey in your songwriting?
I don’t recall thinking much about trying to convey a certain personality, but I’m glad you think it carries a lot! This record feels special to me because I wrote it before I was really performing, or promoting myself in any way, so it feels very honest and unaffected by any sort of exterior pressure. If I could hope for one thing it would be to hold on to that feeling. I wrote this record during a time that I was really finding power in being alone in a way I never had before. I was just reflecting a lot on the changes I was seeing in my own mind.
MEB: The album’s opening track, “If You Let It”, begins with the line “from a half sleep/slipping softly”. A lot of your music conveys this sort of dream-like quality. How does this sound come to be?
I guess that’s just how my imagination was expressing itself at the time. I find the more I write, the less encrypted my lyrics are becoming. Looking back on the lyrics for this record it seems like my style of encryption just happened to feel dreamy.
How does your recorded music translate to a live setting?
I think it translates somewhat directly. The band was playing these songs together for a good 6 months before we started recording them. I use both guitar and vocal effects in my live performance, which are not identical, but definitely congruent with the choices we made on the record. A lot of my production choices were really inspired by our live performance, and very little of the album was recorded to a click track, so I think for a lot of it we maintained somewhat of a live feel. We did recently start performing with an electric bass instead of a double bass, so that definitely has a different sound. There are also some auxiliary things on the record like certain vocal harmonies and bass clarinet, which we generally don’t have in performances.
Tell me about the first song you ever wrote.
I can’t really pinpoint that because I wrote many bits and pieces before I ever counted a song as complete. I guess it would be a song called “Ivory Tower”. It’s on a solo EP under my full name that I self released in 2013.
What’s your ultimate rockstar fantasy?
To have an anti-gravity guitar so my shoulder will stop hurting. Also, for my music to be any kind of positive force in someones life.
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Do you have under 1000 Facebook likes? Let me know about you! Feel free to reach out via the form below: