Image credit: Rat Majesty
Pleasing and alluring vocals erupt in Hooked like Helen’s latest song ‘Winter (Tori Amos cover)’ released under Stipp Manor Music. The new track is powerful in its lyricism which is expertly interpreted by both the simplicity of the gentle piano notes and the contralto of the singer. consequently, as the vocals rise and fall throughout the melody, an out-of-body experience takes place because the song can transcend happy emotions to expose the hidden tender need a girl holds for assurance towards her father. Continue reading for the interview below.
How has ‘Winter’ (Tori Amos cover) changed your lives?
The song is about a girl’s relationship with a father figure who believes in her and sees greatness in her that she might not see in herself, even as time goes by and dreams fade. Ironically, I did not have anyone in my life who fit that role for me as I was growing up, but I think this might be the very reason the song resonates with me on such a visceral level. Music allows us to escape, imagine, and build castles in our minds. When I sing and play “Winter”, I am (for 4 minutes and 30 seconds) one of those girls with a dad who loves her. I get to have a moment in the snow where I’m protected by gloves too big for my hands. Creating our version of “Winter” has been cathartic and painful and healing and challenging…and just what I needed.
What would you like listeners to take away from the song?
We really just wanted to introduce this beautiful song to our listeners through our lens, without compromising too much of Tori’s vision. Art is open to interpretation, especially music like this; it paints pictures and evokes emotions without too much specificity. We wanted to create a modernized version of Tori Amos’ musical perfection for our audience, and let them consume it in whatever capacity feels right to them.
What are some of your earliest memories of music?
Music has been our deepest love since both Jon and I were kids. Babies, honestly. When I was 3 years old, my big sister had a little Casio practice keyboard. I remember vividly, all these years later, that one of the demo songs pre-programmed into the keyboard was “Just the Way You Are” by Billy Joel. The cheesy synth sounds that floated out of those cheap internal speakers painted streaks of colour and moving patterns across my mind, each musical part in the arrangement creating a different visual against the black backdrop of my consciousness. This was the first time I experienced Chromesthesia that I can remember, and the beginning of my obsession with music.
Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?
The songs come about in different ways, but there is always an “ah-ha!” moment in the process; that moment when we know we’ve struck the right note with the right chord with the right lyric. Sometimes this comes quickly, and sometimes it takes hours or even days of coming back to it, but the song is not a song until it hits that sweet spot when you just KNOW it’s the way it’s supposed to be.
Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?
Writing songs is preferred over recording – Jon and I are perfectionists so it can get a little tedious in the recording process. The writing part is our self-expression and our contribution to the world, so it feels incredibly satisfying to create something that we think is worth other people’s ear-time. Playing live is our fuel, our life source, our energy. It is SO incredibly fun and cathartic and we can’t live without it.
What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?
Over the course of our career, we have had quite a number of people on the autistic spectrum and parents of autistic children tell us that our music – and our live performances in particular – have soothed them and connected with them in a way that other music does not. We have tried to analyze why this might be the case, and we’re not sure, but it means the world to know that these special, neurodivergent individuals are able to take something from our art that they might not get from other music.
Also, Fiona Apple saw us play once and told me she was in love with me haha. That was a highlight for sure!
If you could put together a radio show, what kind of music would you play?
All the best music from the 1980s and 90s! Pop, rock and alternative.
Name five artists and their albums who would appear on your radio show
Michael Jackson – Dangerous
Guns N’ Roses – Appetite for Destruction
Green Day – Dookie
Mariah Carey – Butterfly
Prince – Purple Rain
What would you like to achieve with your music? What does success look like to you?
Success looks like reaching people who are truly positively affected by our music. It’s earning enough money to be able to have freedom and opportunity for our son and to make a difference in the world.
One last thought to leave your fans with?
The world is full of monsters disguised as men. Protect yourself and believe in yourself no matter what.
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