harloe's Upcoming 'Liquid Truth' EP is an Exercise in Self-Liberation
harloe may be plenty used to writing for other artists—the likes of Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, and Charli XCX all tap into her creative prowess for hit tracks—but she’s come to find that writing for herself is a whole different beast. The culmination of that learning process? Liquid Truth, her upcoming EP that’s serving up dark and stormy tracks whose lyrics (and alt pop sounds) make this artist one to watch.
It’s not as if harloe hasn’t already proven her significance in the pop landscape—on the contrary, “All Of My Feelings” and “More Than Ever” did an artful job of that, without a doubt. Liquid Truth simply takes it a step further, pushing harloe to her limits as an artist and, in return, bringing us, in her own words, “in [her] crazy fucking head.” It’s quite the journey, and one you won’t want to miss. While you wait for Liquid Truth to drop, listen to her latest below, then keep scrolling for our full interview with the budding artist.
So “More Than Ever” has been out about a month now—what has the reception been like so far?
It’s been really great. The cool part about “More Than Ever” coming out is like, it’s a even more left of center than “All Of My Feelings”, which is the first song I put out. So it was really nice to see that people who liked the first song kind of grew with me into the second one, and it just feels really liberating to put out music that I love, without any expectation, and have people like it. So its been good.
Yeah, and I know that that’s off Liquid Truth the EP. Can you tell us a little about that?
Yeah, well “Liquid Truth” is the EP like you said, so it’s the first EP I’ve ever put out. I’m sort of just finishing it up now, right now it’s at five songs, and I’m sort of deciding—I always want to cram in more music just because I love it. But it’s been a really artistically growing process for me; it’s kind of like my little baby right now. I’ve been writing for other artists for some time now and working on their stories with them and helping them put their stories into words has been a passion of mine, and it sort of trained me a little bit into knowing how to dig deeper within myself and there’s a lot of emotions that I’ve accumulated over the past few years, being in LA, being new in LA, leaving my friends and my family and people that knew me well. There have been a lot of emotions that accumulated and this has been a vessel for me to kind of release that and I’m excited about it, I’m terrified about it, but I’m excited for people to hear what’s in my fucking crazy head.
So what mindset were you in at the time? Where were you emotionally and mentally while you were creating it?
I think a lot of it was—I was just feeling like it was a cathartic thing. Once I got into the flow, once I made “All in My Feelings”, it was the first time I had ever produced anything for anybody, for myself, and I just sat by myself and buckled down and put pent paper. It flowed after that, so I think I was just feeling excited and liberated and some of the lyrics were scary to say, but I was feeling really in my element, making this.
So do you feel like the cathartic part comes once its released into the world and you can’t touch it or edit it anymore, or do you already feel like that’s happened?
You know what’s really funny is, I think the cathartic part is just like a moment, a split second, a spark in the process—literally sitting on my bedroom floor and singing into my mic. That’s the cathartic part. And then, for me, it’s this process that’s scary and awesome, cathartic, and then just fucking scary again, because now it’s done and I want to always—you know, it’s just like any art, you want to always process, you want to make it perfect. But what’s perfect, you know? So now, I listen to it and I’m like, “Oh I could change that mix! Oh I could add another—” you know what I mean? It’s almost cathartic the second you’re doing it, and then it’s not anymore. Then it’s like, “Fuck, should I just redo—should I scrap it? Should I just redo this song?” [Laughs] But that’s the process, I guess.
I mean I think perfection in itself is subjective, so one day you’ll think something is perfect but the next day you’ll have a different perception and it’s not perfect anymore.
That’s pretty amazing. You’re right, it really is like that. I’m actually reading this book right now, The Alchemist—
I love that book.
I love it—I am obsessed. It’s in my bag right now, as I was coming it’s been in my train ride. I pulled it out at this coffee shop in Washington Heights this morning, and a guy sitting next to me—he was writing, he’s a screenwriter—he just pulled it out too, like we pulled it out at the same time. He goes, “What page are you on?” and I was like, “I don’t know 110 or something,” and he was on the same part. What is that about? And the whole book is about things happening for a reason.
Yeah, and it’s relevant for any chapter of life that you’re in.
Totally, totally. And yeah, it’s so funny that book too, it’s almost like every creative person that I’ve met or talked to, in any part of the arts—I feel like arts are all connected, like if you’re into music you’ll find your way somehow into fashion, or if you’re into writing you’ll find your way into music. They’re just so interconnected so it’s inspiring that you like it too.
So, on the EP, is there one song that is particularly important to you, or close to your heart out of the others?
I think they all are really special to me, but I really think “Liquid Truth” is my most favorite just because the EP has this dark tone to it and I think that a lot of that has to do with my musical taste. But then, “Liquid Truth” is just this bright, almost church-y song, and I was listening to a lot of Chance the Rapper when I was making this, and that song just—I don’t know—it just has a little sweet spot in me and I always loved church music, I always loved hymns and those kind of gospel chords, so it’s probably my favorite one.
Yeah. I wonder if Nashville had any effect on that.
Yeah! You know what? It probably does—
I don’t know, I haven’t been but—
I think you would love it—everybody that is into music and is into that kind of culture stuff, I never wrote country music, I never really paid that much attention to it, until this year I’ve been going—I’ve been four times now to work with Kelly Clarkson for her new album which is not country, but has like a soulful thing to it, so it’s been really exciting and kind of a cool thing. And Nashville probably did have something to do with it, just that sort of musical thing.
Who else are you writing for right now?
That’s funny, I was reading a press release about him today.
Are you serious? [Laughs]
Yeah, I think it was for a video or something?
Yeah, he’s doing a bunch of cool stuff, I don’t know how much of it I can say, but he’s doing a bunch of cool stuff. You know, everybody likes Nick Jonas for obvious reasons—he’s, you know. But he’s really nice and so talented.
Cool. Him and—
And Kelly, and then I’ve been doing some stuff for TV shows, I did a bunch of stuff for Empire last season. And then, kind of first time focusing on my stuff too.
Yeah, I was going to ask you—what’s the feeling like, writing for yourself? Obviously you know yourself better than anyone else compared to an artist that you can only know so well.
I think for myself, it’s a little bit scarier. Just because it’s your story and it’s kind of a vulnerable thing. It’s a little scarier and for me, lately, maybe it’s even a little easier just because you—there’s a sort of, getting the artist comfortable and becoming friends before writing. I cant say I’m my best friend because I’m not, but you don’t have to go through that portion before you kind of just get into the writing. It prepared me a lot, though, writing for other people.
Do you know when the EP is going to drop?
The EP—I keep changing it slightly, but definitely later this year.
And then what do you have planned for after that?
Well we have a video for “All of My Feelings” coming soon, which is gonna be awesome. We shot it, and I think people are gonna enjoy it. I’m hoping to make more videos and then tour it. Get it on the stage.
You’ll have to let us know when you’re in New York.
I will! I definitely want to do my first couple of shows in New York, because New York is so special to me and there are so many places that I saw some of my favorite acts perform and it would be really cool to be able to do that, too.
Well, you have a lot of memories here and now you have to make new ones.
Yeah! I hope to do my first one here in this Milk venue. I could see myself here.
Stay tuned to Milk for more rising stars.