>> Shortly is the creative project of the Detroit-based artist, Alex Maniak. She recently released an EP called 'Richmond', where she worked with Hop Along's guitarist, Joe Reinhart. Her emotional lyrics and downright beautiful voice will mesmerize you! Check out the interview below where we talked about her latest EP, inspirations, and Detroit!
How would you describe your sound?
It’s hard for me to pin down a genre. Sometimes we meet the criteria for twinkly emo, other times the sound is closer to folk rock. Somewhere on the blurred edges of indie/emo/folk/alternative? It is malleable.
What influenced the EP's title "Richmond"?
I wanted to name my first EP “Richmond” after the street I grew up on down the street from my high school. I only lived there for a little while but I find my thoughts drifting back there every now and again.
What can people expect from the EP?
I think people can expect something more matured than what Shortly has released before. There are a bit more pop and electronic influences braided into it.
Your music seems to strike a tricky balance between quietude and loudness. It seems like the effect is accomplished differently from song to song, yet the contrast is still there. Is that difficult to maintain or does that come naturally?
It comes naturally for me as a songwriter- the quiets and louds change in accordance with the lyricism, as long as I’m thinking of the song as a story.
What inspires you the most and what environments seem to foster your creative process?
That’s a loaded question. I think that other art inspires me the most- especially creative drives. I think passion sparks passion. A lot of my songs thus far have been written about life experiences. I’d say any form of solitude can be inspiring for me, wherever I find myself talking with myself at ease. Sometimes that’s in my office, sometimes on my couch, and sometimes I run to my backpack in the middle of a hang out sesh to jot stuff down.
Can you describe the Detroit music scene and its influence on you?
I don’t think anyone can pin down the Detroit music scene. It is diverse and you can find it like pocket change. Little bits everywhere where you wouldn’t expect it, but you don’t see it all at once. You just know it’s there. I think that that has influenced me as a seeker of sounds.
How did you wind up working with Joe Reinhart and what was the collaboration process like?
Joe was recommended to me by my label after working with others on the label. I’d had others in mind, but we came to chat, and I listened to his work, and it just kind of made sense to me. It clicked. We went back and forth a lot- I’d say Joe and I mostly sat together and produced and fleshed out the songs for the first two days while Austin was in the studio slapping guitars in every direction. It was experimental and excitable.
If your life was a movie, which one would it be?
When did music become a significant element in your life?
It always has been- I came from a musical family. My cousins all went to schools for the arts and I went to performing arts camps for as long as I can remember. I’ve always loved it in one way or another.
As you’re going from one tour to another this fall, what’s your favorite aspect of touring and performing live?
My favorite part of touring is performing, and my favorite part of performing is having that platform. My music kind of starts an empowering dialogue a lot of a time, and creating that environment and dwelling in it is beautiful. <<
Sep 26 Fort Collins, CO - Hodi's Half Note + Sep 28 Boise, ID - Java Downtown + Sep 29 Portland, OR - Paris Theatre + Sep 30 Seattle, WA - Chop Suey + Oct 26 Sayreville, NJ - Starland Ballroom % Oct 28 Washington, DC - Songbyrd * Nov 1 Lancaster, PA - Chameleon Club % Nov 2 Providence, RI - The Strand % Nov 3 Albany, NY - Upstate Concert Hall % Nov 4 Huntington, NY - Paramount % Nov 6 Quebec, QC - Salle Multi % Nov 7 Ottawa, ON - Brass Monkey % Nov 8 London, ON - London Music Hall % Nov 10 Bloomington, IL - The Castle Theatre % Nov 11 Fort Wayne, IN - Piere’s % Nov 13 Des Moines, IA - Wooly’s % Nov 16 Lawrence, KS - Granada Theater % Nov 18 Salt Lake City, UT - Complex % Nov 21 Albuquerque, NM - Sunshine Theater % Nov 23 Austin, TX - Mohawk % Nov 24 Corpus Christi, TX - Brewster St. Ice House % Nov 26 New Orleans, LA - House of Blues % Nov 27 Athens, GA - 40 Watt % Nov 28 Charleston, SC - Music Farm % Nov 30 Wilmington, DE - The Queen %
+ supporting Mom Jeans % supporting The Wonder Years * headlining