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INTERVIEW: Linying

Hi Lin, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hi! I’ve been happy, busy, and very well-fed along the English countryside. Getting slightly nostalgic for warm weather and spicy food, but otherwise enjoying my time greatly.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “All Of Our Friends Know”?

I mean, it’s really the reluctant lover’s love song. It’s about pointedly ignoring a connection so palpable that eventually, you can only confront it, and make peace with the fact that being unprepared for or undesiring of love doesn’t exempt you from its wrath.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Not so much as a series of vivid places and moments I remember eventually culminating in the unignorable and overwhelming emotion that led to my writing it — a speakeasy on the top floor of a shophouse, Austin in the spring, a sushi bar inside a food court.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

It’s in the cards!

How was the recording and writing process?

My writing process is generally the same throughout all of the music I write for myself; I have to be off some kind of emotional high, or to be in some kind of confused or overwhelmed state that requires me to pick myself apart and make sense of everything that’s going through my head in a language that fills the blanks that words alone leave, and that’s what happened with this song. The recording process was a bit drawn out, because I can get obsessive and go on for days just looking for one specific sound. I’m happy with how it’s turned out, though.

What role does Singapore play in your music?

I don’t think I feature a landscape that is uniquely Singaporean in my songs, just because I’m so at home there that it gives me the space to be introspective and to clue in on the internal world that exists both within me and amongst people.

How do you go on balancing your pop sensibilities with the trip-hop influences? Does that become something hard to pull off?

I don’t think too much about which genre box in which my music falls, or how my influences influence me. I know the music I like, and acknowledge that they must infiltrate my work in some way, but as long as writing continues to be my coping mechanism and a way of communicating all the specificities and nuances I want to communicate in mutual understanding with the people who listen to it, I’m not bothered by what ‘type’ of music it’s meant to sound like.

Does bands like Massive Attack or Portishead influences your writing?

I only just got into listening to Portishead recently, and admire their production so much. I know my earliest writing influences were the music I listened to as a teenager: Bon Iver, Bright Eyes, Death Cab — but now that I’ve learnt better to express more accurately that jumble that exists before a song is made, the line that connects what I consume to what I produce is no longer as clear.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

Yes, and it’s coming along well — it’s taken me a long time to figure this out, but I’m getting the hang of all the new colours I now have to employ to paint all these new pictures.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

Not that I can share just yet!

Any plans to hit the road?

We’re fresh off a show in Los Angeles and this year’s SXSW in Austin, and are currently touring the UK before the upcoming releases.

What else is happening next in Linying’s world?

Sappiness, an ongoing inner struggle, and the springtime.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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