I Dream of Vinyl

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Vulnerability and Healing with Xondra [Interview]

New York-based singer/songwriter Xondra released her new EP Tedious & Brief last week. We got to chat with her about the six-track piece of work and the emotions and important messages weaved through the songs in combination with the upcoming short film she is working on to accompany the album.

Hi Xondra! How’s everything going right now?
Hi! Everything is going great! I am feeling so grateful and inspired after the release of my EP, Tedious & Brief. I’m so excited that it is finally out in the world.

What classic album cover is your current mood?
I’m feeling a lot like Billie Holiday’s Solitude album cover. Every time I release music, I end up needing some time to myself to rest after the build-up of the release. I’m very happy right now but also am enjoying some rest and quality self-care time.

Speaking of album covers, how did you come up with the concept for the cover of your new EP and what role does the clown makeup play?
I tied the cover into the film that goes along with the EP. The film follows a girl that leaves an abusive household and joins a traveling carnival. After becoming a mime and thinking she is finally safe, she is met with a devastating turn of events. The mime makeup/character represents how survivors of any type of abuse are constantly being silenced and bullied into not speaking up. One major theme in both the EP and the film is learning to speak your truth, even if the people that hurt you want to sweep what happened under the rug.

Of the six tracks on the EP, why did you choose to release “Inner Child” and “Dead Girl” as singles first?
I felt like “Dead Girl” needed to be released first because we are living in a time where women’s rights are once again at stake. The song is about how society is so desensitized to violence against women that we don’t even bat an eyelash when things happen. I thought it was very fitting due to everything that is happening right now with Roe v. Wade and women’s rights.
I chose to release “Inner Child” as a single because all of us need some inner child healing from time to time. I think we have all had the feeling of experiencing a situation differently than the people around us and starting to question ourselves. Sometimes you have to stand your ground and speak your truth, even if it isn’t somebody else’s.

Photo Credit: Erin Michelitsch

Who has inspired your music style?
When I was writing Tedious & Brief, I was listening to a lot of Taylor Swift, Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, Julien Baker, Waxahatchee and Julia Jacklin. All of their music has a lot of vulnerability and honesty that I was trying to tap into while putting together this body of work.

If you could only listen to one record, what would it be?
Oh, this is a hard one. It would probably be Red (Taylor’s Version) by Taylor Swift. I feel like there is a song for every mood on that record and there are so many songs that I could rotate between that I would never get bored.

What part has music played in your recent healing and empowering journey?
Writing Tedious & Brief was very cathartic for me. It was the first time I have addressed family trauma and gone into detail about the intricacies of my complicated feelings towards those that have hurt me. I cried a lot while writing this group of songs and it felt so like a huge release to acknowledge the feelings I had been pushing down for so long.

What would go on your signature pizza and what would it be called?
Oooo I would definitely be a pizza bagel because I’m from Long Island and we have amazing pizza and amazing bagels! I would add pepperoni on top and call it “The Lawnguyland Special” (lol).

What else do you have planned for 2022/what’s coming in the new year?
I have so many exciting things coming! I am finishing up filming the film that goes along with the EP this month and it should be out early 2023. I am preparing for my next album next year. I am preparing to start playing live again in January. You can hear about all the updates on my socials! You can follow me on Instagram or TikTok!

Feature Photo Credit: Erin Michelitsch

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