Toronto-based singer-songwriter STACEY calls herself ‘a romantic for the apocalypse generation’. Pairing classic vintage aesthetics with smartphone-age sensibilities, her sophomore EP First Move delivers luxuriously-produced emotive songs that mark a significant progression from the more stripped-down minimalism of her self-titled debut EP, inviting justified comparisons to the likes of Lana Del Rey.
Her contemporary-classic style comes to the fore on new single ‘It’ll Be Alright’, the video for which sees STACEY guiding a vintage Cadillac down California’s world-famous Mulholland Drive. Filmed on authentic super 8 film and featuring a to-die-for collection of vintage-inspired outfits, the classic visuals combine with spellbinding vocals to produce something that is at once straight out of the 1960s, and yet very 2017 – in other words, 100% STACEY.
We couldn’t resist the opportunity for a photoshoot with the star, and to ask her a few questions about her musical and visual inspirations.
Hi STACEY! We’re loving First Move here at Spindle HQ. We were wondering – how did you first start making music?
My mom asked if I wanted to take piano lessons when I was 7. I reluctantly agreed and totally fell in love with playing piano. I grew up playing classical music and eventually started writing my own songs when I moved to Toronto, in my dorm room when I was 18.
When was the first time you wrote a song and felt like you’d really found your sound?
My first EP was me learning to write songs, generally, in terms of structure, melody, etc. But I don’t think I had come into my own at that point… I was just getting my feet wet. I found my sound as an artist on my newest EP, First Move. I think ‘Trouble Is’ was the song where I had that ‘a-ha’ moment, then the title track ‘First Move’ solidified it all. It’s been a great journey though, one that continued into the studio. It really came to life when we (Derek Hoffman, Alan Day & I) started building up the instrumentation.
You’ve said that the Californian landscape inspired you a lot while writing ‘It’ll Be Alright’, but what were your musical inspirations?
This song actually didn’t have any musical inspirations. When I write, I’m not thinking about any external influences (other songwriters, audience, etc.) – I’m just trying to capture my feelings and represent them as accurately as possible through lyrics and melody. The studio is usually where other inspirations will come into play for the production. But for this song, we just went with what felt right, diving in head first with what we thought would best serve the song. I almost tried to change it because I initially thought it stuck out too much. Glad I didn’t though!
When I write, I’m not thinking about any external influences – I’m just trying to capture my feelings.
You seem to have had a really strong creative vision for the music video for ‘It’ll Be Alright’. What was it like bringing that to life?
Making that video was a dream come true. Driving a beautiful white Cadillac up the PCH to Malibu, feeling like a superstar with my hair and makeup done, and some of my favourite outfits… It was unforgettable. We were blasting The Beach Boys on the way. Laura-Lynn (the director) and I are always on the same page in terms of aesthetics so I knew we had everything we needed to make a ‘60s Hitchcock fantasy. I love shooting on super 8 film too. It’s a piece I’m really proud of for sure.
If you could collaborate with any artist from any period, visually or musically, who would it be and why?
Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, Brigitte Bardot, Jane Birkin, in their heydays, visually. They are the style icons I love and draw from. Imagine having a photoshoot with them all in one? It’d almost be too good.
Musically, I’d love to work with Kevin Parker, Ariel Rechtshaid, Rick Nowels, Mark Ronson, Washed Out. I love everything they do.
You’re driving back down Mulholland Drive in the white Cadillac from your music video – what five songs would you put on the radio to make it the perfect California road trip?
Thanks so much for talking to us, STACEY!
Watch the video for ‘It’ll Be Alright’ below:
Connect with STACEY: