Many people oftentimes turn to music as a source for therapy. For singer-songwriter Lucy Eaton, writing music brings her the same feelings that one may get listening to it. Taking inspiration from artists like Phoebe Bridgers and The Lumineers Lucy's music is full of raw emotion, as if lifted from the pages of someone's personal journal. Today, we talk to Lucy about all things songwriting, family, Spotify playlists, and the healing powers of writing.
How long have you been writing your own music?
I was born to songwriter parents, so I’ve been writing and learning about songwriting structure for as long as I can remember, but I used to write mostly for myself. I didn’t share my music with anyone but my parents and used songwriting strictly as a tool to process my thoughts. I started to get serious about writing songs to show an audience when I was 17, and performed my originals live for the first time at 18.
What made you start recording your songs and publishing them to streaming platforms?
I always thought of myself as a songwriter, but never as an artist. I was overwhelmed by the idea of standing up on a stage alone. I thought I wanted to write songs for other people and not perform, but after starting college at UC Berkeley and joining Songwriting at Berkeley, I performed for the first time and immediately changed my mind. Playing live was an instant drug. I love how terrifying it is and how incredible it feels when it’s over.
Through Songwriting at Berkeley, I became friends with Marcus Lee, a musician and self-taught producer. A few years later, we recorded a single take of my first song, “Rotten Love”, mostly for fun, but we clicked so well in the studio that we decided to produce a full version.
I wasn’t sure at first about doing an official release, but I’m so glad I did! It led to me posting my music on TikTok, working with Marcus again on my next song, and absolutely falling in love with everything about songwriting, releasing music, and sharing it online.
You actually just released a new song not too long ago, “Your Saddest Great Achievement”. Can you tell me more about the song and what it was like writing and recording it?
The process for releasing this song happened so much faster than it usually does. I wrote it while traveling through Texas. I was thinking about all the people I’d been out of touch with, and how generally unproductive I was while I was on the road. This inspired the initial lyric that started the song - “I think of a million reasons not to call/At the end of the day, I have got nothing done at all”. My parents were on my mind since they had just started to move overseas, which inspired the lyric “My mother has moved away/She never liked that town.”
Those two ideas together made me think about how many sacrifices my parents have made for me and my siblings, and how much guilt I have been quietly carrying about that. The rest of the song followed quite easily after that. I posted a snippet a few days later on TikTok and it got over a quarter million views and lots of comments asking for a full version, so as soon as I got back to California, I pitched the idea to my producer Marcus Lee to produce the song in a few days and release it as soon as possible.
“Your Saddest Great Achievement” sounds like a song that could’ve been written by Kacey Musgraves. Is she a musical influence for you?
I wouldn’t have made this association on my own, but once I released the song, I got this comment a lot! I am a newer fan of Kacey Musgraves but I love her newest album Star-Crossed so I am super honored by the comparison.
I think I am influenced a lot in general by Phoebe Bridgers, The Lumineers, and all the unbelievably talented songwriters I discover everyday on TikTok.
People say that they write for different reasons, one of those reasons being therapeutic. Why do you write songs?
Writing is certainly therapeutic, and for that reason I feel like writing is an unavoidable necessity for me. It’s the only way I know how to actually process anything on my own, and I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if I couldn’t translate my thoughts into writing everyday.
Other times, it feels like exposure therapy - deciding to write about something forces you to sit with the feeling completely, regardless of how uncomfortable it is, until you’ve worded it succinctly. I’ve often discovered my true or hidden feelings about something through writing about it.
I know that something a lot of TikTok singer-songwriters do after a song release is look at the different Spotify playlists their songs were added to, and sometimes those names come completely out of left field. What are some of the funniest playlists you’ve seen your songs be added to?
I love to do this! I’m a huge playlist nerd, so it’s fun to see other people’s playlist vibes.
I think this is a deeply sad and personal song for a lot of people, so they aren’t all funny playlists, but a few of my favorites are “I’ll question every life decision while listening to these”, “Live. Laugh. Lexapro.”, and my personal favorite, “Stupid Eye Water”.
Are you in the process of working on any other projects, maybe even an album?
Always! I write everyday, and I’m in the process of working on my next release. I think I’m a few more singles away from thinking about an album, but I’m excited for that one day! If you’re hungry for more from me before my next release, I post most of my in-progress songs regularly on TikTok.
What do you hope your music can do for those who listen to it?
Music is the greatest thing in my life and always has been. It offers me perspective when I lose sight and meets me wherever I am, on good days or bad days. If I have offered any sort of comfort or connection to even one person, I feel very lucky to have contributed to the world of music that has done so much for me.
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