It literally just occurred to me that I've never shared my own music on this blog. Story time! I've been playing music since I was about 9 or 10. I taught myself how to play guitar, ukulele, banjo, even a little bit of piano. I also sing. A few months ago, I decided I was going to write a record an LP before I go to college in the fall of 2016 as an homage to my teenage year. I've recorded a few songs already, which I've uploaded on my Soundcloud:
And here's an excerpt from a journal I'm keeping about the process:
Sunday, May 24, 8:45-8:57
I started working on the album this week. I’ve gone about it in a few different directions; first, I planned exactly what songs I’ve already written would be recorded and in what order for the album. But then, I realized that was a terrible idea. I read an interview that The Vaccines did this week about their upcoming third LP, English Graffiti (which comes out next week! I am so excited!) and they said that they’d recorded over 100 songs for the album and just had to narrow it down. One song, “Radio Bikini,” was chosen out of 30 that the band had written in one day. I feel like this is how I should approach making an album. I’m going to write a huge amount of songs, try recording all of them, and once I’m happy with every single one, decide which should go on to the album. My plan for this project is to create every aspect of what an album should be; the artwork, a booklet with lyrics, credits, thank-yous, and this very diary printed out. I’m gonna make a few copies, package them up all nicely, and give them out to friends, mentors, family, etc. This is not going to be a mixtape of some kid from the suburbs that thinks he can be a rapper. I want this album to immortalize my high school years. I want it to be something done quickly, but not with haste - there is a difference. Panda Bear wrote and recorded Young Prayer in three days. Grimes recorded Visions on Garageband. Lorde was 17 when “Royals” became a hit. I think there’s a huge amount of beauty in the youth of a project. I don’t want my ideas, my songs, to sit in my head any longer. I don’t want to be 21 and in college and have to change all of my ideas to fit in with some college band. I want to create this album so I have something to show to my future friends, boyfriends, husband, children, the world in general. I’ve been writing a diary since I was in 6th grade, but that’s too personal to share… I’m much more comfortable with the act of handing over a CD and having someone listen to 16-year-old Alyssa’s thoughts. One lyric that’s inspiring me throughout this process: “am I really all the things that are outside of me?” (“Taste,” Merriweather Post Pavilion, Animal Collective).
You may have noticed that the artist's name isn't "Alyssa." I wanted a moniker, and while flipping through Instagram one day, I discovered a girl from Iceland named "Arora." I love that name, especially this spelling, and I decided to add an "s" because I'm sure there's multiple people out there naming their project "Aurora." Hey, Claire Boucher isn't called "Grime," is she?
ALSO MY 17th BIRTHDAY IS TOMORROW!!!!