Thursday, August 18, 2022

Artist Highlight: Pool Children – Our Tradition


Hailing from Tallahassee, Florida, Pool Children began out because the duo of guitarist and vocalist Christine Goodwyne and drummer Caden Clinton, who wrote the whole lot of the emo band’s 2018 debut Music to Follow Secure Intercourse To. The LP, equal components forceful and contemplative, caught the eye of Hayley Williams, who claimed it seemed like what Paramore “WISHED we seemed like within the early 2000s.” Now a four-piece that includes Andy Anaya on guitar and Nicolette Alvarez on bass, Pool Children have solely grown since then, having toured with acts just like the Surprise Years and Into It. Over It. For his or her sophomore outing, out tomorrow, they teamed up with producer Mike Vernon Davis, sharpening up their sound and dialing up the dynamics: Pool Children balances technical virtuosity with tight hooks, explosive choruses and nuanced, evocative lyricism in a manner that few bands can pull off with such infectious confidence. Emotionally and in any other case, it wasn’t a straightforward course of: not simply because the songs contact on childhood trauma and the dissolution of a long-term relationship – the ferocity of the music sweeps away any negativity that comes up – however as a result of an precise flood hit the studio simply days earlier than the document was accomplished. Figuring out that they powered by and managed to save lots of Pool Children solely makes it extra of a triumph.

We caught up with Pool Children’ Christine Goodwyne for this version of our Artist Highlight interview sequence to speak about her upbringing in Florida, the evolution of her songwriting, the making of Pool Children, and extra.


I used to be speaking to the band Camp Trash, who additionally grew up in Florida however whose members are actually primarily based in other places, they usually instructed me about how they discovered music and related by the church, the way you both need to get out of Florida otherwise you’re type of caught there. What was your expertise rising up there?

That’s really humorous as a result of all of the issues that you just stated Camp Trash had stated additionally apply precisely to us. We grew up in Florida – I really haven’t gotten an opportunity to speak about it lots, however I additionally began with church music. And now, Nicolette and I dwell collectively in Chicago, and Caden lives in Pittsburgh. Andy made it out of Florida, however he did return and he has a home along with his spouse now in Melbourne Florida, however he is likely to be leaving once more, I don’t know. However yeah, rising up in Florida was attention-grabbing. I wasn’t uncovered to this world, any of this DIY touring and this entire circle of music till I really received to varsity. To not say that that’s all people’s expertise – for some purpose, I simply didn’t discover it.

Nicola and I met in school radio, really. I used to be tabling exhibits, and I used to be like, “Oh my god, these are those that begin a band and simply go on tour.” And I used to be like, “I can fucking try this. I’ve been enjoying guitar since I used to be 10. I used to be in a church band, I can do that shit.” It was simply me and my Baptist Church, which I clearly have stepped away from a few years later. However enjoying for the youth band Christian songs, it’s type of humorous, however that was my whole music expertise till school, even by highschool. I went to love one in every of Montreal present on the Orpheum. And I used to be like, “Whoa, that is cool!” After which I didn’t notice that I might simply go to these on a regular basis they usually had been occurring on a regular basis. However yeah, fairly fundamental, fairly, like, disadvantaged. I do know the remainder of the band, although, had completely different experiences. Caden, he’s from Vero Seaside, and he was all into music stuff. Similar with Andy, Andy was enjoying in bands in highschool. Nicola had a highschool band. However I used to be actually simply in my church band. [laughs] Nobody needed to be in a band with me.

You imply in highschool?

Yeah. One other factor about it, I used to be in my highschool guitar class, and folks had been at all times speaking about their bands. And I used to be, like, probably the greatest youngsters within the fucking class, and I used to be , however nobody ever needed to be in a band with me. I used to be additionally the one lady in that whole class.

What do you are feeling such as you discovered from speaking to different folks within the band about their experiences in music earlier than?

Form of  thesame factor, simply realizing I might have began this like a lot sooner in my life. Regardless that it’s not like being school, you’re previous, however everybody else I really feel like I talked to began being in bands in highschool, even when it was simply informal. Secure Intercourse was actually the primary ft of songwriting and being in a band and stuff, and I want I had extra expertise earlier.

How do you mirror on these early makes an attempt at songwriting?

I can positively see the expansion and the adjustments. I bear in mind after I was writing for Secure Intercourse, I might simply get the primary concept and go together with it. As soon as I had a full track laid out, I used to be like, “We’re not fucking with it, we’re not altering it.” Like, “That is the track construction, that is what’s occurring.” And a part of that was, I felt so in a rush to get it out, I used to be like, “This document must occur ASAP.” And I actually didn’t give myself the time, I wasn’t comfy fucking with the songs. So it was simply first concept, greatest concept. After which with this document, the self-titled, I used to be like, “I don’t wish to try this. I wish to lay one thing out after which pull it aside, flip it inside out if we have now to.” Actually work on each track, change stuff round till it’s the most effective track that it may be, quite than simply sticking with the primary concept. And I’m very glad as a result of if I examine among the finish merchandise of the self-titled album with what the track began with, I’m like, “Rattling, I’m so glad we ripped this aside.” It’s loopy to consider what this album would have been if I took the strategy that I took in Secure Intercourse with the songwriting. It might be manner much less good.

When did you resolve that this album was going to be self-titled and that you just had been going to have this strategy to it? 

We had been already decently by all of the songs, and all through the entire thing, I used to be behind my head like, “What is that this going to be known as?” Like, we’re by no means gonna make an album title higher than Music to Follow Secure Intercourse To. I believe that’s the most effective title ever. And it was like, “How are we going to high it?” Truthfully, the preliminary concept was identical to, it’s a straightforward cop out – we are able to’t give you an album title, we are able to simply self-title it. However then we began realizing, “Wait, this really makes a lot sense as a result of it’s not simply me and Caden anymore. That is Pool Children, the 4 of us, that is the band. All of us contributed to this album, all of us made it collectively. And that is our fully-realized like sound.” And we felt like that’s assertion, self-titling it, as a result of that is really who we’re. Music to Follow Secure Intercourse To was simply figuring it out, after which all through the previous 4 years, we’ve discovered the total band and began grinding collectively. And it’s like, “OK, that is really us.”

It appears like LP3 will probably be exhausting to title.

Undoubtedly. [laughs]

Was that an emotional second, while you all realized as a gaggle that this could possibly be self-titled?

Possibly somewhat bit. I might say there was different moments that had been emotional. Listening again to songs I might say was in all probability probably the most emotional second. Aside from the studio flood, that was like positively emotional. [laughs] Realizing it was self-titled was extra a cool, like, “Hell yeah, let’s try this. That’s us.”

Do you recall a particular second of listening again to a track and having robust emotions about it? Or was it simply the entire album?

I’d say probably the most emotional was in all probability the entire album. The primary time we did a listen-through, the producer, Mike [Vernon Davis], who’s like household now, he rearranged the entire little studio, he moved the sofa so it was going through the audio system, he turned all of the lights off. We received some wine, I believe, or champagne, and we simply began enjoying it by the great audio system. Clearly, nobody stated a phrase the entire time. After which 46 minutes later, we had been identical to, “Holy fuck.” The producer was like, “I do know this would possibly sound dramatic, however I really feel like I might die proper now and really feel totally glad simply because we created that.” And I used to be like, “Truthfully, identical.” And I bear in mind being like, usually I’m so involved concerning the reception, what’s gonna occur after the discharge, however I used to be like, “I don’t even care. I really feel like we don’t even need to launch it. I simply really feel so glad that we made this product.” Yeah, it was actually emotional throughout. All of us simply sat there for in all probability one other hour or two simply having a giant heart-to-heart. I’ll at all times keep in mind that.

Going again to how intentional you had been about each element, I really like how the document balances technical enjoying with instantly affecting songwriting. Was that one thing you had been at all times acutely aware of within the course of of creating the album?

Yeah, I might say I used to be type of at all times targeted on that. Each track I used to be attempting to suppose, like, Is that this really one thing I might wish to activate and vibe out to? Or is that this simply cool for a musician to observe? And so, we’d have songs that weren’t fully-realized but, and I used to be like, “It’s simply lacking that catchy piece.” After which we’d finally determine it out, which was nice. I really feel like we received there with all of the songs. I imply, there’s some that aren’t earwormy, however they serve their goal too, for certain. I simply needed portion of the album to have the catchy stuff. Once I felt prefer it was a track that wanted it, which was most of them, I used to be very, like, tunnel imaginative and prescient on reaching that.

I used to be wanting on the press launch and also you had been speaking about leaning into a few of your pop influences a bit as a way of inspiration, together with “very choose Taylor Swift songs.” Outline “very choose.”

That’s such query. Let me actually pull up my Spotify ’trigger I really I haven’t been on my Taylor Swift shit just lately. Let me pull up my precise favored Taylor Swift songs. I’ve 9 songs that I like by Taylor Swift, apparently. ‘False God’ I believe is her greatest track ever, off Lover, which is tremendous underrated. ‘Name It What You Need’ from Popularity – so many individuals do that, however she does this factor the place she’ll simply repeat a line, and that’s the entire pre-chorus or one thing. And I actually have been attempting to determine which track made me – I do know it’s a Taylor Swift track, and she or he simply repeated the identical line a bunch, however I bear in mind being like, “That’s a great way to try this.” As a result of I used to be having a lot hassle writing programs and pre-choruses, and that’s what I believed to do for ‘That’s Physics, Child’. “Telling you what I, telling you what I want,” simply saying that again and again. She type of does that in ‘Name It What You Need’. ‘the 1’. ‘final nice american dynasty’. ‘Cowboy Like Me. ‘Clear’. ‘Crimson’, clearly. ‘Dancing With Our Palms Tied’ from Popularity. I actually like ‘I Forgot That You Existed’ off of Lover. That’s my record of Taylor Swift songs.

I wasn’t attempting to name you out, by the way in which. I don’t know in case you’re acquainted with the Damon Albarn controversy… 

Oh, yeah.

It simply stood out to me that there was a listing of pop singers after which “very choose” Taylor Swift songs.

Truthfully, what made me make clear “very choose” is that I’ve stated that earlier than, I’ll say sure issues about influences from her, and I actually suppose she’s songwriter. And folks  simply instantly soar to, “Oh, Christine’s a Swiftie.” And I’m like, “OK, relax.”

That’s an excessive amount of duty.

Yeah. I respect a variety of issues about her songwriting and I get pleasure from chunks of her songs, for certain, however I additionally suppose she does some actually cringey issues in her songs that I type of hate. However she additionally does some wonderful issues that I, like, copy, so there’s a stability. I’m not like a full-on – like, Billie Eilish, I’m just about a stan. I like the entire package deal just about with Billie Eilish, however Taylor Swift, I take some after which I go away the remainder at arm’s size. [laughs]

To be truthful,tThat’s very near what Damon Albarn stated. He was like, “Yeah, Taylor Swift, no matter, however what about Billie Eilish although?”

Oh, you’re proper, you’re proper. [laughs] He did say that. He was like, “I really like what she’s doing! However fuck Taylor Swift, she’s not writing her personal songs.” Isn’t that what it’s? That’s such bullshit. It’s so apparent that Taylor Swift writes her personal songs. You may say you don’t prefer it, for certain, however to say that she doesn’t write it – that’s ridiculous.

I needed to ask about your music movies. I really feel prefer it’s fairly uncommon for a band these days to pair every single with a music video, and even only a visualizer. What made you wish to put money into that aspect of the mission?

Caden and I had been speaking about this final night time – I believe we spent the identical amount of cash simply on these three music movies as we did on the whole document. [laughs] I’m fairly certain. Which is simply loopy. However from the very begin, I believe earlier than we even began writing, we had been identical to, “We’d like fucking music movies.” I don’t even know why precisely, as a result of all of us concurrently acknowledge that music movies do nothing for a band these days. Except one goes viral, they do like near nothing. It’s not MTV period anymore. However we simply needed it. It’s one thing that lasts endlessly, we are able to at all times look again on it.

Additionally, generally while you’re singing or listening to a track, you simply image a video, and I simply wish to see that out. And Caden was like, “I wish to make as many music movies as we are able to presumably make.” So we’re like, three or 4. Clearly, if I might make a music video for each track within the album, I completely would. Nevertheless it was like a purpose we simply at all times needed to do as a result of we didn’t do it for Secure Intercourse. I believe that was the primary factor. We made a music video for ‘$5 Subtweet’, like, 4 years after it was launched, which was bizarre, however we had been like, “This time across the music movies want to return out earlier than the discharge, we’re both gonna do it or we’re not gonna do it. We’re selecting to do it, so it’s going to occur.”

Do you suppose you’d do it once more? 

Yeah. Once more, I can’t put my finger on precisely what they’re engaging in for the band, nevertheless it’s simply a part of the artistic imaginative and prescient. It’s one of many issues that, at the very least for me personally, feels creatively fulfilling, to have that visible component going together with the track. I simply love good music movies. I’m at all times picturing them and occupied with concepts for them. And even earlier than I began making music, as a child, I might take heed to songs and film what a cool music video can be for that. So I believe it’s positively one thing we’re gonna proceed doing, despite the fact that it’s so fucking costly.

A number of the songs on the album revolve round emotions and concepts which might be private however introduced in a manner that’s common. The observe ‘Sofa’ stands out to me lyrically, although, simply the intimate and bodily element that it goes into in describing this relationship dynamic. Was it a difficult one to put in writing?

That one nearly didn’t make the document, really. Yeah, that was positively extraordinarily private. I wouldn’t say any of them had been really exhausting to put in writing. The one factor that’s ever been exhausting for me to put in writing was one thing that I began through the breakup, and it really was simply hitting too deeply and I put it away. I might by no means come again to it. Possibly in the future I can attempt to, now that these feelings are completely not there anymore. However I wouldn’t say it was exhausting to put in writing; it was positively a really private track that had a fairly particular theme with the lyrics. I used to be like, that is turning right into a track kind of about growing older, rising other than one another and coming to phrases with irreconcilable variations. Simply themes of rising uninterested in the identical previous good friend group, I assume, like “They’ve heard all of your tales,” that line – no motivation, kind of simply being depressed and coming to phrases with issues like that.

Once I’m listening to an album, I often like to offer it a few listens with none added context. So I actually didn’t know that the voice recording on ‘Pathetic’ needed to do along with your studio being flooded. I believe it’s actually becoming, how the phrases “What can we make of this?” tie into the larger themes of the album, identical to the lyrics themselves can apply to completely different conditions. For you, while you take heed to that a part of the track or any one in every of your songs, do you suppose you’re at all times going to affiliate it with this one factor, or is it at all times altering?

So, I’ve an advanced relationship with this idea. To start with, although, one cool factor particularly concerning the “What can we make of this?” – I recorded the intro hours earlier than the flood. After which the ending of the track had no lyrics in any respect, that entire massive explosive half didn’t have lyrics, it didn’t have a vocal melody, it had nothing. Then I tracked that on one of many final days, and the “What can we make of this?” really occurred post-flood. It made a lot sense within the context of the track, nevertheless it additionally was simply, with us and the staff making the document, we fucking simply misplaced every thing, we’re on this damp, moldy, post-flood studio – like, “What can we make of this?” We made a makeshift studio upstairs with shitty laptop audio system and all these things. In order that one really did have which means for each.

However I at all times really feel like individuals are speaking about their lyrics altering meanings and stuff, and I get that on a regular basis, the place I really feel like I begin growing what the lyrics meant after I already wrote them. And it feels so good and proper, however then I at all times really feel prefer it doesn’t depend. As a result of after I wrote that, I didn’t intend for that. I really feel like what the individual was intending the time they wrote it, that’s what it really means. After which the rest you say afterwards is simply you attempting to create this factor that it isn’t. However I want I didn’t really feel that manner. Hopefully in the future I’ll recover from that, and I’ll be capable to settle for that my songs imply new and various things as they age. As a result of I positively discover myself attempting to place new meanings into previous songs.

How a lot was destroyed within the flood? Did you find yourself having to re-record something?

The recordings weren’t misplaced, thank fucking God. That was the primary factor getting us by. However Caden’s whole drum set received flooded, my whole pedal board – I actually noticed it within the case closed, and it was kind of above the waterline, so I used to be like, “Oh my God, I’m gonna go put it aside.” So I jumped within the water and I sloshed over to it and I picked it up, and it was unlocked. So it unlocked, opened up, and my pedals unexpectedly fell face first into the water. My pedals had been submerged, the drumset was submerged, Andy’s amp was submerged however ended up really being superb as a result of the vital stuff is on the high of the amp and solely the primary half of the amp was flooded. A bunch of studio tools that wasn’t ours was submerged. The entire monitoring room, the precise studio, so we simply couldn’t be in there with the pc and stuff.

Greater than something, it was the momentum that it killed and the time that it ate up as a result of we had been on our final week. So we had days left and we had songs that weren’t working that we needed to repair and we simply couldn’t go within the studio. We had been all simply hella depressed and had no motivation. And while you take heed to songs in that mindset, every thing simply appears like shit. It was only a horrible, horrible place to be mentally for the previous few days of the document.

To finish on a constructive observe: What do you’re keen on most about being in Pool Children?

I really like that every one really love one another and are greatest pals and revel in one another’s firm. And I really like the dynamic that we have now. It’s so distinctive, and it’s so good. And it’s so constructed to final. I really feel like we are able to simply do that endlessly as a result of we simply love one another a lot and have a lot enjoyable collectively.


This interview has been edited and condensed for readability and size.

Pool Children’ self-titled album is out July 22 through Skeletal Lightning.

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