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27 Oct

Harmony Tividad: ‘All the pieces is continuously absurd as

Harmony Tividad: ‘All the pieces is continuously absurd as

“Casios and Miley Cyrus and Oreos,” Harmony Tividad says. She’s listing a handful of things that coexist concurrently to display the absurdity of life and the way surreal all of it really is. “Regardless of what we do, we’re continuously surrounded by things that don’t make sense together.” It’s a sentiment that, within the midst of a current timeline full of UFOs, NPCs livestreams and Parisian bed bug infestations, feels ever more amped up. Especially as we’re sitting within the Natural History Museum, our afternoon spent amongst igneous rocks, ancient dinosaur bones and relics of human evolution. Through all these thousands and thousands of years of history, that is the moment on planet Earth that we discover ourselves amongst. “All the pieces is continuously absurd as hell,” Harmony adds, “and all of us just walk around so whimsically”. 

The LA-based musician’s songwriting has at all times tapped into the wild realities of existence and poignantly grappled with the associated complexities of this through personal, poetic reflections, formerly as one half of Girlpool and now under her eponymous solo alias. With this recent project, lustrous pop has grow to be her palette to explore desirability, beauty standards and internal reckonings of being a hottie with a body in an unforgiving world that pits us against ourselves and one another. “I have been wanting to make pop music for like, seven years,” she recalls, “I’ve at all times been into historically classic pop songs and what makes a song have this like everlasting feeling”. 

While expressing herself through pop music, as on her debut solo EP Dystopia Girl, seems like something of a destiny for Harmony, the years in Girlpool paved the way in which for her to search out her voice and present herself so viscerally through her work. “Me and Avery each needed Girlpool, especially starting so young, to construct our creative confidence,” Harmony says. “When Girlpool began I used to be like I would like my music to be punker. And Before The World Was Big was Math-y. I actually liked Math-y music and things that were going against the grain more, although pop was really natural for me to write down”. Despite pop offering this natural calling – there’s even a song from the early days of Girlpool that felt “way too poppy” that Harmony still has and which could “see the sunshine of day” – there was internal reconciliation to work through, with the genre and Harmony’s relationship to it.

This stemmed from feelings of outsider-ism, which Girlpool was born out of, and a have to carve out an area of belonging, which Harmony present in the DIY scene through putting on and playing shows. “It’s an area where people can shape things into what they need them to be,” Harmony says, referring to the DIY community amidst which Girlpool was formed and nurtured; an environment that was instrumental in her journey as an artist and find confidence in herself, “that is invaluable,” she adds, “because in the true world, it’s hard to search out spaces like that.”

For Harmony, this sense of alienation was also intertwined with notions of femininity and defining this on her own terms, something which is central to her recent body of labor. “A number of my ideas about how Dystopia Girl’s interfacing with the complicated ideals of what it means to represent femininity,” Harmony says, “that’s something I’ve at all times had anger and internal trauma with, where I resent myself for wanting it.” Similarly, this prolonged to writing pop music which felt “not righteous” and “dirty”. Now, nonetheless, Harmony is allowing those parts of herself to exist. “I’m an artist who just desires to make my thing and I don’t need to must continue to exist the outskirts without end,” she says. 

Once we speak, Harmony’s going through her Saturn return. She mentions that the night before her astrology chart revealed that her moon is at the side of her Saturn, “which is tension with femininity,” she explains. Along with her solo project, Harmony explores and presents a deeply personal embracing of affection and femininity, in all its magic and violence. “I feel pop music is interesting since it’s this super classic forum,” Harmony says, “now we have all these ideas about people in pop music writing about pretty standard things. It’s exciting to be like OK, I would like to discuss things which might be more emotional, or deeper or more nuanced. But additionally the superficial can also be equally as helpful”. 

While Harmony’s music offers raw introspection on self-worth, it also conveys a more optimistic self-acceptance. “A number of songs I’ve written have been about extreme lows,” she says, referring to much of the songwriting with Girlpool. Along with her solo work, the emotive ponderance and existentialism are still there but they’re also intertwined with a levity and sense of wonder. On the penultimate EP track “I Am So Lucky and Nothing Can Stop Me”, there’s a line where Harmony sings “dreams are OK but waking is healthier,” something which offers a poetic glimpse of joy within the on a regular basis. That isn’t to say that dreams aren’t a big source of inspiration too – just that, for Harmony, reality and fantasy aren’t such opposing notions. “I feel like fantasy is just as real as anything,” she says. 

Across the time that Girlpool were starting out, her mum had a psychic awakening – which, naturally, influenced the importance of magic for Harmony. “Magic has really overtaken my life in a really tangible way,” Harmony says. “I feel like should you observe reality and let yourself get near it and consider you’ll be able to see that there’s magic in every single place. I feel like I’ve at all times erred on the side of pessimism and I’m still pretty realistic although I think in magic.” This belief lends a glow to Harmony’s music, and likewise provides an important tool for survival within the face of heavy realities. “I feel like with fantasy worlds, people need them to survive,” she says. “There’s a reason that stuff is so fucking popular. People need reprieve from the forces which might be pummeling them.”

Reflecting on the project, Harmony says that she’s “still exploring what it’s” with an emphasis on it being a malleable, multi-faceted vessel for authentic creativity. “When it comes to processing pain and reality and just coping with things, the one way I actually know easy methods to interface is by writing,” she explains, “I can’t not be enthusiastic about poetry on a regular basis”. Under her recent solo alias, this manifests in a real and generous artistic expression, and a creative journey that seems like a blessing to witness because it continues.

‘Yesterday’ is out now

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