We got the chance to speak with Lynn Fister (Aloonaluna) before the upcoming release of her album 'The Gilded Hegemony of Stars'. Her new single ‘Terrariums’ comments on the ever-present narcissism of today and its an addictive listen. Bubbling and dreary, dark and mantric, 'Terrariums' plays out as a musical odyssey, with each section’s alluring and warped production challenging the preceding. 'The Gilded Hegemony of Stars' is one of Fridge Feed's most anticipated new releases.
How did the name Aloonaluna come about?
Aloonaluna is a mythological creature that I made up, where it is half bird and half moth. I suppose it is my spirit animal! I really think I try to emulate the bird call of a common loon when I sing. I think their mating call is one of the most beautiful sounds ever. I used to do watercolors of animals with different animal body parts. You know, alligators with deer faces and such. I think I would dream about them sometimes and then I began to paint them. Eventually, I painted the “aloonaluna” creature.
Was there anything in particular you were trying to convey in the new album? What is the biggest musical change with this album from your older stylings?
It’s pretty strange because these songs are all pretty old for me- I started some of them late 2013 and then finished them in late 2015 I think. Revisiting them is pretty strange. Like most music I make, I am now thoroughly sick of these songs from hearing them too much/and it’s hard to even articulate what I was trying to do sometimes. Most of the songs are about coming to terms with millennial culture—which despite how far we’ve come in respecting diversity, there is some real deep-seated trauma that exists and will continue to exist. I have a very nostalgic, old soul. I picture myself living this pastoral fantasy, and the truth is, well, I don’t. It’s modern, people are always looking at their cell phones, community seems fragmented, sexual relationships seem more convoluted to me with things like Tinder, etc. The digital world seems to create this more object-driven, people are fungible space that I am not comfortable with. Not that it’s all bleek, but sometimes I have a hard time digesting our present culture. I think I become quite recluse and have a hard time relating to people sometimes.
Also, I think this album is also very feminist, in comparison to my other albums. I personally am a little tired of artists crooning about their love for so-and-so and how they are aching and are only complete with that lover’s attention or for some male gaze. That is such a trope that is done again and again and people seem to eat it up- well maybe because we can all relate to heartbreak- which with all due respect, I totally can relate to those songs, but I don’t know- I guess I wanted to do the opposite. I really did not want to fit in to what I think is a patriarchal concept of a masculine lover completing another. I wanted to say “I have agency without you” and “I am not waiting for you to sweep me off my feet” —especially given the terms of people not respecting your value or agency. In fact, instead I think I’m trying to unpack a little the power dynamic of the male gaze. In this album, in several songs I actually try to take on a role as a misogynist male. In the song It Was Feeding on Carrion, I am a male who thinks he is a player. He is saying: I like playing games and like lying to and knocking up my girlfriend. In the end of the song he is compared to a vulture feasting on roadkill. But she is not voiceless, she is thinking “Do you really think I’m that naive? Well, I’m not. I am there as long as I want to be and then the end” In Terrariums, I don’t know if it’s clear— but I am weaving an abstract date rape scenario where a narcissistic man does not respect the boundaries of consent. It’s vague and not really spelled out but that was one of the ideas behind it. The words “I like the way you fuck me down, I like the way you fuck me dry” is to make comment on how a rape apologist will say “but no, she really wanted it” and so those are his words in her mouth, if that makes sense.
Structurally though, I think my songmaking is veering toward more structured, dance music than previous albums. This is maybe a crossover album to that. But whatever I do, I’m sure it’ll retain an outsider/experimental vibe.
Your music could be classified as experimental, is musical innovation something you place importance on?
Yes, absolutely! I want things to sound strange. If something sounds too structured or formulaic, it often isn’t interesting to me sonically. But I think most of all, I’m more concerned about atmosphere and texture.
You’ve lived in various places, how have these places influenced your creative works?
I definitely have moved around a lot. Since I was two actually! I think it makes me very adaptable in a way. Sometimes, I think the major flaw in my art-making is that I am interested in everything and having everything feel very free or stream-of-conscious, and that sometimes it isn’t as focused as it could be. But hopefully too, it keeps it unexpected and fresh and personal and human. I contribute this to constantly moving and exploring new places.
Could you tell us about Watery Starve?
I started the record label Watery Starve to create a space to put out my cassettes, as well as music I wanted to support. It’s kind of defunct now because financially it was putting me more in debt. I would like to restart it though, if I ever have the funds to do so. It was kind of an art project for me as well. I wanted each cassette/vinyl release to be decorated uniquely. So I stitched leaves into covers and glued butterfly wings and pressed flowers onto the covers. I really wanted it to feel personal and hand-crafted. I also wanted it to have this real natural and organic aesthetic to it.
How do you feel the presence of women in sound/music has changed over time? Is it growing?
I think its growing, but I think mostly because I think there’s probably more people in general making music and putting it out more than before. I know 10 years ago, I got an apple computer and it came with Garageband. I never messed with production before and had very little interest in creating music until then. I think that the accessibility of production software was a total game-changer for a lot of people. I can’t sit with a guitar and sing a ballad really. But I sure like to mess with layering sounds on a computer. I think the access of internet, DAWs, etc has really made the ability to compose music and to get it out there more accessible.
'The Gilded Hegemony of Stars' is out October 21st and will be Aloonaluna's final album -
~Pre-order it here~ https://sciotorecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-gilded-hegemony-of-stars
And welcome to her new project Farewell Phoenix! ~~~ https://soundcloud.com/lynn-fister/silent-muse