The first thing that caught my ear with The Wren's music is her ability to tell stories. Her lyrics are so mesmerizing and this music is just so dreamy. We talked to her about her new EP "this is gonna hurt" and what's been inspiring her lately.
How did you get started in music?
The Wren: I started singing as a young kid to anyone who would listen- often in public without warning, which I imagine startled my family and any passersby. Growing up, I sang in school musicals, local theatre, and church. I started playing the guitar in middle school and began writing songs at 12. I released music under a different name in high school and college on SoundCloud before changing my stage name and releasing as The Wren in 2022.
Tell me about your song "this is gonna hurt" what's the story behind them?
The Wren: I started writing the earliest lyrics to "this is gonna hurt" back in March of 2022 on a road trip from Arizona back home to California. I was going back to see someone I'd had feelings for for a long time. I was excited to see him and excited that he wanted to see me, but deep down, I knew I was gonna get myself hurt by caring a little more than I ought.
Many of the lyrics in the verses are self-reflective and indicative of some pretty vulnerable questions I've been asking myself over the years. I've been trying to face my insecurities more head-on in the last year or so, really trying to figure out where they come from and how I can overcome them. I hope that by asking these questions out loud, people feel less alone in any fears they may have surrounding relationships with others and with themselves.
What else has been inspiring you lately?
The Wren: Lately, I've been really inspired by nature and how it can better inform my songwriting and the overall vibe of my music. I love going for nature walks and paying attention to the birds and the trees, and allowing the fresh air to clear my mind for inspiration to enter in. Classic poetry and paintings centered around nature have had me feeling excited about what I can create in the future. I'm excited to bring a more nature-inspired complexity to my songwriting in my upcoming releases.
What's your songwriting process?
The Wren: I am constantly writing phrases that come to mind in my notes app on my phone. Most of the time, I'm shouting at Siri while I'm driving to write down random thoughts that come to mind. When it's time to put a song together, I will get my guitar and get a progression going that I like before picking phrases and playing with melody. From there, I'll use some of the phrases I've written down as a jumping-off point and build around them.
What's been the biggest challenge for you in your career?
The Wren: I think the biggest challenge so far has just been getting started and putting myself out of my comfort zone. I grew up performing but spent a few years away from the stage due to the pandemic. When I went to my first open mic in 2022, it was my first time back on stage in about 2 1/2 years and my first time performing as The Wren. I was really scared, but I pushed myself and I did it, mistakes and all, and it was just what I needed to rip the bandaid off and get back in the game. I'm really proud of myself for taking that first step as The Wren.
What keeps you motivated?
The Wren: I think that the people in my life motivate me more than they probably realize. Being an artist can often times be a very insular experience, and so having a community where I can create or spend time with people I love always resets my brain and gives me new ideas. Encouraging words from friends of mine who understand what it is to be a creative person mean the world to me. I have so many wonderful, talented friends who uplift me. I am so grateful to have them in my corner and to be in theirs.
What artist has been on rotation for you lately?
The Wren: Lately, Noah Kahan has been in heavy rotation. I've been listening to Stick Season and nothing else for a week straight- I tend to listen to whatever I'm obsessed with until the wheels fall off. I am late to the album, but honestly, I think I decided to dive into it at the perfect moment in my life. I am so captivated by his storytelling and his voice that goes from this super accessible, almost conversational quality to a soaring belt to a clean falsetto. "Come Over," "Orange Juice," and "Strawberry Wine" are favorites. I feel really inspired to up my game after hearing his work.
What's your best piece of advice for young women?
The Wren: I spent a lot of my younger years dealing with depression and believing negative ideas about myself that simply were not true. I would tell young women not to waste time comparing themselves to others or looking for validation in things that are not meant for them. Focus on the dream in your heart and find a community of people who share the same passion. The sooner you can connect with people who understand you, the sooner you will find fulfillment, inspiration, and a deeper love for yourself and others. Don't let fear and your insecurities dictate your journey. Push through, do it afraid, and you'll discover that you are truly so brave!