Location Scouting With Drive-In

emilytreadgold #2, Features

Drive-In’s new EP, “Location Scouting,” is a beautiful collection of songs inspired by different places that add up to a coming-of-age story. The details in her songs really play up her ability to tell a story, keeping it specific to her but universally relevant. The angstiness of the production just adds to that feeling. We talked to her about the meaning behind the music.

How did you get started in music?

Drive-In: I've always wanted to do it; when I was a kid, I either wanted to be a journalist or a musician and now I'm kind of both. When I was a kid, I was always singing. I had this moment where I realized I could sing. I was at church; I went to catholic school. One day, I was at mass, and we were singing a hymn, and the skid in front of me turned around like, "Woah," and I was like, "What?" And he said, "You sound so pretty." I didn't think about it until I got home, and I figured out I really loved it. I went on to study voice in college, and then I took some time off when I moved to New York. I hate that I didn't do more when I was in my early twenties in New York because I felt like a lot was happening in the scene then, but I'm glad I took that time to figure out what I wanted to write about and what I wanted to sound like. Fast forward a few years, and now we're here.

This is cheesy, but tell me about the name "Location Scouting" and what that means to you.

Drive-In: With Drive-In, I like to think about life as one ongoing coming-of-age story. The coming-of-age story in the film revolves around young, late teens, and early twenties, but you're always coming of age. You're constantly evolving and transitioning and learning about yourself and the kind of person you want to be. I called it location scouting because there were several moments in my life where I had these life epiphanies, and a lot of them are in relation to past relationships, the relationship with myself, and the self-hatred I have brewing in my mind all the time. I just decided that all of them happened in very specific places; these places were where I had these very transformative experiences. 

I can't believe I didn't put together that these songs were places, but the first song, what place is that?

Drive-In: It's a train stop on the Long Island railroad; it's also a city. People think I'm from Long Island, but I just have a lot of very complicated moments out there. It's a weird liminal space when you go out there during the off-season; everything is empty. There's a quiet beauty to those environments. The first time I went out there, I was so far removed from everything I knew. 

Long Island in the off-season is where a lot of people have an existential crisis, I think I've had one there. 

Drive-In: I stayed there for three weeks because I just finished school and felt so depressed because I didn't know what to do with myself. On top of all of that, I struggled with how I felt about this person I was staying with. I just was going through it. The person I was staying with drove me back to the station, and I was ready to get on, and I was like, "Okay, bye, I love you," and the person was like, "Wait, what?" And they got on the train with me and said, "We need to sort this out; you love me?" I just started to cry because I mentally couldn't unpack that. I was just dealing with so much. Eventually, with some therapy, I started to write this song, and it poured out of me because I started to process a lot of things. I wrote this song almost as an apology like I did mean this, and I'm sorry.

Tell me the story behind "Oheka."

Drive-In: "Oheka" is about my current partner. It's kinda about the early stages of our relationship where I realized I was falling in love again and was ready to fall in love but was trying to figure out how to deal with my baggage, or as the song puts it, the "ghosts" of the past. 

Something I've loved about this EP is I feel like I'm in college, the emotions and the production feel very of that moment. It's angsty in a good way.

Drive-In: I just had so much stuff pent up that I needed to get it all out. If anything, maybe the most recent song in the lore is most likely "Atlas." I think that song I wrote six or seven months ago. It was the last song I put on the EP. Prior to that, I wrote "S4th and Wythe" in 2020. A lot was inspired by the lockdown and romances I had before I met my current partner. It's the backlog of my angst and dread. I'm almost 30, and a lot of these songs are about my early to mid-twenties. I just really wanted to echo where I was as a person. 

What is the thing you want people to take away from your music?

Drive-In: I think my main goal with my music is that I just want it to feel inclusive, like anyone of any age can listen to it. If someone is younger and maybe they listen to this song, they'll be like, "Oh, this is how that one elderly lady did it," then maybe this isn't useless. That's how she felt about it. I hope people find it and relate to it and look at it through the lens of an older cousin or sibling and find that I got through it, and maybe they relate to it, and they know they aren't alone in the experiences and struggles they went through. 

Keep up with Drive-In on Instagram and Spotify. 

Emily Treadgold

Facebook Facebook