Elegant and alluring, Malina Claire invites listeners into her darkest and most vulnerable mindsets, shining her musical light on highly personal concepts with which she hopes to connect with her audiences on a deeper level.
Her latest single ‘Window’ is a sparse, cinematic and emotional offering, offering an insight into the loneliness than can develop at a relationship’s end, and we’ve got your first listen to the track right here. Beginning with a simple piano part and Malina’s tender vocals the track gently surges to life with the help of rich synths and layered harmonies, reaching its peak at the three and a half minute mark. Accompanied by a nostalgic video, ‘Window’ is haunting in its simplicity and authenticity.
We caught up with Emily– aka Malina Claire – about this stunning new piece and the story behind it.
Congratulations on ‘Window’! It’s beautiful, but also very sad and personal. How do you make yourself so vulnerable to the public?
Thank you! I’m glad you like the song! Personability and vulnerability has always been a huge part of my presentation as an artist ever since I started my artist project. My first EP ‘Behind Closed Doors’ focused on my experience with domestic violence and the associated struggles I faced with that, but I learnt that as soon as I told my story about that, others would tell me there’s and suddenly neither of us where less alone. I try to carry that concept throughout all of my songs and everything that I do. ‘Window’ is a super isolating song in how it was written and in its production, so I want the song to be like a comfort blanket to those who have or are currently feeling the same way to have something to reference to see that others have felt that way too and feel less alone in their loneliness. I think sadness is important to share as so many of us haven’t been taught how to or don’t feel they have anyone they can open up to so if my songs can comfort someone and make them feel safer and a sense of ‘togetherness’ then I think I’ve done my job!
Tell me a bit about your songwriting process in general, and about the ‘Window’ journey in particular. Was it a quick write? A long time in the works?
Songwriting is a funny thing to talk about for me because I don’t necessarily have a process. I never sit down or schedule time to write as I find it difficult to write, at least when I’m writing for myself, unless I’m really feeling something at the time that I need to process. ‘Window’ was written as an extension of the third track from my EP ‘Scintilla’ and the ideas I had in that song. Namely, the lines: “You always turn from me when you sleep. I’ll let you take up as much space as you need. I just wish you’d look at me”.
That line in particular as well as what I’ve carried into ‘Window’ is about a time when I knew my partner at the time was about to leave me, and the main indicator was that whenever he’d sleep he wouldn’t touch me, he’d just turn the other way, like he wished he was anywhere else but with me.
I was listening to a lot of Montaigne at the time too, mostly her first EP, and was very inspired by ‘A Cinematic Plea For An End’ and ‘Life’. The latter was particularly poignant in the way that she was able to tell such an emotional story with only a few lines and through the way the song was produced and performed. So I took the core of the idea and surrounded the songwriting through ‘Window’ with just the one verse. I didn’t feel like I needed to say anything else to get the point or the emotion across. I’ve been carrying a lot of themes of homes through my music too – using homes as a theme of safety and the ‘Window’ as a metaphor for wanting to be out of that safety net for somebody else. I was experimenting with playing piano a lot at the time too. I don’t really know how to play, but was just experimenting with chords and melody and, from memory, it all came together very quickly, I guess I already had all these themes and concepts and feelings buried that were ready to surface. In terms of production though, I was sitting on this song for a very long time as it was never quite right and ready to be released.
Who are some of the other Gold Coast artists that are really doing it for you right now?
I’ve been a real big fan of Josh King lately and his 80’s still influenced style pop and heartbreak bops. Eleea’s latest track ‘Space’ has absolutely blown me away. Saint Barae is an all time fav. And Athena Joy’s new EP! Tesla Coils area forever favourite of mine too, I seriously can’t wait to see them live again! And Gary Collocott when has some great stuff coming out too! So many local acts around the coast that I listen to regularly!
What’s next in your musical journey?
I have a few more singles under my belt that I’d love to release and a few more that follow the themes of homes, safety and loneliness that I’m keen as a bean to get out there! I love playing with my band so I’m really excited to work more on my live show once live music goes back into full swing again! I have so much new music I’m so excited to release into the world!
Watch ‘Window’ below. Interview continues after video.
Do you need a personal experience to feel inspired, or can you write from imagination?
For me, songwriting has always been something that has to come from something I’m genuinely feeling or experiencing. I don’t like releasing something unless I feel it’s really supporting someone else or telling my story in a way that can help somebody else. If I’m writing with someone else, I can look at it from their standpoint and experiment with more techniques or explore other genres, but for me it’s always emotion first and everything else second.
Is there anything else you want people to know?
I guess in terms of what I’ve spoken about in this interview and what the songs are about, is that it’s never a bad thing to ask for help or talk about your struggles. It’s never a burden to share your pain, you never know who you might be helping or who needed to hear they weren’t alone. Also the Malina Claire merch on the Merch Desk is pretty neat!
Follow Malina on Facebook or Insta @mailaclairex for updates.