At just 18 years old, Mae Krell released their debut EP, Anabasis, last month. We were lucky enough to talk to them about their inspiration behind the EP, their creative process, and the growth they experienced through this release.
Why did you choose the title Anabasis for your debut EP?
The word Anabasis (in greek) means “to ascent”- which I thought was a perfect title for the collection of songs on this EP. I wanted my debut EP to be personal, raw, and honest, and if I had named it anything else, I don’t know how well I would have accomplished that goal.
What are some songs or artists that have inspired you throughout this process of releasing your debut EP?
There have definitely been some albums that i’ve had on repeat since the beginning of the release planning. Some of them are:
- What Do You Think About the Car? by Declan McKenna
- The Garden State Soundtrack
- Evil Friends by Portugal. The Man
- Long Way Down by Tom Odell
- The Uninvited EP by Mallrat
- I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning by Bright Eyes
What was your writing process behind these songs?
One thing that all of these songs have in common is the way they were written, actually, so it’s funny you asked that! All four of them were written in short, emotional moments. Lyrics, melody and chords written and finalized within an hour of being started. They’re all the type of songs that are written so quickly and hardly edited, so much so that you question the validity of them, if that makes sense.
A lot of your songs feel very personal, often touching upon fears and painful experiences. What’s it like to write about what you feel in a certain moment and then immortalize that feeling through music?
I think there is a comfort in writing about personal and painful experiences in a way that is my own and completely within my control. A lot of the experiences that I write about were out of my control at one point or another. Being able to solidify my feelings and express them in a permanent state, ex. a released, finalized song, is to immortalize that experience in a way that belongs to me. Which is very powerful- or at least has been for me.
The theme of growth was present throughout the EP. Why do you think growth is important?
Someone who I can always count on to give me good advice said that “The day we stop challenging ourselves is the day we stop progressing”- and I think that’s a great explanation and testament to personal growth. In my head, there is nothing worse than beginning to regress and not bounce back from that. Growth and change are everything.
How do you think New York has influenced you as a musician? What aspects of being in a big city are helpful and which are harmful?
Everyone I’ve met and worked with or played with is so talented in one way or another. I’ve loved having so many people who are so diverse and so talented in every way imaginable around me- it has constantly reminded me that I can do better, while still learning to believe that I am enough the way that I am. I think if I hadn’t grown up here, there is a possibility that i’d feel very differently, though.
What’s in store for the future of Mae Krell?
Oh man, more good things, I hope! A music video for “Monsters”, more shows, a summer tour, and hopefully more releases after that!