Track Premiere: Figure Eight – “Any Given Flower”
Posted: by The Editor
Long Island based indie rock outfit Figure Eight are set to release their freshman LP, Any Given Flower, on May 24. We are pleased to premiere their newest single, under the same moniker (“Any Given Flower”). Frontman Ryan Meyers explained that the track is:
“a song that deals with the bleeding pain of being lonely at such a young age, especially while everyone you know is away at college and having these experiences that make you grow and find out new things about who you are that you might have not known otherwise, and all the while you’re just sad in your basement.”
Figure Eight can easily be described as a fresh breath of air at a dingy house show. Washed in grungy, 90’s nostalgic tones, poppy riffs, and vulnerable lyrics, they are a unique crossover of emo and alternative rock. Crafting their sound over the last three years with the release of multiple EP’s, they are finally ready to take a major plunge with the release of their first full length later this month.
We spoke to Meyers about his songwriting process, what it’s like to have touring take the place of the typical college experience, and more. Stream “Any Given Flower” while you read along below.
You shared that “Any Given Flower” is about loneliness especially when friends are away at college, do you feel like you missed out on a college experience?
Hell yeah *laughs*. I only went away to college for one year, and I didnt even really fit in too much while I was there anyway. But it was really hard to see all my friends living (what seemed to be through the power of social media) such cool and fun lives while away at school. Meanwhile, I’m at home in my parents house and no one my age is around. I’m glad I, at least, got a little taste of it from being away at school for my first year, but as I’m getting older and out of the general “college age” I feel more content knowing it’s just something that’s not for me, and never was anyway.
Can you share some life skills you’ve learned from being in a band/touring?
I’d say from being in a band: how to communicate with different people from different places with different backgrounds, how to plan, and how to manage projects effectively. Touring has shown me that taking care of yourself, and having a schedule is super important on the road and in life. The infamous “to do list” is something you can’t neglect if you want to be productive, at least in my personal experience. Also health is wealth mother fuckers! *laughs*
Age old question, which is more important: street smarts or book smarts, and why.
I’d say street smarts because generally when I think of book smarts, it brings up thoughts of just being good at taking tests and effectively studying to ace a class. I wouldn’t say that’s necessarily useful in the real world. If you do all these assignments for classes and just try to optimize it for an “A”, that’s very different than actually taking in the information to learn from it. I know, it’s been said countless times before, but it’s just true. Street smarts I think can honestly get you further in some aspects of your life. But of course if you want to be a doctor, you need to do the whole college thing. Don’t get me wrong *laughs*.
A lot of your singles so far have discussed relationships in some capacity, would you consider yourself a hopeless romantic?
Ah, I mean, in my personal life maybe a little bit, but not all the songs are technically about romantic relationships. I don’t like to explain too much of my writing, but the general “you” in songwriting doesn’t always have to mean a romantic partner. It could be your mom, your dog, a friend, even a house or like an inanimate object. I know that’s obvious, but I think people are really quick to always jump to songs being about a relationship, and I think there’s more to life to write about! But people should also be able to relate songs to their own personal experience, and if a song makes them relate it to their romantic partner than that is perfectly fine. The songwriter’s meaning and the audience’s meaning can be different, that’s the beauty of it. After all, that’s one of the reasons why music is great, because it’s life affirming.
What is the hardest part about showing your vulnerability through music? Does putting a more rough sound on the concept make it easier, give it a new lens?
It’s not too hard when I’m alone writing the song and recording it by myself; but live I feel a bit anxious because I’m bearing my heart and soul in front of people in real time. It can sometimes get draining, as I’m sure any other musician will tell you. And sometimes I really don’t feel like playing such vulnerable songs in front of any audience. I’m a pretty socially anxious person too, so that doesn’t make it any easier; but that also is really dependant on my mood and most shows are very fun and rewarding. The rougher sound is just because I like that style of music and it’s something I connect with. Though whatever the song calls for, depending on the feel, for me personally, dictates if it’s going to sound more like a hardcore song or more like an Elliott Smith song.
What are some things you do when you feel lonely or stuck in your head?
Well that’s what I’m trying to work on at the moment *laughs*. Stepping out of my comfort zone to do new things and meet new people, really without fail, is such a rewarding thing. Actually asking an acquaintance you’ve never hung out with before to go get a coffee can lead to friendships and bonds you might not have known were there otherwise. Doing something that scares you everyday is another one of those self-helpy things that can help you get out of your head and feel empowered!
What is the songwriting process like for you?
Usually I’ll come up with a guitar part, melody, and lyrics all at the same time. Truly whatever I’m feeling in the moment will come out on the guitar and out of my mouth. It’s like the song writes itself, and that is the best feeling (also, where I find most of my better songs come from). It has that magic and mystery to songwriting that I love so much.
How do you envision playing full band/live shows when writing by yourself?
I don’t in the moment of writing. A lot of my songs start off as quiet singer-songwriter type things. The full band arrangements are usually an afterthought. For example, with our song “True Love”, that was first a quiet guitar and vocal song, and the afterthought was that it could sound cool and fun if I put loud guitars, drums, and upped the tempo a bit.
What are you most excited about for the release of the album? What else can fans expect that they may not have gotten from the singles so far?
I’m most excited for the music to just be out into the world already. It’s been a long while since anyone has heard anything new from us, and at that, we haven’t had much out in the first place. I’m excited to show that this band is capable of more things musically than what we have previously shown, as cliche as that is, it feels especially true for me right in the moment ! People can expect softer songs and lots of acoustic guitar. There’s a couple of songs that are kind of out of left-field for us (from the listener’s perspective at least) that I’m curious to see how people will react to.
Anything else you’d like to add or share?
Thank you for taking the time to talk with me and thank you to everyone for all the love and support of our music so far! Follow us on insta and listen to us on spotify! That’s all! Thanks!
1. Oyster Days
2. True Love
3. Any Given Flower
4. Soft Heart
5. A New Bite
6. Only You
7. Cold Feet
8. All Alone
9. Back Of Car
10. For Your Eyes Only
Emily Kitchin | @deathnap4cutie
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