Student Allie Schulz finds her voice with self-produced ‘Flash Fiction’ EP
Allie Schulz found her strength in her sweet sound.
After gaining early musical experience through musical theatre, the fourth-year ethnomusicology student said her extended play, “Flash Fiction,” released Friday on Bandcamp, this is the first time she has released self-produced music. Schulz said she had previously released songs under the name LAE, but would ask other musicians to produce her music. But she realized how overproduced her LAE projects were, she said she decided to take her music into her own hands.
“I said, ‘I don’t care how long it takes. I’m going to learn how to produce my own stuff and I’m going to write the next chapter of my music for myself without interfering with vocals,” Schulz said.
Growing up, Schulz said she lived in a musical family, joining choirs and playing the piano in Nashville. She says she frequently made up her melodies on bicycle rides and harmonized with her mother as she sang around the house. His Her mother’s former acting career in New York motivated Schulz to relocate and perform on Broadway, but she said she decided to go to Los Angeles and release her own songs after settling down. exhausted with musical theatre.
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Following the LAE project, Schulz said his decision to release songs under his own name reflects an intention to begin focusing his personal thoughts on his music. She said the EP is more meditative than LAE, inspired by folk artists such as Joni Mitchell and Suzanne Vega. Some of her most recent songs, for example, unveil what it means to have a child and the implications of motherhood on creative freedom, she said. The purpose of the record’s title “Flash Fiction,” a term Schulz says he learned in a poetry class at UCLA, is to show how each song functions as a briefly lived but complete story.
Being behind the production board for the first time, Schulz said she saw the creation of the EP as an opportunity for her to understand her style as a producer. While recording vocals, she said she became more confident about the natural qualities of her voice, such as her tendency to scoop – or drag the pitch of a melody – like a country singer. The EP was also an opportunity to push her sound in a softer direction from the brash music of LAE, she said, drawing inspiration from ’90s artists such as Portishead and Sade.
“To escalate how powerful production can be as part of storytelling and ambiance – it’s been fun, mostly challenging…but then really rewarding,” Schulz said.
Like her husband and co-producer, Alex Lemire Pasternak said he was not surprised by Schulz’s decision to start producing his own work. The pair have previously produced music together for their yoga classes and their collaborative project Florecer, he said. For “Flash Fiction”, in particular, Pasternak said Schulz created his own demos, recording the melody with guitar and piano before adding other instruments like bass.
While conceiving the EP, which began two years ago with Schulz songwriting, she said her husband introduced her to Balearic beat music, a subgenre of music electronic dance which later influenced the relaxing atmosphere of his songs. As the project developed, however, Pasternak said what makes Schulz’s music distinct is his eclectic mix of sounds. With Schulz’s diverse musical history, he said she seems to draw inspiration from theater and country music for her sense of melody, while her production draws from their shared experience of ambient music.
“She reaches all of her musical horizons from different textures and timbres without being too derivative of a specific style,” Pasternak said. “(It’s) a good amalgamation of his past.”
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Acting as a marketing consultant for the singer, Lauren Park said she appreciates the chameleonic qualities of Schulz’s music. In determining the artwork for singles such as “Water’s Rising”, Park said she discussed the songs’ personal meaning with Schulz to figure out how to reflect those qualities visually. Schulz then collaborated with other designers and researched past photos in search of unique artwork, Park said, because she wanted to reflect the light and airy feel of listening to the songs.
With “Flash Fiction,” Schulz said she hopes her songs will put listeners in a happy mood, like they’re taking a road trip. One of the main goals of creating the EP was to create a space where any listener, especially women, can be empowered by their tenderness and desires, she said. While her past has been defined by the work of other producers and co-writers, Schulz said these songs mark a time when she is finally able to express her thoughts and judgments.
“In the past, I was so scared to give these things a voice,” Schulz said. “Now it’s like I can feel them, and it doesn’t have to be anyone else’s set of approved feelings.”