With his latest EP All That I Know out today, John Lowell Anderson takes us through his creative process and shares with us what inspired him to compose. Born in San Clemente, California, now based in Los Angeles, the independent singer and songwriter produced this three-track EP as “a form of healthy escapism”. Characterized by flowing melodies and vocals that convey a certain tranquility sitting with intense emotions, this album tries to illustrate a major reality shift the artist experienced.
“The EP centers around the moment when your reality takes a major shift. For me, it was a long term relationship suddenly coming to a close”, he explains. Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic still reverberating on our daily lives, John recalls a “self-induced pressure” to create and release music as fast as possible during the lockdown. However, after long walks and readjusting his goals, he focused on producing tracks that, somehow, tell us a story that is “both communal and vulnerable”. The result is All That I know, recorded with Grammy-nominated producer Tyler Chester and composed of songs that are both, oxymoronically, melancholic and hopeful.
First of all, please introduce yourself to our readers. Could you describe yourself and your music?
Sure thing, my name is John Lowell Anderson, I’m 26 years old, I live in East Los Angeles. I do this old music thing, and also produce and mix for other artists. In my free time, I like to walk and read. I started playing [guitar] at a young age, writing at a later one, and performing when I was around 18. At first, my music was just for me, but as I put more into it I saw that it could also be for others.
Your new EP, All That I Know, came out today. What or who inspired you to write and produce the three tracks on this EP?
The EP centers around the moment when your reality takes a major shift. For me, it was a long term relationship suddenly coming to a close. The first song, Four am, is a glimpse into a sort of dreamworld, my perceived reality before the shift. Chandeliers, track two, signifies the shift taking place. We tried to make that song sound a little more matter of fact, to resemble the shock and sort of paralysis that can occur with such a major change. And All That I Know, the final and title track signifies the realization that maybe in Four am (track one) I was in an individual dreamworld and not a shared reality. It also tries to illustrate how a foundational shift really effects everything, how you perceive the world around you and whatever beliefs you may have held.
As a folk singer and songwriter, what do you wish to convey to people who are listening to your music? How do you wish to impact your listeners?
I think the priority there is telling a story that is both communal and vulnerable.  Listening to music can sometimes feel like you have a good friend right next to you. It can also feel like a form of healthy escapism, being drawn into the artist’s world that they have painted that might offer the listener a new or familiar perspective. If I accomplish either of these, that’s a win and I can quit!
Your music reminds me a bit of Bon Iver's vibes and sounds. The flowing melodies and vocals of your EP convey certain a tranquility and strong emotions. Who do you look up to?
Wow, high praise thank you! Justin Vernon is one of my all-time favorite musicians. Phoebe Bridgers is another one.
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2020 has been a tough year and it has definitely impacted all of us. How has the Covid-19 crisis and the lockdown affected your creative process?
At first, I felt an immense pressure to just write and release as much music as possible, which has never seemed to be an effective strategy. Going on a lot of walks has been really beneficial to me, enabling me to take the songs as they come.
That takes me to my next question, what is the biggest challenge when composing new music?
Right, as mentioned above, just the overwhelming pressure. Not even imposed by a label of any kind since I’m independent, just the self-induced pressure. Eliminating that is probably 65% of the battle for me. Then, the work of making something I’m proud of still remains, but the hindrance of “potentials” being gone makes it more enjoyable and more effective.
If Covid-19 allows it this year, are you planning to take a tour around America or even Europe?
We’re hopeful for a West Coast US tour in the Fall, but as we know it all depends!
With you new EP out and a new year full of uncertainties due to the virus. What’s next for you? Could you tell us some of your plans or projects for this year?
I do have some more songs to share, following the EP release. The songs are exciting new ventures in collaborations with artists and vocalists I’m honored to know. Also, I have a good amount of songs ready for production, so all that’s left is to raise some money to get back into the studio.
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