Near the end of July, Lushloss aka Olive Jun released Asking/Bearing, a striking and beautiful record that leaves an immeasurable impression upon listening. It's a collection of songs so unlike anything else out there, evoking strong emotions and delivered like a most intimate conversation shared among friends. It's beautiful and we're honored to welcome Jun to the blog to answer a few of our questions.
The Grey Estates: At what point did you know that you would use these Skype conversations in your album? How long did you work on the album and how did your vision for it change if at all from when you first started?
Olive: Working on the complete album with both sides took about a year. “Asking” was initially written and recorded in a few weeks while “Bearing” was made over the course of a few years. At the time when I was writing “Asking” I wasn’t doing very well in my personal life. This led to a lot of my time being spent thinking about myself, my family, my decisions and the consequences of those decisions while also exploring why those things might have happened in the first place. I was talking to my mother a lot at that time and recording our conversations to have something I could hold onto in the future if I ever needed it. Being vulnerable with a Korean parent is hard. It was only when revisiting it later that I was able to build a narrative for “Asking” when I realized I could have the conversation speak for my family and I instead of specifically having to say it myself.
How have you personally changed and how have you changed as a musician as a result of this album? I know the material is presented in A sides and B sides, so do you think it also represents two different parts of your life?
I don’t think I’ve changed much personally. I still struggle with the same things I did before except now I have this document in the form of an album that acts as a way to organize a lot of my own thoughts and feelings into something that I can work off of, to better myself and my life. I loosely define both sides as parts of my life especially with when both sides were written but I really do like to think of both sides as one chronological narrative separate from my personal timeline of when both were written.
Were there areas outside music, like people or books, etc. that helped shape this record?
I was listening to a lot of podcasts at the time and that definitely inspired how I wanted “Asking” to turn out. Hearing other people’s stories definitely helped shape my own.
Is there a particular track on the album that really stands as a hallmark of what you wanted the album to represent or that you're really fond of?
“Amethyst” is a track that stands out mostly because it’s so explicit. Having to de-personalize yourself from things you had done and why you might had done those things is a really weird exercise in self-exploration but one I would recommend to anyone else.
Since so much of the material is very personal, was it hard to revisit these times and how does it feel to then share them with others? I also think that can be a really beautiful thing because perhaps someone will hear your music and find solace in it.
People have been telling me their own stories since listening to the album and it’s amazing to hear what lines resonate with them or what parts of the album reached out to them. It makes vulnerability worth it. I’ve felt really uncomfortable at times throughout this whole process but I’m learning how to deal. Objectifying yourself for people to look at is a strange feeling but it really does give you back this power that you may have never had when people have been objectifying you from a very young age.
Have you already started working on new material or what do you have planned for future music, if anything?
Right now I’m struggling more with getting my life together. I want to keep making music but it’s hard when you’re not able to for whatever reason. I hope to keep making music.