Spotlight Interview with Honey Child
Honey Child just released an album that bares more soul than anything you've heard in quite some time with gorgeously lush vocal performances that include a gospel influenced set of backing voices, a deepening and almost existential undertone, and a set of textures that can be joyous and haunting at the same time.
The Starving Hearts album is absolutely fantastic as it builds, sways, swells, and swims around you with a cinematic pop approach that turns into an almost rustic feel and the instrumentation is vast just as the songwriting itself is.
These songs have classic feels like songs written in the 60's but performed now.
You get flute, ukulele, guitars and more on this release and it all has this powerful voice that lays atop it to really give it that extra push.
The songs are genuine, and the aesthetic is absolutely nailed.
You can feel these songs in your bones. You can hear them from across the room, and they will take you to another time and place all together. Like a memory that only certain musical tones can bring back.
This was one of the most graceful albums in a long time and with the release of it, we wanted to talk about where it all came from with Honey Child.
Here's what happened.
RAG: Okay so let's start with the Starving Hearts album. This record has a great
cinematic and classic feel to it Where did this album come from?
I am a huge cinema nerd so you just made my ego a very happy one. ‘Starving
Hearts’ comes from a, seemingness, never ending battle with the emptiness that
I used to walk this planet with. I tried everything to fill it with all the things: food,
drugs, alcohol, cock, but these addictions only made that hole bigger. What I
found is that the only thing that fills that hole is figuring out who you are. Self
RAG: I'm hearing some great styles on this release. Who are some of your
biggest musical influences?
That is a very hard question to answer but for this album The Velvet
Underground, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Bach, Roberta Flack, Patsy Cline,
Roy Orbison, Leonard Cohen, Karen Dalton, Beethoven, Morricone, Harry
Nilsson, Alex North, Irving Berlin, Carol King, Sam Cooke, Wagner, The Kinks,
Maurice Jarre, Nina Simone, Michel Legrand, Heart, Margo Guryan, The
Roaches, and Wendy Carlos.
RAG: Who did you collaborate with for this? How did you find the band to
perform the songs?
I write all the songs and vocal arrangements but co-produced the sound on this
album with my dear friend Ethan Walter. The band performing is Ethan and I with
my merry kult sister wives and choir members of Honey Child: Aimee Jacobs
(Harmonium), Claire Boutelle (Percussion, glockenspiel), Cynthia Zitter (Flute),
Danielle Mandell (Aux percussion), and Dayna Richards (Flugelhorn, Guitar).
I feel so lucky to be in a band with such brilliant musicians that play delicious
alternative instruments. I try and let them arrange as much as their own
arrangements as this type A as fuck person can handle and am truly in music
nerd heaven, with this project.
RAG: So how did this all begin for you really? When did you fall in love with
My life as a musician began early. I have always lived in a house with a piano
and have always been a self taught “natural” at playing it. I guess I did have that
one piano lesson at the age of 7.
My great great grandmother, Mary Benson, was a virtuous concert pianist in
Northern Ireland, which is a pretty big deal since we all know that for a woman of
her time period (1800’s) to have achieved this title she must have been able to
play circles around her male peers. The fact that she honed this skill in a
domestic reality of probably having very little time to practice her skill and most
certainly never any alone time makes me realize how phenomenal she must
have been. (If you are interested in understanding this reality deeper read
Virgnia Woolf’s essay ‘A Room of Her Own’) Perhaps she is the reason that both
my brother and I play piano pretty decently and have only had a lesson?
Later in elementary school I had the flute gender forced upon me. (Thanks Mom!)
I hated that fucking instrument but unfortunately was good at it so continued with
it for a few years. I found my true love of music singing in choirs in school and
church —a side about the catholic church:do not get me started on why humans
bring their children to a place with murder literally all over the walls in beautiful
After high school I continued my Music studies at UCLA. I am/was a classical
musician and spent about ten years in the Opera world in die hard training to be
a Wagnerian Soprano.
It took a speed induced mental breakdown (Disclaimer that speed was never my
drug of choice. I was all about the opiates to dull my trauma and pain) and a
quick chat with the devil (true story that this atheist and non believer is proud to
tell) to rip me out of that old world and into a world where I created my own
music. I never wrote a song before that breakdown and I have not stopped since.
I loved opera and my classical training in music is used on the daily but writing
my own music is the most fulfilling thing I have been apart of on this planet.
Besides, now I write my own operas.
RAG: What's next for you as a band?
We are about to start recording our third album. Which I am tickled ‘pandemic
pink’ about!! This one will be delving deep into a dreamy landscape of
disassociation from reality and maladaptive daydreaming.
I will be producing and also engineering this one myself. One of the skills I picked
up, due to necessity, during the pandemic years was the ability to record at
home. I was lucky enough to have the resources to invest in my little home studio
and have begun recording other artist as well as my own stuff. I’m really digging
this new freedom.
RAG: What inspires you to write a song?
They just come. Sometimes when I am fiddling on the guitar or piano and chord
progression that gets me off will emerge. Other times a melody will appear first.
Sometime as a full instant download of an entire song, its lyrics, and its
arrangements. My process has turned in a pure flow that if I create the time it
fills itself in. I am convinced they write themselves and I am just their medium to
find their way into this world. I hope that doesn’t sound super douchey because it
is the absolute truth. But hey! Sometimes the truth is a little douchey.
RAG: What are you all doing when you're NOT working on music?
Hmmmmm!! My life and work are all music. If I am not working on my
own personal music I am teaching voice, piano, music theory,
songwriting, and/or producing and engineering my clients music. Or
I’m arranging vocals for other artists, or singing or composing for
commercials and film, Or contracting and conducting choirs, Or helping
people win oscars. Okay, so maybe I got to work with Daniel Kaluuya
and help him develop and protect the voice of Fred Hampton for ‘Judas
and the Black Messiah’.
When I am not doing that I am baking some ridiculously indulgent sweet creation
for my friends (since I don’t eat sugar of any kind), hosting movie nights, or a
gathering of some sort, or wandering up some beautiful place in Los Angeles,
with my head deep in her clouds.
RAG: Who are you all listening to right now?
Right now I am trying to get out of the world of listening to my playlists and actual
listen to full albums, again. The last album I listened to in entirety was the new
Perfume Genius album and it was wonderful!! I just listening to Cotton Jones’
‘Paranoid Cocoon’ which is a delicious find. I am about to go see William Basinki
at Ambient Church and have been indulging in his catalogue to get me ready for
his upcoming new album.
RAG: Are you doing live performances?
We have a show coming up July 31st at Zebulon in Los Angeles to celebrate the
second pressing of ‘Starving Hearts’ on “post pandemic pink” Vinyl thanks to our
beauteous label, In the queue Records.
And!! We will be joining our dear friends in one of my old favorite local bands
‘The Pity Party’ (Julie Edwards of Deap Vally and Marc Smollin) for a
performance at Desert Daze, which is going to be the fucking tops!!!!
RAG: This album seems like a big undertaking. What kind of advice might you
have for other up-and-coming bands out there?
RAG: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?
Thank you so much, now make art.