Photo Credit: winded
Florida is known for lots of things-Disney, beaches, oranges, where old people tend to retire and gators, but one of the other things that you should also know about is winded, the musical project of singer-songwriter Thrin Vianale. The Tallahassee-based artist released the new album Schwartz Goes To Heaven this past Friday via Community Records and is the younger sibling to the 2017 release see you in hell, schwartz. The record wraps itself around you with its dreamy arrangements and raw lyrics. Vinale conveys a weary, but hopeful sentiment throughout each song and makes valiant strides to move along. There’s a level of self-awareness and an earnest attitude that is intertwined in the album that makes it so resonating.
Thrin spoke to us about her inspirations and creating the album, touring with Cherry Blossom and what’s coming up next.
SB: Hey Thrin, how are you feeling about the album finally being out now?
TV: I’m feeling INCREDIBLE! It’s surreal that it’s all happening after so much preparation and anticipation. I almost cried when I got the tapes in the mail from Community. It’s just wild seeing something I care about so much come to fruition, and to have the support of Greg and D-Ray and everyone involved. Gah. My heart is exploding.
SB: That’s so great! Community Records are awesome, they’re one of our favorite labels. When you began writing the record, did you have a main message that you wanted to build around or a specific nerve that you hope strikes with people when they soak in the album?
TV: I don’t know if the album has a thesis statement per say, but many of the songs embody the themes of learning self-love and standing up for myself. I had a lot of experiences that involved intense breaches of trust and safety in the past couple years since becoming a semi-“adult” that inspired most of the songs on this record. I also used a lot of the songs to describe the experience of feeling powerless following trauma. It sometimes felt like I had to change my entire self in order to deserve respect and love in the past, or like I was never good enough to expect those things in the first place. That’s some of what this record is about.
SB: I definitely get what you mean. While recording, were there any songs off the album that were hard to nail down just right?
TV: I definitely struggled the most playing the drums on “Soap Dust”. I have serious respect for drummers and what they do. My legs and arms cannot compute that whole moving at the same time in different rhythms thing. I’m really not a great drummer but I wanted to record the entire album really badly. I think I had to literally close my eyes and concentrate as hard as humanly possible to not get off time on that song. David (who recorded the album) and I also had to get crafty with a bunch of pedals for that track because the distorted guitars weren’t quite right after the first recording session.
SB: Oh I’m so in the same boat, I can’t simultaneously move like that. That’s a hard thing to tackle to record all of the arrangements yourself, but you did an awesome job! Were there any artists or tracks that inspired certain aspects of the record?
TV: Definitely! I was listening to Blue Smiley’s album “return” and Pile’s “A Hairshirt of Purpose” at the time, as well as the discography of Jenny Hval, whose vocal writing is some of my favorite in the entire world. I love the layered guitars that Pile incorporates and Blue Smiley’s chorus tone so so much. I don’t know if I could ever come close to sounding as fantastic as those bands/ artists but they definitely have influenced my recording style and approach.
SB: Nice! While listening to the album, I thought it had a real ethereal, honest feel throughout. The album felt like it was one of self-realization and transparency, were those feelings that you wanted to instill?
TV: Wow! Yes, that’s definitely true. Being transparent and pretty straightforward is how I try to approach songwriting, especially lyrically. I feel like I connect most to other bands whose messages seem less buried or abstract and more like actual statements of experience. I felt that I was carrying the weight of a lot of the things I’d experienced prior to recording this album and I wanted to try to open up and articulate them.
SB: Yeah, I feel the same and songwriting that is a real narrative is the best. One of our favorites from the record is “I Know It’s Thin”, could you tell us a little more about that song?
TV: I wrote “I Know It’s Thin” in the aftermath of surviving an abusive relationship. The lyrics I think speak to that state of mind and that narrative. It’s hard to go into specifics, but I used that song to try to work through the guilt and fear I had of not standing up for myself in that relationship. I put aside a lot of terrible behavior to get through that period of my life and writing this track gave me a space to express that. The idea of something being “thin” essentially refers to my emotional capacity at the time and in the aftermath, being worn thin mentally.
SB: That is such a smart parallel and that track does such a good job of representing that difficult mindset. You just wrapped up a run with Cherry Blossom, how did those shows go? Do you have a favorite stop from the tour
TV: Tour was absolutely a dream. I’m still pinching myself daily. I will say it was a rollercoaster of emotions but I’m already excited to get back on the road! Something about eating Veggie Straws for every meal and getting to spend time with my 3 favorite people in the world (aka my bandmates) is just an experience I can’t describe in words. I loved exploring all the cities we played in and I’d never been to most of them beforehand. Some of the highlights were definitely Philadelphia where we played a basement show with Will Henriksen and they are gutting a body of water. Their music slaps. Also playing Brooklyn at Gold Sounds was really exciting. Our friend John Ross sang with us on the song he recorded vocals for on the record which was wonderful to hear in person. Getting to see Niagara Falls on the way back down south was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done! I also had Cookout for the first time which feels like a life milestone. I think the whole tour was my favorite part!
SB: Both such awesome cities and I feel like touring is such a unique, crazy, great time for a band. I’ve had those Veggie Straws and Cookout before and they are both pretty addictive. So what’s on the docket for the rest of this year?
TV: We are going to be moving to Brooklyn together in August and start writing as a band for the next release! For this release, I had written all the songs prior to recording and recorded all the instruments myself, but moving forward I’m really excited to all collaborate as a group on creating the songs. Karl, Patrick, James, and Grayson are incredibly talented musicians and our chemistry together as friends and creatively is something I can’t wait to expand upon. Also, we’ll be playing FEST 17 in Gainesville this year, which I am so stoked to be a part of again!
Take a listen to Schwartz Goes To Heaven below and follow winded here