ALITA is an artist and songwriter based in Seattle, Washington and she recently released a new single titled “Too Close“, but I will get to that a little bit later, as ALITA sat down with Eat This Music to speak on where she is in life at the moment, how isolation is treating her, what her new single is all about and more!
ALITA is an artist that writes conversational alternative-pop music, where she tries to make it feel like she is sitting right there in the room with the listener, swapping stories and hanging out.
“I’ve been studying, performing, and writing music most of my life, but have been more heavily pursuing it as a career these last 3 years.”
“I have 3 songs out right now – “If I Have To”, “Human Nature”, and the latest, “Too Close”,” ALITA tells Eat This Music. Outside of her music, she loves [cute] animals (in fact, she has three dogs – one named Ziggy featured in the video below), reading, hanging out with friends and family, and gardening. At the moment it is a huge privilege to get to chase her dream of being a musician.
At the moment, just like a lot of other musicians, ALITA is trying her best to find ways of staying busy, telling Eat This Music how it is “grateful that I can comfortably stay home right now”, whereas some days are harder than others, but her overall feeling in all this is one of gratitude.
“Thank you! It feels great,” ALITA enthusiastically expresses to Eat This Music on the release of her latest single. ALITA wrote “Too Close” in the early parts of 2019, and it has lived many lives since then. “When you go through a heartbreak, write a song about it, and then sit on it for a long time, there’s a special feeling in getting to let it all out into the world”, ALITA reveals.
“It feels like a book-end, a closed chapter and it’s been awesome hearing people’s feedback on it. I’m happy!”
“Too Close” was inspired by a breakup ALITA went through last year. “One of my 2019 New Year’s resolutions was to start dating again, to make time for it,” ALITA tells Eat This Music. And in fact, ALITA has started putting together a new video series on her YouTube channel called “ALITA’s Song & Story“, which you can find below. In episode one ALITA covers her the single, going into detail about personal reflections.
Speaking to Eat This Music on the single though, ALITA explains that she had been so heads down on her day job and music that dating wasn’t a priority, so she recommitted to that part of her life. “I ended up meeting someone special, and we really hit it off,” ALITA expresses, however, over some time, it became clear the two of them wanted different things, and “”Too Close” was born from that anxiety-ridden, stomach-drop feeling you get when you realize someone isn’t a stranger to you anymore,” and “they carry weight and meaning and then letting them go stings,” ALITA adds.
Expanding on the above, the whole song is inspired by ALITA’s own life, explaining to Eat This Music: “but I wrote a lot of the initial demo from a writing exercise where I tried to think about the situation from his perspective.” So, essentially the song is a bit of a mix of telling it from ALITA’s very own vantage point while also trying to do some justice to what her partner’s view might have been at the time.
Making “Too Close” wasn’t an intentional, conscious decision initially, ALITA tells Eat This Music, because “it just came from that writing exercise and evolved from there”. Admittedly, “Too Close” is a song she kept coming back to because it felt good and it captured a sound ALITA had been chasing for a while. “Too Close” has a feel-good wind in your hair kind of energy, so there was a point where ALITA knew it would be a single.
ALITA and her team planned for an early May release at the beginning of 2020 and definitely didn’t expect COVID-19 to be everyone’s reality by the time the release of the single came around. “The lyrics have a whole new meaning now,” ALITA adds, as the lyrics are hinting a little bit at the importance of social distancing and quarantine. The month of May was initially chosen because it feels like a spring-time, early summer song, and May is that turning point into summer.
“When there’s a handful of songs completed and you’re trying to decide the order of release, sometimes the order changes. The next song that’s coming out feels a lot brighter and a lot like summertime, so it felt like it should come out after “Too Close”. We’re really excited for this next one!”
The creative process of “Too Close” started just as a writing exercise – as briefly touched on earlier and a demo that ALITA built out at her house, then ALITA took the idea into the studio with a producer named Bryan Lash. ALITA and Bryan cut the initial vocals, and sent it over to one of her constant collaborators, Jonny Keenan. Jonny liked the vibe a lot and added a bunch of production choices that changed the direction of the song. “He [Jonny] also suggested that I simplify the melody in the chorus,” ALITA continues, “which ended up really rounding out the sound.” After that, the hardest part of the song ALITA reveals to Eat This Music was just getting a mix that she really liked. “Matt Good ended up mixing it, and did a great job!”
“Too Close” “has an open, reverb, synth sound that feels like cruising down the 101 to me,” ALITA explains. That is somewhat the image ALITA couldn’t get out of her head, “so we went in that direction for the visualizer, as well,” ALITA adds. The song feels like the wind is blowing in your hair with the perfect temperature outside. It has a good energy to it. As for me, well, I enjoy the slow vibes, ALITA’s vocals, and the world building, “Too Close” is a beautiful song.
At the moment ALITA is balancing two main focuses right now: working on brand new music and planning for the mid-summer release. “I really can’t wait for that one’, ALITA expresses to Eat This Music. “It pushes my boundaries a little bit, which I think is a good thing, and it’s my team’s favorite. There’s a cool energy behind it and I’m very interested in what other people will think of it. Stay tuned!”
ALITA’s “Too Close” is now out through Palette Records.