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Tori Lucia Discusses Her New Single ‘Too Often’

Promise and Prose

Pensacola’s rising indie star Tori Lucia masterfully weaves struggle and introspection with gripping chords and an entrancing voice. Each of her songs swells with a unique energy. “king avis” bursts with devotion that boils over in its explosive closing moments. “Get To Be” fuses catchy guitar riffs and chirpy a capella segments with uncomfortable, delicate questions. Tori Lucia’s latest single, “Too Often,” brings a melancholic, vulnerable air to her folksy discography. She’s given Music Daily a deep dive into her process and latest ventures.

An Interview with Tori Lucia

How would you describe your sound, and who has helped inspire it?

I would describe my sound right now as folk pop, but I also don’t think I’ve completely settled into it yet. I have a hundred musicians I’d love to sound like and draw from, with middling success so far. I will say that recently, I have been consistently inspired by Adrianne Lenker and Big Thief’s music; I love their live sound, their use of folk instruments, and their balance between somewhat silly lyrics and images and really beautiful, universal themes. Growing up, I also listened to my parents’ favorite music, which included a lot of 2000’s indie soundtracks, so I definitely draw inspiration from artists like Belle and Sebastian and Elliott Smith. 

Could you describe your songwriting process and where your ideas come from?

My songwriting is primarily confessional, and as a result, often starts with lyrics. When I’m feeling something intensely, I get a little melodramatic and type down some thoughts into my notes app that could become a song later. Then, when I’m with my guitar, I’ll sit down and fiddle around with directions to take the lyrics and melodies to put underneath. I think also, a lot of my ideas come from things I read. A craft book I read for a poetry class I’m taking said that all writing is in conversation with other writing, and that really resonates with me. A lot of songs that I’ve written recently have started with me reading a line of prose or a poem that described how I felt so beautifully that I felt the need to sit down and take a crack at describing it myself, or adapting their description. 

What does “Too Often” represent to you and your journey as a musician?

I wrote “Too Often” after losing a close friend last year. It’s probably one of, if not the most vulnerable songs I’ve ever released, and the first song I’ve released as a solo artist in a while. I felt very naked putting it out and I experienced a lot of anxiety in the days leading up the release. But the response has been so overwhelmingly positive and really, really special. “Too Often” is already my most streamed song to date, and I’ve had so many people reach out to me, saying they’re sharing it with their friends or hearing about it from other people who don’t even really know me.

It’s been even more meaningful to hear from some of my closest friends, especially the people who understand what the song’s about, that it’s one of their favorite songs right now. It reminded me that I have a lot of people rooting for me and that my music can have a genuine impact on my listeners, which is all I could ever really ask for.

Tori Lucia performing live, photographed by Andrew Velasco

You’ve performed both in a band as a solo act – how are the dynamics different? How does it impact your process?

The dynamics are very different. A lot of musicians say being in a band is like being in a relationship with 4 or so other people, but to me, it’s more like a family. Sometimes, you really don’t get along with your family. There’s a lot of tension in trying to balance schedules and responsibilities amongst a band and making sure everyone feels like their voice is heard when making decisions. But I think it’s all worth it, because the band dynamic brings a lot of color to songwriting.

In the Gritties, we had a lot of musicians (and I mean a lot, at times 6) from different musical backgrounds; 3 of us came from the hardcore scene and brought those influences to their personal work, 3 of us came from musical theater which I believe definitely influences my music, our keyboarder has an extensive knowledge of music theory, and everyone’s a really impressive musician in their own right. Even though in the band I was still the primary songwriter, everyone wrote their own parts and came up with things that I never would have thought of. Later on, too, we started writing a little more explicitly as a band; two songs in particular, “Good Friend’s Bed” and “Two Flies”, I wrote with my bandmates during practice.

I’m a little bit possessive so it can be hard for me to give up control over the lyrics of a song, especially when they’re personal, but it’s also nice to look at the lyrics more objectively and figure out the best way to communicate the sentiment of a song. Plus, I really love playing music with other people. There’s nothing better than getting to play live with friends.

How was your experience as an opener for Beabadoobee?

The Beabadoobee show was on April 19th and I remember, before that, I had become somewhat disillusioned with playing live in general and was thinking about taking a hiatus from my band to just work on solo stuff. As a band, we had only been playing once a month with roughly the same material and even though I thought we always put on a good show, I didn’t feel like we were pushing ourselves enough.

When I got the text about the opportunity to open for Beabadoobee, I knew we had to put together something really incredible; we’d never had a chance to play in front of so many people like that. I think it brought back a lot of creativity to our rehearsal process. We created new arrangements, introduced onstage vocal harmonies, and practiced like crazy to make sure we’d be ready. The show itself was, to me, perfect. There were obviously miscommunications throughout the day and little issues but the crowd was so generous to us and I felt truly content with our performance. 

A Bright Future

The time Music Daily spent with Tori Lucia shows how all her songs hold something special to discover. “Too Often” continues the trend, packaging grief into an entrancing and chilling experience for artist and audience alike. Keep an eye and an ear out for Tori Lucia. Her powerful sound is sure to bring her to dazzling heights.

For information about all the latest artists and their releases, check out Music Daily for more.

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