edited by courtney marie
Team Spiderweb is so thrilled to bring you our newest musical production from Shiny Sound Recording Studio, “Easy Tiger” by Denton-based creative, Naomi Kliewer! As the July recipient of our collective’s Songwriting Scholarship, Naomi was invited to the studio for a day of musical collaboration with Shiny/Spiderweb crew: Corbin Childs, Jacob Greenan, and Conor Wallace. (We also fed her ice cream and tried not to be too distracting.) Together, they recorded a gorgeous song that keeps getting stuck in our heads, and we’re not even a little mad about it.
To say that Naomi is JUST a musician would lead you terribly astray, because she is a beacon of creativity in many pockets of Denton’s creative scene. She can often be found singing and dancing and playing and creating with Spiderweb Salon, Glitterbomb (Denton’s best Queerlesque showcase going down every Thursday night at Andy’s!), Salty Lady Burlesque (you may recall the amazingness they brought to our birthday party a few weeks back) and Sundown Collaborative Theatre (check out their 7th annual Short Works Festival THIS WEEKEND!).
"Easy Tiger" is a magical, tender anthem to the self, and we’re terribly excited to share this song with you today. We asked Naomi to share with us a little bit about her creative background, her influences, and what’s in store for the future of her artistic endeavors, so listen and read on.
Tell us a little bit about your journey with music.
Music has always been a part of my life, but I really got serious about it in grade school. I was a marching and concert band nerd extraordinaire, and participated in the extra extra-curriculars like solo and ensemble and state band competitions. I began teaching myself guitar when I was about 16, playing the Banter open mic night, and eventually formed The Mothers with my classmate Adriana Valls (who is still doin’ cool things in the Denton music scene!). We recorded an album, played a lot of house shows between 2012-2014, and generally had a great time. We split paths and unfortunately, I lost the rights to all of the songs I had written, and my creative family. I’ve been on kind of a musical hiatus since then. I was recovering from a breakup of a seven-year-long creative relationship, while discovering a new love – burlesque. Early this year, I found some new inspiration and have re-visited music as a creative outlet.
When you knew you'd have a half-day at Shiny Sound to record this song, how did you feel about it?
I was nervous-excited! I “know how to play guitar”, but like, with the skill of Taylor Swift circa 2007. It was kind of a nerve-wracking experience to share a creative baby with such talented musicians, and not really know how to communicate what chords you even used! I spent a lot of time stressing about what I was going to record, and had a lot of half-songs, but “Easy Tiger” just felt right in the end.
What were your anticipations for recording?
I went in tabula rasa, as I was really excited to work in a more collaborative recording environment than I had previously. I had seen Conor and Corbin perform recently at a Sundown Collaborative Theater fundraiser, fell in love with their sound, so it was really overwhelming knowing that I could get to work with such talented musicians and learn from them.
What was the recording process like for you?
It was SO MUCH FUN! I love recording and layering and I honestly could’ve recorded all day! I would say, the highlight for me was getting to play the Omnichord, which is basically just an electronic cupid harp, and it's MAGIC! I was really nervous, but the whole process was really lovely. We used some unconventional instrumentation, and made a song that far surpassed my expectations. I walked in and mentioned I wanted a “Tennis-ey vibe,” and boy howdy did we get it, but I still feel the song is genuine to who I am as a person, which is kinda cheesy, kinda sweet, and easy-going.
Can you give us a little background about this song, “Easy Tiger”?
I have A LOT of anxiety, always, and as result can forget to enjoy the moment. I one time had a therapist that told me to be as empathetic for myself as I am for others, and the song is kind of me talking to myself about just fucking relaxing. I think it is important to have goals and be planning ahead, and I sometimes have a hard time focusing on the things I can do now to improve the quality of my life (like *actually enjoying it*). There is an Emily Dickinson poem that says “forever is composed of nows,” and I do my best to remember that, and I wanted to create a sonic vibe that encompasses the philosophy I am trying to incorporate into my life.
On another note, it's about throwing out that weird perfectionist-depression loop I get suck in. I forget that it's ok to have first, second, and even tenth drafts, and that I don’t have to get everything perfect on the first try. I have to actively shut off that voice that tells me that if it’s not perfect on the first try that it's no good. It can be REALLY HARD, but it’s so worth it.
Musically, it has a very different feel than I normally write. When I started writing, I wrote a lot of folk-rock sounding ballads, and during the course of The Mothers, they kind of morphed into funk and soul inspired songs- all of which I enjoyed. I think “Easy Tiger” is the first time I’ve been able to create a song that sounds like the music I enjoy listening to the most, which is kind of laid back and lazy.
What are your interests and passions outside of music?
Whelp, I’m very involved in the burlesque scene in Denton and DFW. I get to perform regularly on the Glitterbomb Denton stage, where I also produce and host. I am also on the production team for Salty Lady Burlesque, and an Assistant Producer for the Texas Queerlesque festival. I spend my free time dreaming up costumes, and making custom headpieces and flower crowns. I enjoy cooking and baking, scheming ways to create a craft-empire, and sleeping. I am pursuing a degree in communications at the moment, and am having a great time learning!
What or who are some of your influences as a musician/artist/writer?
Kimbra, Tennis, Mac DeMarco, Emily King, and Tame Impala are some of my favorite artists. I think as I pursue music in the future, I'd like to combine elements of psych-rock, lo-fi beach pop, and the vocal-jazz elements to create a unique sound.
What would you like to accomplish creatively in the coming year?
In the coming year, I’d like to perform in at least one burlesque festival, and also some out of state shows. I am really working on growing that part of my creative life. I also have aspirations to grow a business in costuming, whether it be headpieces, jewelry, or latex. Musically, I’m not gonna stress, but I definitely would love to be a part of more collaborations. I’m working on a zine with my best friend Kurt Van Zandt currently, and I am enjoying tapping back in to my visual arts experience, and would like to spend more time illustrating. Just collaborate more in general, I think!
Good stuff, right?! Share her song with all your friends, and stay tuned for more awesomeness monthly from Shiny Sound Recording Studio, and eventually a collective release of our entire Songwriting Scholarship project! But more on that later. Naomi says you can give her and her friends a follow at the following Instagram accounts: @TullaMooreBurlesque @GlitterbombDenton @SaltyLadyBurlesque @Texasqueerfest We can't wait to see what's next for this wonderful creative mind. Thank you for working with us, Naomi!
If you loved the concept of this project, YOU'RE IN LUCK! We got to wondering, why don’t we do this all the time, with many different musicians, to create a whole catalog of new songs and sounds? With that simple idea, Spiderweb Salon’s Songwriting Scholarship has been born! We’ll be working with Shiny Sound Recording Studios, a lineup of professional studio musicians, and a new musician every month to record an original piece of music to share with the world. If you’re looking to get involved, send along a submission, and if you just need an awesome place to record your next project, look no further than Shiny Sound.