It’s funny how you catch up with some interesting sounds on social media and just fall in love with it— AfterParty did that with me and just couldn’t help but chit chat with Austin Texas pop singer Ethan Lumus who is currently set to release his four track Sophomore EP Let’s Go Inside.
Hey, it was great stumbling on your page on instagram i pretty much loved the new music offering AFTER PARTY you are working on. The instrumentals and melody arrangement is sort of like moody-sweet and i was wondering—can you tell us more about your music after party?
So, “Afterparty” is the last song from my upcoming EP and short film, “Let’s Go Inside.” The song is about telling off someone that you used to really respect and love, but who eventually did you wrong. In the context of the EP and short film you’ll see that the song really captures the feeling of freedom and weightlessness. I think the key passage in the lyrics is “Now I’m 100 pounds / High above the clouds / Off to places you could never dream of seeing / And I don’t regret any of it”
Yeah you can sort of feel a taste of that in the beats…What inspired the theme and direction of the song?
I had actually worked with an early demo of the track for about a month and could never get it where I wanted it to be. Eventually I just got frustrated and made a second demo that’s almost identical to what you’ll hear when the EP comes out. It’s a lot more stripped back than I’d originally imagined, but I think the production had to create that space so that the lyrics could tell the story effectively. When I wrote the lyrics I had been feeling really let down and scammed by a business partner of mine and really let out those feelings out in the song. It was cathartic.
Oh wow…getting scammed really leaves a scar on you. Can you tell us more about that though—i mean the whole feeling of getting scammed by your business partner, how did that come about?
I’d rather just let my music do the talking. Everything that I’m willing to divulge about the situation will be open for interpretation on 27 July when the EP is released.
Ok sounds like a plan, so vein…i kind of think is also a pretty cool song in the making. Can you tell us more about it?
Yeah, so “Veins” was written back in 2013 when I had just moved out on my own. Right before I moved out of my parents house I went through my first big heartbreak and the pain of that really consumed me for a while. I found a lot of solace in living out on my own and that time really shaped me. I had so much quietness in which I could explore that heartbreak and who I wanted to be as an individual. “Veins” was really a by product of me exploring the lows of that heartbreak. I released a demo on SoundCloud in 2014 and gave it an official release back in March. Since then it seems to have really resonated with people, which I love.
Oh wow, you’d never really guess that was the direction of the song though on listening to it…i was thinking it was more on the he-she love thing. So i guess it’s from a different head space from that of Afterparty right?
Yes, very. They were written almost 5 years apart.
Ok, Vein that was a track of Moments of your love. Right?
Yes, that’s right.
Ok, wondering though…is Moments Of Your Love an EP too or more of an album?
“Moments of Your Love” is an EP for sure. To be completely honest it was thrown together pretty quickly so that I could have music available to stream before SXSW. The songs had been written over the course of my late high school and early college years, but production didn’t start until January of this year (except for Veins, that was done in 2014). I wrote, produced, recorded, mixed and mastered everything on that project by myself. Looking back, I wish I would have brought someone in to mix and master with me, but regardless I’m proud of those songs and the whole process taught me so much of what I needed to learn to make this new EP, “Let’s Go Inside.”
Ok, So how many tracks are on the Moment Of Your Love EP?
Five: Betrayal, 6’7”, Veins, Over You and Moments of Your Love (the title track). That EP is actually pretty sad in terms of the lyrics. I really took that into consideration when making “Let’s Go Inside” as well. I wanted this new EP to be more dimensional and tell more of a story from beginning to end. When I listen to “Moments of Your Love” it makes me feel really down, but when I listen to “Let’s Go Inside” it makes me feel empowered and free. I guess it’s really a reflection of where I was in my life when I made each project.
True true, music is suppose to either relate your current state of mind or pinpoint around something that is totally related and receptive to a larger audience. Was literally thinking on dropping a question next on your upcoming EP Let’s Go Inside, but you beat me to it. I will definitely come back to that—You earlier mentioned you recorded songs back in high school, i would like to know though if that’s how your drive into music began or if it goes way way back?
I did start writing and producing music in high school, but I started writing poetry first. I started playing piano when I was 4, so when I started to write poetry at 12, it just seemed like combining those two things would be the natural thing to do. I’m not saying that poetry and lyrics are the same thing by any means: my college professors would lose it if I didn’t clarify that. But, they do have things in common and I caught the story-telling bug. In terms of my own stuff, I think I wrote my first song when I was 14 or 15.
Ok, So when you say my college professors would lose it if i didn’t clarify that…it got me sort of thinking—did you major in music?
No, I majored in English with a focus in Creative Writing. I graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 2016. I often wish I had majored in music engineering/production, though!
I think creative writing got you a little close to it though. So how far out does your creative writing stretch—I guess it’s not just for only music notes, lyrics or wordplays though?
I mostly worked with literary fiction and poetry in college, but I don’t write in that capacity anymore. I’m really focused on my musical work.
Ok, So where you originally from…Austin Texas?
I was born in Houston, TX but moved to Austin in 2014.
Ok, did any of that Houston-Austin effect inspire or influence your drive into music though?
I wouldn’t say either city in particular had a massive influence on what I’m doing musically. Austin is known as the live music capital of the world but it’s not really a friendly place for the pop music that I make. There are some great venues who book pop acts, though and I love performing at those places.
I totally get that, i mean its sort of heavily saturated with country music or rock…so how do you see the music scene around Austin though? And how would you gauge your current success so far within the Austin music scene?
It’s difficult to get booked at a lot of venues here if i’m being honest. With that being said, I’m just doing everything I can to promote and market my music on streaming services and instagram. That’s where my listeners are engaging with me so I want to be there to engage with them.
Ok, You mentioned SXSW earlier…what’s the plan though—i mean have you already got to be on the performing act list or you positioning your music into constant rotation and streams ahead of the next festival?
Yeah, I definitely want to focus on getting my music heard by as many ears as possible right now and if that leads to an official SXSW badge next year, then cool! If not, I’m still going to make music and try to have it heard by others.
Ok, So we were talking about your upcoming EP Let’s Go Inside…can you tell me more about it?
I’d love to! There are four songs: Keep You Around, Soft Light, Sex and Afterparty. I also made a short film to accompany the EP that contains the same songs in the same order. It’s out 27 July and it is a really confident and self-assured collection of songs. For the first time in the writing process I felt comfortable airing out some insecurities and emotions that I’d never put down to paper before. The more I write the more I realize that emotions/feelings are so specific and unique. Like, parsing through the difference between having a crush on someone and being infatuated with them. Or the difference between being happy because you’re fulfilled in your relationship versus being happy because you just treated yourself to a nice dinner. Exploring the space in between those things was really where the writing process started for “Let’s Go Inside” and when you listen to it I think you can hear that exploration in the lyrics and production.
Ok, and i do think music has that effect of stripping you to being vulnerable with your feelings (which i think makes it even more relatable)…when you caught up in the creative process, the right emotions and instrumental, you tend to pen down words you normally won’t express. Can you tell me more about Keep You Around? If i’d to guess, i would say it has that sort of He-She love theme (going by the name) would i be right?
It’s about having someone in your life that you have feelings for, but you don’t want to ruin the dynamic of your friendship, or your “fun only” relationship with them. I think we’ve all been in a place where we weren’t sure if it was safe to tell someone how we felt about them. So then there’s this conflict of wanting to tell them how you feel versus just not saying anything and keeping that person around. Before I was out in high school I experienced this a lot, when I didn’t want to blatantly out myself to someone but really, really liked them and wanted to say something or even just be able to ask them out on a date. There’s so much giddy-love drunk anxiety involved and I think the song really explores all of that.
Ok, i can totally relate. I do feel like Soft Light is more on the sensual side though—Yes?
It can come across that way, yes. It’s really about that time in the beginning of a relationship where everything is almost perfect. The song navigates through the little details of spending the day with someone you’re excited about being with.
Ok, my guess was more on the steamy-pillow flying sort of thought lol—Is the single SEX more on that line of thoughts though?
Oh yes. Sex is where all of that gets let out. It is the lead single from “Let’s Go Inside” and it’s been streamed almost 1,200 times already since it was released the 22nd of last month. I’m glad people are responding well to it as a single.
Ok, you did tell me a lil bit about AfterParty earlier on…i had like if you could talk more on that though?
I think it’s just a great way to end the EP. It makes a lot more sense structurally in the context of the short film, but the song feels very triumphant to me. It’s a little mean, but I think everyone can relate to being so pissed that you want to get back at the person who pissed you off. But it’s about finding freedom from that place and I think the statement that it’s okay to move on from someone who screwed you over is the big take away from that song.
Ok, when you say short film does it come off as a visual album well in this case visual EP?
Yeah, essentially. The visual will just be available to watch on youtube, though. The music will be on all streaming platforms though.
Ok, you earlier mentioned you like to engage your fans on instagram—can you spell out the link so our readers can get to connect with you on there?
Absolutely! Here you go: instagram.com/ethanlumus.
You got a website too right (just kidding i know you do)…can you spell out your website url for our readers also?
Yes, it’s ethanlumus.com.
Ok, where can people catch up with you performing live on stage in Austin Texas?
I most often perform at Carousel Lounge. It’s a quirky and comfortable venue on E 52nd St.
Thanks for the chat—is there anything you would like to add though before we call it a wrap?
Not that I can think of! Thank you very much for your time!
Be on the look out for Let’s Go Inside EP scheduled for release on July 27 and do share with us your thoughts on the songs on our comment boxes below