Music Premiere: Floyd releases new single “Shadow Self (The Best That I Can)”

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Photo by Renee Jahnke

We’re pleased to premiere the new single from Shadow Self (The Best That I Can)” from San Francisco-based alternative artist Floyd.

This song came to me in pieces over a few years; I wrote the hook first, and every time I played it, I felt this sadness, this melancholy – it was a sense of longing, but I didn’t know why. 

With two decades of music and performance experience, Floyd has played at popular venues and events, such as San Francisco’s Red Devil Lounge, Hotel Utah and the first ever ROCKRGRL Music Conference in Seattle.

Tell us about your new single, “Shadow Self (The Best That I Can),” and the inspiration behind it.

This song came to me in pieces over a few years; I wrote the hook first, and every time I played it, I felt this sadness, this melancholy – it was a sense of longing, but I didn’t know why.  As I sat with the music, a story started to emerge, partly based on my life and the lives of all of us that have experienced love and mistakes, and the fallout from trying to follow your truth while also caring for someone else.

What was the songwriting and recording process?

I always believed in this song.  So much so that I had recorded it a couple of times, but it wasn’t quite right.  When it was time to record this next round of material, I took it to my producers to see what they could do with it – and they nailed it.  Given Covid, we did most of the tracking in a virtual environment, with the exception of the vocals.

Who were some of your early musical influences?

Early on, it was mainstream pop and R&B, like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston.  At adolescence, when I started playing guitar, I got really into bands, like REM, U2, Weezer, Death Cab for Cutie, Sonic Youth – anything that made me feel raw and alive.  Being from Olympia, I also really got into Sleater-Kinney and the scene happening at that time.

What are you listening to today?

I listen to just about everything now; I’m so appreciative of talent and creativity that I love to hear all the different genres and styles.  Right now, I’m really enjoying John Mayer and Justin Bieber’s latest records, Jordan Davis (country), The 1975, and classics like the Foo Fighters.

When did you start playing guitar, and what gear are you currently using?

I started playing guitar when I was 17; up until then, I had to use accompaniment tapes when I wanted to perform, and if I was going to do original songs, I had to either sing a cappella or rope my (usually male) friends into playing with me.  It was just easier to learn how to play.  I have a Taylor, Martin, and an old Takamine (acoustic guitars) and a Rickenbacker and Gretsch electric.  Right now, I’ve been spending a lot of time on my Gretsch Streamliner.

What do you hope your fans/listeners take away with them when they listen to your music?

Nothing means more to me than when someone tells me how much they connected with one of my songs.  That’s all I want – to know that one of my songs made someone feel something or that they somehow felt validated within their own experience. There’s no bigger compliment.

You played at the first-ever ROCKRGRL Music Conference in Seattle! I actually attended the final ROCKRGRL Music Conference in Austin. Carla DeSantis-Black was a trailblazer! Share with us your experience at the conference.

Yes – it was amazing.  I was early in my career and had sent off my first EP, which was a small collection of acoustic songs.  I was thrilled when I got the news that I was selected play!  I was already in the Bay Area, so I flew back to Seattle, and I remember just being mesmerized by all the opportunities, female musicians, and the incredible energy at the conference.  This industry is so dominated by men, that having all the women together in one place felt groundbreaking and so supportive.  There was a ton of great advice, and I met a lot of people. It was a terrific experience.

With the release of “Shadow Self (The Best That I Can),” might we expect an EP or album in the near future?

Yes – I’m currently in the studio working on another four tracks; I can’t decide if I will release them as singles or release them together as an EP, but recording and releasing music is certainly one of my favorite things to do…so it won’t be too long before I release something new.  It’s one of the great pleasures of my life.

Connect with Floyd

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