Believe us when we say Luna Li’s debut album has been a long time coming. The Korean-Canadian multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, composer and producer (phew) has been not just working on, but recording the release since 2018, honing her lush take on guitar-pop into ‘Duality’. Announced this week with new single ‘Silver Into Rain’, a song about “longing to become a better self” that features beabadoobee no less, this is the start of something special.
Hi Luna Li, how’s it going? What are you up to today?
I’m good. Today I’m working on music in my home studio, doing yoga with my mom over Zoom, and watching a K-Drama tonight with my bassist Sabrina.
What first sparked your interest in music, did you grow up in a musical household?
I grew up in a very musical household, with my mom singing with me and my brothers every day from a young age, to eventually joining her partner in running a music school when we were a little older. I was singing from the time I could talk, and first asked my parents to take piano lessons when I was 5!
What was the music scene like in the area you grew up in?
There are a lot of different pockets of the music scene in Toronto. I was mostly involved with the garage rock youth scene as a teenager, going out with my friends to see shows every weekend at DIY venues.
Is being a musician living up to the hype so far?
The best parts of being a musician definitely live up to the hype, but there are so many difficult challenges to go through as a young artist (and especially a young woman) that don’t get talked about very much. It can be tough, but I’m really thankful I get to live this life.
How long have you been working on your album for, can you remember your starting point for it?
I’ve been working on this album for an incredibly long time – I started recording it with my producer Braden Sauder in the summer of 2018. It’s evolved a lot since then, taking different forms along the way, and I’m so happy with where it’s landed. It feels like a really full piece of art now. I can’t wait for everyone to be able to hear it so soon!
What do you most enjoy writing songs about? Are there any lyrical themes you find yourself drawn to?
I don’t usually plan ahead what I’m going to be writing about and just see what comes to me in the moment, or I base lyrics off of old poems or notes I have written on my phone. I find myself writing a lot about anxiety, self-doubt, and trying to find happiness while infusing some magical realism into the music.
Do songs find you, or do you usually have to find them?
I’d say a little bit of both. Sometimes I’m working on a song, and the perfect melody just comes to me, and it feels like it just writes itself. Other times it’s slower, and I really have to work on it, altering parts until it gets to the right place.
What would you most like to achieve during your music career?
I’d like to continually work with and uplift other women, especially other women of colour. And I’d also like to sell out a big tour! I can’t wait to play shows again.
What else are you working on right now?
I’m prepping for my album release, working on some visuals to accompany the release, and I’m always working on more jams and writing new music.
What do you do for fun?
I love to dance, hang out with friends, crochet, go to shows, work on learning Korean, and spend time in nature.
Who do you think is the most exciting band or musician around right now?
Some of my big inspirations for my album were Moses Sumney, Solange, Tame Impala, Mild High Club, Japanese Breakfast (who I got to tour with last fall – a dream come true) and Melody’s Echo Chamber. All incredible musicians and artists.
Tell us a secret about yourself?
I did ballet growing up, for 13 years! I don’t really dance anymore, but sometimes I go in for drop-in classes, and I love it.
Luna Li’s debut album ‘Duality’ is out 4th March.