Artist Interview: “Nor’easter” by Raising Daughters

Q: Hi there! I’m loving your beautiful voices and the emotional feeling that “Nor’easter” provides. What was your favorite part of creating this track?

JOSETTE: Thank you so much! Yes, this song definitely came out of an emotional and transitory moment in our lives. The development phases of Nor’easter were the highlight for us. This is our first-ever fully produced track, so we were developing both the sound of this song and our sound as artists along the way. 

HALLIE: We remember the first time our producer Jason plugged in some simple programmed drums and a little rhythm guitar for Nor’easter, and it blew us away. We had never heard our songs with any form of instrumentation outside of guitar. It totally expanded what we thought the song could be. After that, Jason followed our lead on where we wanted the sound to go and brought in other artists and collaborators. Hearing them jam and improvise to the song was very validating for us. Each artist picked up the sound and intention we had for Nor’easter so easily- it definitely made us feel seen. 

Q: I’m always fascinated with an artist’s journey. Do you remember who or what first got you into music? Were your families musical growing up?

HALLIE: My family always loved music. My mom played piano, and my dad started learning guitar later in life. My mom and dad were always playing music around the house. When they had friends over, they pushed the kitchen table back to make a dance floor. I started guitar lessons young and then abandoned that for a while to study theater. I didn’t pick music back up again until college. Toward the end of my college career, I studied playwriting, and almost all my plays involved music. Jo actually helped me build some songs in one of my earliest plays at a theater program we did together. I eventually began to write songs outside of plays. When Jo and I reunited through a job at a theater center a couple of years after our first collaboration- we began writing music together, and it just made sense- we were kind of on the same page from the beginning. 

JOSETTE: I grew up doing music here and there- I participated in choir and band in elementary and middle school – playing the flute. I didn’t pick up guitar lessons until middle school. I sorta lost connection with it in high school- I also was focused on theatre and acting until I dropped out of college in 2018. I started again by basically teaching myself. I would write songs occasionally but never focused on it as a true craft.

It wasn’t until Hallie and I reconnected that I really began honing in on songwriting. We spent the whole year working, writing songs and experimenting, and it really just made sense. There was no other person I could truly collaborate with in an untamed way like this. 

Q: What is the creative process like in making music with someone else, and how do you two come to creative agreements/deal with disagreements?

HALLIE: Most of our songs come from Josette exploring a pattern or chord progression on the guitar. She’ll typically bring that to me, and I find the words and melody. Sometimes I switch things around or change the structure, but more or less, I’m trying to capture the tone or feeling of what she’s brought to me. Of course, there are exceptions to that. Sometimes we write our own work and bring that to each other to shape. However, in the case of Nor’easter and most of our work- we typically divide the process between us.

JOSETTE: After Hal writes lyrics and has an idea for melody, we come back together and sort of sculpt the song- finding where the melody might shift and how the song builds and settles. When it comes to making creative decisions, we are usually in agreement with what we’re hearing. Of course, each of us has our strengths. Hallie tends to hear smaller details in songs- like finding places in recordings where the drums might be off or a small tick in the track. I find myself zooming out a bit more and looking at the song as a whole. 

HALLIE: Our disagreements don’t really come out in the creative process- typically, they come from running the “business” side of things. Everything is run by us– our booking, website, socials, etc. So disagreements typically come from how much money we’re going to spend on recording, where we want to book a show, or what picture we want to use for promotion. Of course, there are difficult moments in the creative process for both of us as writers, but usually, we’re in agreement with where we want the sound or song to go. 

Q: If you were stranded on a deserted island, which three albums would you need with you?

JOSETTE: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Bad Girls – Donna Summers, Nickel Creek 

HALLIE: Fights Songs- Old 97’s, Gold album, Greatest Hits- Abba, Flaming Red- Patty Griffin

Q: “Nor’easter” has such a calming aurora, that is the type of music that I call “easy listening.” In your own words, how would you describe the music that you two typically create?

HALLIE: Thank you! I would say the calming vibe of this song is mostly new for us, and I think that comes mainly from the use of the pedal steel. We wanted to create a reflective atmosphere for Nor’easter at the beginning of the track and then transition into a harsher, more raw space for the bridge. We took a lot of inspiration from Brandi Carlile for this song- she has a great way of hitting you in the gut with emotionality. JOSETTE: Most of our work revolves around the experience of growing up as young women. So our songs can often come from a soft, earnest, or pondering space and then can easily turn petty, anxious, or angry. I think we like to play around with the sounds of our childhood (like the late ’90s/early 2000s chick rock of Liz Phair) and combine that with the femme Americana sounds of today (people like Kacey Musgraves, The Secret Sisters, or Plains).

Q: What has been one of the highlights of your music career so far?

JOSETTE: We filmed a music video for Nor’easter last month, and there’s a scene where we’re “performing” the song in the recording studio with our band. In one shot, we stepped out of the camera and had the opportunity to just watch our collaborators and friends play our song. Hallie and I didn’t study music formally in college or high school. Both of us studied theater. So music was always a part of our lives, but not necessarily something we thought we ever had the chance of making a career. So seeing all these talented professionals- who have devoted their lives to making great music- play our song and be there for us was pretty beautiful. 

HALLIE: It was one of those moments where you just feel overwhelmed with gratitude. Watching them, it was clear we had so many people behind us who loved and believed in what we were doing. I was amazed at how far we had come. 

Q: If you could collaborate with any musician, dead or alive, who would it be?

RAISING DAUGHTERS: Brandi Carlile- hands down. Whenever you’re ready Brandi, we wanna make a song with you so so bad. 

Q: Pleasure speaking with you! Tell fans and everyone reading this what exciting things are coming for you in 2023!

RAISING DAUGHTERS: Of course! Thank you so much for having us!! We are honored to be featured with Rising Artists. Nor’easter will be released on all streaming platforms this coming February 17th !!! And we will be releasing the music video for the single in early March 2023. We’re also having a release show on February 17th at 10 pm at Pete’s Candy Store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. So if you’re in the area, please join us! 

We are also hoping to release an EP in late summer 2023- so for all updates follow us on Instagram @raisingdaughters_music or sign up for our mailing list at Raisingdaughtersmusic.com

Interviewed by Melissa Cusano





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