By Cameron Meyn
April Gloom is quite a sight to behold. With bleached hair, colorful makeup and a wooly sweatshirt, she appears to have leapt off the page of a Dr. Seuss book. Like the work of Theodor Geisel, her senior project also wants to take its audience to an otherworldly place. But instead of children’s literature, Gloom is working to publish two albums of her own creation. Being a dream pop and darkwave artist-pop and rock genres that are heavily introspective, atmospheric and melodic-her work wants to give you all the love it can and to help you in whatever you do, in an environment soothing as the cold side of a pillow.
So your senior project is an LP, and you told me a little bit about it; Could you delve a little deeper into it?
So I'm thinking of releasing a few singles and doing two EPs, and one EP is going to be more somber, acoustic, slower, mellow songs, and the other one is going to be like the absolute opposite. That'll be kind of like, dancy darkwave meets dream pop?
Thematically, what do you delve into?
I think it really depends on the song and on the album. This album that I'm releasing right now is centering around a bunch of different things. It's kind of like, just a little planet in my universe of like thoughts and ideas; and some of it talks about society and things I notice about the world, and some of it talks about my own experiences, and hopefully things that people can relate to. It's helpful when you are feeling bad, and you listen to a song that makes you feel less alone, and that's what I strive for.
Yeah…I'm assuming that, you know, because we're college students, you're not going to be like, “oh, I'm gonna sign up with Capitol, and they're gonna have vinyl records for me”. They'll be sold at Barnes & Noble-
I don't want to sign to Capitol! (laughs) No, small labels all the way–no big labels.
So I'm assuming that you're just gonna put it on Spotify?
Yeah, yeah. I have two albums in the works. So I'm releasing a different album right now, that was basically my junior project. And then I'm recording a whole ‘nother album at the same time, which is a lot. It's kind of like doing two senior projects in one. But yeah, I'm not planning to get signed for a while.
What motivated you to major in music and not in dance, journalism, or any of the other subjects we have here at Purchase?
I've always loved music. It's kind of always something I've wanted to do. I feel like it was either don't go to college or go to music school.
You didn't want to go to a technical college and get a degree in business?
I could never. I'm also a tattoo artist. So that's my other little career switch. But I feel it was either art school or like music school. I feel like it's just always something I wanted to do, and I wanted to be a better songwriter and producer, so music made sense. It was one way to get out of my hometown.
Where do you come from?
How has it been moving all the way from Colorado? Do you think Purchase has given you an opportunity to turn over a new leaf and experience the world in a much greater capacity?
Yeah. I'm really happy that I went here because I feel like it's been perfect for me; it did give me way more opportunities than going to a school in Colorado (cringes). There's some music up and happening in Colorado that's growing a little bit, but it's still like, everybody comes here and LA.
Regardless, what motivated you to pursue dream pop apart from jazz, alternative and all the other genres at Purchase?
I actually like jazz. I almost went to school for jazz, in Portland, but I decided that I don't love jazz as much as I love creating my own genre. I guess I really like making something new and different rather than just working on other people's music; I wanted to create more. Dream pop came into my life when I was a teenager, and I fell in love with it and its qualities. Bedroom pop also has been a big inspiration for me because I am a bedroom pop producer; I produce entirely out of my bedroom.
Do you have any special equipment in your room that you use?
Oh, yeah. I have a decent amount of gear. I'm still building my studio and I use a lot of the session spaces here at school too, because I can't afford a lot of stuff. But I'm hopefully moving to the city this summer and going to be making my own studio.
What aspirations do you have beyond your senior project?
I think after releasing my first debut album, like in May or the end of April, I want to try to release this album, or the two EPs that I'm creating right now. I'd like to tour; that would be a lot of fun too.
Have you ever performed at the Stood?
Yeah, I've performed a lot, I love performing live. I’ve played a decent amount there. A little bit in the city, but not a lot; hopefully more. I also perform a lot in Colorado.
Are the people back home receptive to your music?
No. (laughs) Oh, no, definitely not. Most people there listen to bluegrass, ska and the Grateful Dead, and we have SoundCloud rappers.
Do you feel that the struggles that you've had in Boulder embolden you?
I think I want to prove a lot of people wrong. That's why I moved to New York because some people just didn't really love my music or didn't really believe in my abilities; nor myself, but we're working on it. (laughs) But yeah, I don't know. I feel like I do kind of want to prove some people wrong and be like, “Look, I did it! I did good things! We made music that connects with people!” I think that's the biggest thing. It's not about success. It's about just making really good music.
Do you feel like the music community at Purchase has been synergistic to your efforts, even though your music is different than theirs?
I think what bonds musicians together is how different we are. I really value musical diversity and people making different things. And I think that builds community too, when it is a close knit space of a bunch of people making music, even if it's different. We all try to support each other. The community out here it's just been so eye opening and beautiful and really helped me make the music I want to make and find confidence within it.
This is probably the most cliche question of the past two years, but did the pandemic throw a screwball at your music and its production?
I feel like the pandemic made me hate music for a little bit. Living on campus in Alumni without a musical community, only living with my roommates…a lot of rough stuff happened during the pandemic; it's only now that shows are back that I've started to feel more centered in it and feel like it's right. It's hard to study music when you're not feeling passionate about it too, you know?
Who influenced your music? Are there a handful of artists that made you go, “Oh my God, I want to be just like them!”?
It's kind of funny; the first person I can think of was the first artist I deeply fell in love with. I was 7 and I listened to Amy Winehouse for the first time; and I completely fell in love with her music and was like, “I want to be just like her except for the heroin!” (laughs) I’m kidding, I didn't say that when I was 7. But I was just completely transformed by listening to music. I used to do impressions of her as a kid, which is really funny because she would sing about like sex and drugs and her addiction. I didn't know what rehab was when I was 7. And I fell in love with singing. Ever since, I've been obsessed with music.
Are there other artists who inspired you?
It's interesting. A lot of them that have influenced my writing I don't really love anymore. I was obsessed with Lana Del Rey growing up, obsessed. And now I learned she's not a good person. But she definitely was like an influence when I was younger.
I think we both have thought at one point, “oh, you know, what if this whole music or journalism thing doesn't work out? What if I end up at Starbucks?” Does that ever trouble you?
Every single day (laughs). I want to pursue music no matter what happens. I used to think failure was this black-or-white thing: you either succeed or you fail, but it's not at all like that. Everything is a gray area; and I think success can happen in so many different ways. No matter what, I want to continue to make music.