Music Series: High School Student Lexi Louise Releases Her First EP
With so many talented musicians across the Granite State, our Summer Music Series is continuing into the fall. This week's featured artist is Lexi Klain, known by her stage name as Lexi Louise. She's a high school sophomore from Hollis, who recently released her first EP, Lexi Louise.
During the pandemic, Klain adapted and started performing live shows on her Instagram and gained inspiration from the time of solitude and isolation.
Klain talked with All Things Considered host Peter Biello to talk about her new release. Below is a transcript of the conversation.
Lexi Louise (Klain): Happy to be here. Thank you.
Peter Biello: Lexi, let's start out with the most popular track, according to Spotify. It's the first track on your EP. This is called "The Sky."
"The Sky": People being left wanting more. Sun is breaking out of the deep dark week and falling back into the weight...
Peter Biello: So let's talk about "The Sky." What can you tell me about this song?
Lexi Louise (Klain): Well, this song was written actually during a very rough time in my life. I wrote it to kind of cheer me up. At this time in my life, I was very interested in poetry, and I was just kind of starting out in my interest in poetry. So I was trying to make this song more poetic than my previous work. And I had had lyrics for this song for a while, and I just decided to write it because, you know, I was feeling really upset a lot of the time, you know, lots of teenage angst, lots of hardships in my mental health, especially with OCD. So, I wrote this song to kind of tell myself that it wasn't going to be forever. Nothing's eternal and that one day the sun will come out for me.
Peter Biello: You've said that your parents are big supporters of your music and your dad actually helped you produce this EP. What was it like working with him on this album?
Lexi Louise (Klain): It was really great because he's very supportive. He's been a musician all his life, and he's always supported me in my dreams of being a musician, and he's helped me coordinate a lot of things. He's helped me learn a lot about, musicianship, about chord structure, about recording and just about being a musician in an industry. And he's just a really great person to talk to about the whole thing. I loved what he did with all of my songs. He really helped them come to life in this EP.
Peter Biello: So, when did you begin your interest in music?
Lexi Louise (Klain): Oh, I've loved to sing since I was really, really young. I became more serious about music when I was in about the sixth grade after I had written my second song called "Coaster." I just thought to myself, You know what? I've always been so passionate about this, a lot of other things have been going on in my life. I'm still a kid, I'm still figuring out my life, but I really think that this is what I'm going to do with my life. This is really what's calling to me. And this, I think, was what I was made for.
Peter Biello: You mentioned the song "Coaster." Let's hear a little bit of that.
"Coaster": News to you that I finally found a new game, oh. News to you that I'm still staying true to myself.
Peter Biello: You said this was your second song you ever wrote.
Lexi Louise (Klain): That's correct, yeah.
Peter Biello: And how old were you at the time?
Lexi Louise (Klain): 12 years old.
Peter Biello: And it's something you still enjoy playing.
Lexi Louise (Klain): It is. It's always relevant to my life because it's a constant lesson in my life to accept who I am and to accept the fact that I'm a passionate human being and that not everybody is going to like that, which is what this song is all about. It's about how a lot of people get scared off by emotionally passionate people. But when it comes down to it, it's something that I'm proud of, and it's something that I can channel into my art and I will never let go of it.
Peter Biello: How do you see your music evolving in the past few years?
Lexi Louise (Klain): I've become more introspective. I think, as a person, I've tried to broaden my horizons. I've learned more about the history of music, and I've really found myself as a musician, not just writing whatever comes to mind, writing whatever really speaks to my heart, and I've learned a lot more about myself as a songwriter as well.
Peter Biello: I want to listen to another song on this EP. It's called "Secrets in My Pocket." So, let's listen to this one.
"Secrets In My Pocket": Can't stop myself from thinking 'bout you. Can't stop myself from running from my thoughts.
Peter Biello: So, this is another one that you wrote when you were, I think it was 11.
Lexi Louise (Klain): This is the first song I ever wrote. I was barely 11.
Peter Biello: Wow, OK. Can you talk a little bit about your process, how this one came together?
Lexi Louise (Klain): I was kind of feeling romantic feelings for the first time. It's a very innocent feeling. It's a very exciting feeling, and I was just learning ukulele as well. So, I just thought to myself, you know, why don't I write a song before dance class? Try to write a song for myself before a dance class? And then I got in the car and I sang a little for my mom and she was like, "Lexi, that's good. That's good." And I'm like, "Eh." And I just continued with it, and I finished it about a month later, and it was just a little love song. I kind of didn't notice how much it would stick with me for the rest of my life, or at least for the rest of the past few years at the time. But it's actually a song that's very close to my heart.
Peter Biello: And before we let you go, Lexi, let's talk about one more track. This one is called "My Name."
"My Name": Sideways, I've been moving, going too fast, know that nothing lasts, no.
Lexi Louise (Klain): "My Name" was the last song I wrote for this EP, and it was just kind of a song of isolation, kind of feeling isolated from a lot of other people in my life. And sometimes I felt like people like to pretend like they know you, and they don't really a lot of times. And I wanted to write about it because I wrote it right after I felt very left out in my life. I just kind of felt like I was always being left on the sidelines. And I wrote that song because I felt like nobody really knows me as a person a lot of the time
Peter Biello: I will say that that the feeling of not being known, not having your true self known, is definitely not just the high school thing. That's a universal thing. I was wondering if your songs, because of messages like that one, are having universal appeal and are you hearing from adults, people your age, people across the board, about your music?
Lexi Louise (Klain): I've had people tell me that they relate to my music of all ages, really older people and younger people and people my age, my friends. It's a really nice feeling when you can make somebody feel like you're saying something they feel like they can't say. Their words, not mine. But you know, I think that that's something that art does for a lot of people in America and across the world and in New Hampshire, too.
Peter Biello: Well, Lexi, thank you so much for coming into the studio and speaking with me about your music. I really appreciate it.
Lexi Louise (Klain): Thank you so much for having me.
Peter Biello: Lexi Louise is a New Hampshire musician and her music is available on Spotify. And you can also find a link to her Instagram at our website nhpr.org, which is where you can also find all the interviews in our Summer Music Series.