STEVIE SCOTT'S Machineheart
WORDS BY IRVIN RIVERA
Stevie Scott, Machineheart’s frontwoman, is someone that emanates an authentic fleeting spirit of an old, wise soul.
She is an empath; someone who is deeply in touch with her spirit.
Anyone can easily describe Stevie as a singing forest nymph hovering over a foggy city past midnight.
Listening to Machineheart’s ethereal indie, dark-pop tunes: the drums, the beats, the synth, the symphony, easily lifts you and takes you to a desert painted with dusk blue skies peppered with stars – it’s magical.
To those who are new to Machineheart’s music, their sound echoes and hints of some Florence and the Machine, a little bit of Chvrches, some London Grammar with obvious influences from Stevie Nicks and Kate Bush.
In this exclusive interview, plunge deeper into the Los Angeles based singer-songwriter’s mind as she dishes about the fluidity of their music-making process, their full-length album PEOPLE CHANGE, and her love for Kate Bush, Bjork, Bono and Moses Sumney.
Hi Stevie! What’s your story? How did you get to be in Machineheart?
I met the guys a few years ago. They had been in different bands together since they were teenagers and when they moved to LA, we started jamming and writing and we loved what we were making together so we made it official and picked a band name and there lies the beginning of Machineheart.
How would you describe your music?
Ethereal, indie dark pop.
Which artist/s would you say influenced you the most?
I adore Kate Bush. She and I are kindred spirits. I love Fleetwood Mac. Of course, Stevie Nicks. We channeled a lot of 80s and 90s on our record. We’d go in and out of listening to Phil Collins, Portishead, Massive Attack. We also love film scores so I think there are a lot of symphonic components that we incorporated into the sound as well.
Walk us through your music-making process. How do you usually come up with a song?
Its different every time but usually I’ll have a melody or a lyric idea and kinda flesh a little something out on the piano. Then I’ll bring it to Harry who does most of our production. Really whoever's at the studio that day is a part of it. Its a very fluid process which allows for creativity to move in whatever way it's leading us that day. I love that about writing. Its never the same thing twice.
Let’s talk about your full length album PEOPLE CHANGE. What’s the story behind the album?
We had released a couple of EP’s before this record and were definitely still searching for our sound in those. We were thrown into sessions right at the start of being a band and never truly cut our own teeth so it was super important to us that we did that for this record. You know, you need that time to like rock out in your parents garage for ten hours a day and just get messy and get the sound all over you. So we sort of replicated that for ourselves.
We locked ourselves up in our rehearsal space for 18 months and wrote and wrote and wrote. We evolved and morphed and stretched. You kind of pick things up along the way and either they stick or you leave them and move onto the next.
It’s such a great feeling when you find the pieces you love- like “that’s it!”
And then you keep having those moments repetitively and it gets easier to find those pieces the longer you’ve been writing. It was very freeing and formative.
We changed and grew a lot during the process and I think you can hear that theme throughout the album. It felt very appropriate to use People Change as the title track.
What’s your dream project? Which artist do you dream to collaborate with?
Ooh good questions. Working with someone like Kate Bush or Björk or Bono or someone who has been making their art for forever, that would be so amazing. Like just to have their creative input and make a song together. For me, its less about the singing part of it, more about the creative process. To let intuition drive the song but also to let their experience and expertise play into it, that would be amazing.
I’d also love to work with Moses Sumney in the near future. He’s amazing to watch live and I love his recordings. So much feeling and intent.
Top 3 music in your playlist right now.
Wolf Alice, James Blake, Chopin.
How do you balance your time from your busy schedule?
I get to create for a living. It’s such a mind-trip when you think of it.
Like, I make art for life. I am beyond thankful.
So I work on being in the moment, especially when its feeling busy or chaotic, I return to that. It helps balance the scales internally.
I do find that I have to continue to feed my creative reserve or else it will run low. I have to do the things that bring me artistic satisfaction outside of Machineheart or else it becomes slightly mechanical and rote.
So I do things I’m new to or not good at that require me to push myself and grow in new areas. I love dancing even though I don’t have much of a background in it. I force myself to go to dance classes and I’m always so glad after. It ignites passion and the love of art in me all over again.
Any advice you can give to any aspiring young artists out there?
Don’t do it for the success, do it for the love of it. Do it because you can’t not do it.
What can fans expect from you this year?
I’m just so excited to get to connect with them on a deeper level. When you have a couple of songs out, its great but it feels limited. Like an appetizer. But when you have an album out, you’re getting the full meal.
I feel like fans really come to understand you on a deeper level and I think I’ll get to understand them more too, like what songs they are liking the most and why. We do make music we like to make but at the end of the day, I want to make music that our fans want to listen to on repeat because it means something to them. That’s the best.
If you were a book, what type of book are you and why?
A British fiction novel based in the late 1700s: A thorned rose, this story is tinged with sadness, romance and tragedy but ultimately finding beauty in the end. Something like Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre. Sounds dramatic. I like it already haha.
I love sad endings in movies and literature. I think I like the emotion those stories pull out of me. I’m an empath so it’s not hard to do that. And if I had gone to college, I was going to major in British Literature. But I ended up skipping college and went straight into music. Very glad for the way things worked out.
If you had the opportunity to help a specific charity, what would it be and why?
I love people who help children. Innocence is such a challenge to protect in this very modern world and I think its our responsibility and privilege to protect those who can’t protect themselves.
https://www.ijm.org/ is the largest anti-slavery organization in the world and they help rescue women and children from abusive situations.
Check out Stevie’s new exclusively premiering video for Let You Down!