The Mess You Left Behind is one of the songs in my “list of songs” coming out next year, that I decided to release earlier because I thought that it’s a bit different than what I would usually write and make, and I just thought that it’s a good song to start with to give my new listeners kind of a scope of what my music ranges would be. I recently released a very heavy synth indie pop song as my debut single Menagerie, and then a lo-fi kind of song called Final Tape For A Dead Plant. Both are on the opposite ends of the spectrum. I thought that this song feels like a medium for both.
Though it does still feel different to me. To be honest, I was very unsure about this song prior to releasing. When I made and wrote the song, I was such in a state of grief that I basically wrote a furious and mourning kind of letter to the person that inspired this—but in the form of a poem. Which I then turned into a song. When I cooled off and looked back to it, I legitimately thought “Wow. This sounds too specific and too blamefully raw…” Which might be a good thing! So I went ahead with it.
I wanted the song to border on a vivid, and poetic imagery, hence the first and second verses of the song are so coated in expressive language. With the chorus being simpler to show the destabilization of that poetic expression into simply just, unorganized chaos. I made the first and second verses of the song parallel each other on purpose. With the first verse being an ode to how beautiful, captivating, and saving the person is, while the second verse being how I deal with the loss of that same captivating person and how much that person still has power over me despite it.
It’s different than what’s “in” in the music world right now I feel like, especially that most of the song is done in a very—almost vocally telling a tale, mingled with choruses that sounds like woes and blames. But who knows, maybe someone might relate to the back and forth feeling of grief that’s in the song!
What would you like people to take from the single?
I don’t exactly know if there’s a good message I want people to see. I was simply… just mad! And most people would be too if they’re manipulated around with.
But I guess if I can think of a message it would be something like this:
That it’s okay to release pent up resentment and emotions, even if those feelings will not be heard or felt by the person you want to say it to.
We all have to feel. Not feeling I feel like invalidates you, and invalidates the relationship with whoever. Even if the relationship in itself is invalidating—know that you don’t have to suffer it all in.
Even if the separation is mutual.
You’re allowed to backtrack and realize what you lost, what you felt, what you wish could’ve happened differently.
In your opinion, how important is vulnerability in music?
I would not be writing if I wasn’t allowed to feel vulnerable.
That’s the reason why I wrote in the first place. Music allowed me to be vulnerable in public in ways that would be understood by that one individual.
At least for me, most of the songs I really connect to were because they said something that made me feel like my experiences were valid. It makes me feel alive when someone is just not afraid of showing their specific experience through music. Somewhere, somehow, someone can always relate to it.
I wanted to make that same connection to others. Just like how the artists I’m really inspired with always do.
And I’ve tried writing songs for the sole purpose of being catchy. They were not my favorite to write and sing. If I’m going to make music, I want to genuinely feel like I can tell a very human story.
Can you tell us a little about your songwriting process?
My songwriting is a weird mix of methods. There are times where I imagine and make up this tune in my head first (sometimes in my sleep which can be very frustrating, especially when it’s good but you don’t want to wake up and record it), sometimes doing that then looking at my notes of song topics,
But the most common way I write is honestly, just… letting it happen!
I’m in no way a prodigy. I’m late in the music game. But the way I found the songwriting process enjoyable and meaningful is when the feeling is there, and I simply just put it in paper. The melody usually comes along with it. I don’t exactly know how. I just hum around and get a feeling for it, and then it just happens. I hope I’m not sounding pretentious here. Hahaha.
Most of the songs I wrote and I keep in my repertoire where written and melodized in under 30 minutes. With most of my favorites being written between 10-15. I like keeping it that way. It feels raw and impactful I feel like when I don’t second guess what I put in paper. I like writing the “it’s what I actually wanted to say” and those sweet and bitter afterthoughts.
Who has been the biggest influence on your songwriting style?
My gosh. I don’t even know who it could be. I would say that right now, it would be a mix of Lucy Dacus’s straight to the point yet complex lyrical work, and Mitski’s vivid and playful way of delivering relatable heartache.
What inspired you to make your debut in 2021 with your single, Menagerie?
I’ve been making music since 2 years before the debut, with little to no success. I wanted to start my debut with something fun yet, something that gives people a feel for the places I want to explore through music.
I guess I was just really inspired from the local bands in the area I live now. The music scene here is pretty strong. I wanted to do something along those lines, while also trying to strive for people outside my bubble.
The song takes a lot of inspiration on the feeling of wanting something more. I guess with my debut, I kinda felt like it’s perfect way to enter the music scene with it. I wanted to get out there. I work and study all day. And I wanted to do something other than the menagerie I was stuck on. So I chose Menagerie as my debut.
What can we expect from Castle KYD next?
I know for sure that I’ll be releasing more songs this 2022. 3 of them are basically finished. Live favourites that I perform in my set are also bound to be given life in streaming, and I can’t wait to release those favourites! They’re mine too. Looking to do my first album towards the end of next year. Experimenting with more music too. I’ll be on more shows and more states in the US, plus some collaborations… so a lot to come! And I am so excited for all of it!