A haunting pop song with horror film score roots is the latest single from NYC-based Nola Wren. “Creature,” released today, follows up the engaging “Levitate” from last fall. It has Wren’s trademark ripped-open-heart-on-sleeve lyrics with a barbed and honest edge, but this time the lyrics are paired with music that invokes the monsters among (and within) us.
Wren tells me the song’s provenance is score work she did for indie horror film The Stay, which she got involved with in Spring 2017 and which is currently in post-production. She was the wardrobe stylist during the shoot, in addition to serving as the score composer.
‘Tell Me You Aren’t a Creature’
She’d been working on a couple “creepy” theme ideas one night in the months before shooting began, laying the groundwork for “Creature.” She elaborates on the the song’s meaning below:
This song is pretty dark, but there’s light between the lines. It started out as a horror instrumental idea that I was messing around with in Ableton, but then suddenly one day I had a distinct melody, and a hook in mind, and was writing verses here and there until it finally materialized into a full-blown song. (This happened over the course of two to three months last year.)
I dated someone a while back who once said something to me very early on in the relationship that never left my brain. He said: “Tell me you aren’t a creature. Promise me you won’t become a monster.” I could never shake this weird feeling like he saw something in me that I didn’t.
These days, I often wonder what it means to be a creature — are we all secretly creatures? — whether or not it’s necessarily a bad thing, and if perhaps the biggest test in a relationship is what happens once you reveal your inner creature to your partner. Does the partnership endure? What happens if it does? And what happens if doesn’t?
Originally, the last line of the song was: “Love is all I want to ever feel/don’t go,” but eventually I ended up changing it to “Love is all I’ve got/so make it real.” I’m not trying to hold someone down or persuade them to stay with me. I feel like the way it lands now is in a more ambiguous space — it leaves a bit of room for a crazy little thing called hope.
Nola Wren has appeared many times in the pages of Vehlinggo. Here’s an easy way to find all or, at least, most, of the interviews and reviews related to her. For example, remember when she collaborated with French musician College, which his pal Maethelvin later remixed into a summer jam?