Exciting news coming from singer-songwriter, and world-traveler — Pauline Andres. The Nashville based songstress will be releasing her next full-length album, Fearless Heart, in February of 2018 and just released Loneliest Girl in Nashville, which premiered in The Revue.
Born in France a coal miner’s daughter, Pauline Andres made a name for herself with a sweet and smoky voice that “perfectly conveys the thoughts and observations of an old soul walking home at closing time.” A true citizen of the world, she’s lived in Paris, London, Berlin and now Nashville. She traveled the world, survived life-threatening diseases, late night fights and all kinds of heartbreaks. Her nonchalant style tastefully serves an inclination for ordinary suffering and everyday disappointments combined with subtle literary references.
Pauline recently settled in Music City after spending 5 years in Berlin, where she recorded the accidental EP Fuck You French Girl and 2 LPs: All Them Ghosts and The Heart Breaks.
In this interview spotlight, I chat with Pauline about her musical style, motivations, challenges and more.
Full Q&A along with links and music below.
Where are you from and what style of music do you create? (In your own words, not necessarily in marketing terms or by popular genre classifications.)
Technically I’m from France. But I don’t spend much time there and my family comes from different backgrounds. I guess that’s why I haven’t been able to settle down yet. I spent the last few years trying to find the right place and am currently giving Nashville a shot. I was born in a tiny village and raised in a small town, that could explain my love for classic country and straight up rock. From Haggard to Springsteen. With some European influences picked up on the way. And the music I make is a mix of all that: instability, heart aches, American guitars and European roots. Some people call it Americana, some call it folk-rock. I call it Americana. Or music to drink liquor to. But folk-rock with twang would also work. I just try to serve each song best without thinking too much about the genre or the niche. If a song calls for twang, I call my pedal steel guy. If it needs to rock, then we do that. That’s why I got some full on country, rock and even a bit of pop on the new record.
What led you down this path of music and what motivates you to keep going?
I never cared much about genres, even if I have my favorite directions of course. I only care about the substance of a given song. It never mattered to me if the guy singing was from this or that place. If the sound was old school R&B, Bakersfield country or French rock. And that’s how I still work. I write a song. If it’s good, I develop it until it becomes a recording and I feed it what it needs to grow: the right instruments, arrangements, vibe. Of course I always love a little twang or a thick guitar sound and I’m unable to rap, so there are technical limitations too, but it’s the songs that guide me. Not the other way around. And that’s exactly what keeps me going even when I wanna give up: I have a song on my desk or in my pocket. I feel like it’s good. So I just gotta work for it and give it a chance to exist and be heard. No matter what.
How is this new release different than previous ones? Were you trying to accomplish anything specific?
This record is very different from the previous ones. Which are already different from one another. This record was supposed to be an EP, but I just had too many songs, so I kept adding tracks until it became an album. The reason for wanting to make an EP was that I wanted a bigger and better sound. And that costs money. I went to a better studio, hired more people etc. And I think I succeeded with that. It is larger and sounds better than anything I’ve done before. But for the rest, I just wanted to release songs I thought belonged together on this record.
Name one or two challenges you face as an indie musician in this oversaturated, digital music age? How has technology helped you (since we know it does help)?
Technology helps for sure. I can reach people around the world, in places I’ll probably never go, let alone tour. And that’s obviously great. The fact that Spotify supported some of my songs by featuring them on curated playlists was also a big help. It adds credibility and exposure to a release and I’m thankful for that.
At the same time like you said: it’s oversaturated. Every one and their grandma can release a record these days. It’s good because you can just take matters into your own hands and not wait to be scouted by an A&R guy at the local pub. But at the same time people have a hard time finding the little releases and still need guidance from blogs, curators etc. to navigate this ocean of songs (that contains a lot of noise for sure). So most releases stay unheard and are just dead tracks on streaming platforms.
What I probably think is the worst thing is that labels take pretty much zero chances and risks these days. And the industry in general is just real shy. Across all genres. No one is trying anything new, unless they’re hiding in an obscure basement bar. Artist development is hardly a thing anymore and it’s all about selling what you’ve sold before.
Where is the best place to connect with you online and discover more music?
You can stream all my catalog on Spotify or check out my website on paulineandresofficial.com. I’m also on Facebook, Twitter and Soundcloud.
Anything else before we sign off?
Go see live music and tip the band.