Birch | The Family Interviews
NYC-based artist Birch (a.k.a. Michelle Birsky) is a woman on a mission. Her “feminist synth pop” tunes tackles the female experience and strives to dismantle social norms, championing female empowerment and gender equality.
Needless to say, this is a cool lady doing cool things, and y’all need to take notice. Fresh off the release of her album “femme.one.” we called Birch in to discuss some book recommendations, her creative process, and her inability to entertain first-graders.
Hey, you win some, you lose some.
Check out her wise words, drink some water, and make good choices friends!
SPECIAL SPRING CLOTHING SALE: A Mad-Lib by Birch
KEVIN HENTHORN has announced that his OMINOUS clothing store in the heart of downtown LA is having a MASSIVE sale of all merchandise, including FURRY suits and slightly irregular SOCKS. Men's cable-knit MATCHES, only $15.99. Hand-woven Italian LAMPS, half-price. Double-breasted cashmere MACBOOKS, $50.00. Genuine imported FUSCHIA SOLID shoes, LITTLE handkerchiefs, and women's embroidered GARAGES, all at rock-bottom prices. This is a chance to get some really SHADY bargains!
Would You Rather…
live in a treehouse or a houseboat? Why? Where would you put it?
A treehouse, because it would be epic and I could hide in it. I’m thinking it would be a big, magic treehouse in the middle of a forest. Also I’m terrified of the ocean.
Some Questions with Birch
What was the last book you read? Did you like it?
Everything by Jennifer Weiner - and YES SO GOOD. Highly recommend.
What was the creative process like working on your 2019 album "femme.one"?
It took a long time. I started working on it during the 2016 election and the national conversation around Trump and #metoo shaped a lot of my writing. I had the theme set, I wanted to write an album about how it feels to be a woman right now, and each song played a different role in telling that story. Musically though, the songs all went through intense editing processes and changed a lot throughout the creative process. I would demo out an idea, produce it more/change things, then bring it to my co-producer Ariel Loh who would help me put the finishing touches.
What is your ideal recording environment?
I’ve fallen in love with my home studio and it’s a place I feel most like myself. That said, if I had unlimited money to go to some remote recording studio in some beautiful location, I’d love that too. I guess any place where I can really retreat and have time alone to work.
Being that the album starts with "femme.one" and ends with "femme.two". Is there a narrative you are pulling through the entire album?
The album is my way of describing how it feels to be a woman at this time. I describe it as a feminist concept album because the songs track chronologically through my experience with my own womanhood. It’s a deep dive into my experiences, and the experiences of women in my life, as a woman.
If you could give yourself from ten years ago any advice what would it be?
What does your family think about your music?
They’re supportive and I think that what I’m doing is impressive, I’m sure they’d love to see more financial security though hah.
When you’re breaking down equipment after a gig, do you meticulously pack or just dump it all together?
I’m pretty sloppy, sort of dump things together. Maybe that’s why all my gear keeps breaking…
What was the thought process behind the art direction of your album cover? Does the photo hold a significant meaning to you?
The photo is of my grandmother as a child standing in front of her house before her first communion. I thought it was perfect for this album cover because it’s a symbol of how far we’ve come as women and how far we have left to go. I wanted to honor her, while also showing a depiction of what society has always wanted women to be: wearing virginal white, hands in a prayer pose, domestic.
Who would you love to have cover one of your original songs?
Literal dream would be Boy Genius (the dream team made up of Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus)
What is a change you would want to see take place in the music industry?
A lot of things honestly. More women in charge, less emphasis on streams, more earning potential for artists.
Do you think your music could be played in a first-grade classroom? What do you think their reaction would be?
I think they’d be bored!
Any final comments? (This is your electronic soapbox for one last answer.)
You guys rock.