Pearla | The Family Interviews


Meet Pearla

“Sad but wholesome mystic folk pop,” according to this artist’s Bandcamp. 

Need we say more? No. But we will anyway. 

Pearla is a real “gem” (Are pearls a gem? A rock? Inquiring minds would like to know), and delivers folk, pop and psychedelia on a silver platter. The Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter delivers daydream-like, ennui-infused lullabies and melodies for all you daydreaming, ennui-feeling listeners out there.

Below, we discuss the reigning superiority of “Thriller,” MTA court as a source of inspiration, and preserving intimacy within her music. 

Throw on your best pearls and give it a gander. 


JULIUS CAESAR: A Mad-Lib by Pearla

Julius Caesar was born in 102 B. Q. He was a WARM guy, and between 49 and 58 B.C. he defeated the Gauls, the Goths, and the GUMMIES. After that, he UNFORTUNATELY became more famous and defeated Pompey at the battle of NEW JERSEY. The Romans then elected him permanent LIFE COACH, and he used to walk around wearing a circlet of ivy leaves on his EYEBROW. Then Caesar went to Egypt, where he met Cleopatra, the teenage Egyptian SHRIMP. When he conquered the Syrians in 46 B.C., he sent back a message saying, "GRAZIE." In 44 B.C., a soothsayer told Caesar to "Beware the AIR CONDITIONER," but he ignored the warning and in March he was stabbed right in the BRIDGE by a group of senators. His last words were, "Et tu LEONARDO DA VINCI?"


Would You Rather…

be a vampire cowboy in the old west or a werewolf knight in medieval times? Please tell us why.

A cowboy in the old west for sure. Just seems like a better fit for me.


Some Questions with Pearla

What was the best music video of all time?

I feel like Thriller is the agreed upon best but I really like the video for Human Behaviour by Bjork.

Does nostalgia play into your work? If so what influence does it have?

Perhaps. There are definitely certain places and feelings that I long for and try to recreate in songs.

What is the best dive bar in NYC?

I don’t think I am a very good judge of that.

How do you stay creatively fulfilled?

Writing music and sharing it with friends always fills me up. Playing shows, reading books, and seeing friends play music gives me a little spark.


How do you preserve the intimacy of your work with a large scale production?

It doesn’t feel like a large scale production to me so much because the entire record was made in bedrooms. Every sound, even ones that feel synthetic or electronic, was chosen to match a very specific feeling that I’ve had - so it all feels intimate to me. But I guess most of the intimacy is in the lyrics and the vocal performance. I try to be as honest and open as possible so hopefully, that comes through.

What was your first email address and or AIM username?

itsgr82b8 pronounced “It’s great to be eight”

The next year it was itsfinetobe9 ;)

What was the creative process like working on this latest single "Quilting"?

I wrote this song after I had to go to MTA court and I was really lonely and in a bad mood. I was thinking about yellow birds and how I could never embody that spirit with the amount of angst I was feeling at the time. Then I wrote the song and I felt better.

I started playing it at shows - the entire first half alone and then the second half with the whole band - trying to show at first how I feel very alone and then how everyone feels alone together. That was kind of the idea. Then in production we added some sound characters: the ‘yellow bird’ is the sound at the beginning and in the second verse, my ‘inner child’ is represented by the ‘ah’ voices in the background, and the reversed strings represent this dizzy feeling I had in Foodtown when I was reaching for the corn.

Did your parents taste in music influence your own?

Probably in some subtle ways. We have really different taste but essentially my mom likes powerhouse singers and my dad likes music with storytelling. I think both of those factors are present in my music. My mom told me I should cover Barbra Streisand though and I don’t know if that’s the vibe.


Who is your musical crush?

Probably Bjork or Fiona Apple.

Fiona Apple

Fiona Apple

What was your best hiding spot in hide-and-go-seek?

Recently I was babysitting and I hid under a bean bag chair and they couldn’t find me for a while. Then when I came out there was a spider in my hair.

Any final comments? (This is your electronic soapbox for one last answer.)

Listen to my EP! Draw a picture while listening to it! Send it to me!

Sean Maldjian