Internet pop artist sophie meiers says their first single of 2022 is "one of the most important songs" they've released to date. Titled "collar," the warm, guitar-led cut signals a more optimistic direction for meiers into the New Year, as they innocently sing about feeling "nervous" when a crush is near. "I start to think about you pulling on the collar of my dress" meier admits, their slightly whispered delivery adding to the relatable, anxious undercurrent.
"It's everything I love about making music," meiers says of their latest on Epitaph Records. "It’s playful and warm and crunchy and quick-witted and passionate. Honestly, it just fuckin' feels good to listen to. That feeling of sunny contentment when a moment is captured exactly as it is. I am reinvigorated creatively, there is a fire roaring inside of me with the anticipation of what is next to come."
For the "collar" music video, premiering today on PAPER, meiers teamed up with Director Lindsey Nico Mann to amplify their personal lyrics. Cast in a romantic red glow, they're filmed alone in a bedroom that looks like a location where meiers might've written this intimate love letter. And, of course, they wear a collar to match the song's title, lined with vintage-inspired pearls. Most notably, this is the first time meiers has had "full creative control" over a visual.
Below, PAPER talks with sophie meiers about where their music is going and the extensive journey it took to arrive here.
How is this single a reflection of where you’re at, right now, and where things are headed?
Multimedia is going to be a big thing for me, coordinating the visual art with the sonics. In this way, everything makes so much more sense. "Collar" was very very symbolic of that for me. It was the first time I had full creative control over a visual project like that. I got to fully materialize what I pictured in my head, with the help and support of everybody around me. Fucking flooring moment, just bursting with gratitude. This year, more than ever, I am determined to reconstruct and make immersive experiences of the visions I see in my head. I have a lot to say, I have a lot to show. So pay attention, if you have ears and if you have eyes. You might be surprised.
This song is in that twilight zone defying genre, my favorite. It feels reminiscent of many things, but nothing at the same time. In that way, this song really does make perfect sense with my past discography and what's more to come. It has that classic sophie [meiers] feel, with amplified intention and love poured into the production and writing. It’s the perfect song to start sharing this new self with the world.
Lyrically, what is this new single about for you?
Lyrically, I wanted to embody the feeling of your heart racing and the rocking warmth in between. I think in a very straightforward way, it’s just an unsaid conversation between two people, where you both clearly know what the other is thinking. Or so you think...
Talk me through your collaboration process with Luca Buccellati, who produced this?
Everything is easy with Luca. I’m genuinely so glad that we both made music and ended up meeting each other because he has become one of my best friends through the process. He’s so cool. We watch Naruto and play video games and nerd out on music theory and mess with synthesizers. Our work together doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s raw and candid, but still cool as fuck. Also, doesn’t hurt that Luca is super-genius-smart and talented at music, and just a great person to be around. Everything we make together is like the next best song we’ve got, it’s quite frankly getting ridiculous.
How do you think your music has evolved since you first started recording and releasing?
My music evolves with me every day. I carry my voice and memories through my songs. I started putting things out on Soundcloud in 2015, but when I think about it I've really been making music — in some way — my entire life. From writing songs with crayons to playing in jazz or jam bands in middle school and high school to voice memo recordings to internet collabs to Los Angeles. For me, it’s that connection that has me — that direct line straight into my veins that is always pulling me towards music. It’s something that is never going to change about who I am. I’ve really found my voice and my sound now. It's something I've always had, but now it is louder and clearer than ever.
You left home at age 15 from rural Colorado. What have you learned about yourself along the journey and especially through music?
"Living on my own since I was 15” is the easy way to put it. A lengthier description might include: Getting kicked out, sleeping on my homies' couches in high school, living out of backpacks, jumping around cities, states and even countries, occasionally dropping by my grandparents' house in the remote mountains of Colorado. I was honestly very transient for about three to four years. Thank god for all the people who took me under their wing and thank god most of my gut feelings were right. (The notorious gamble of staying with a stranger from the internet you've never met IRL. I don't even want to talk to anyone about extreme impulsive decisions I've made in my lifetime, but that can be a different story.)
Great fucking times, man. But also, jeez, I honestly lacked so much order and stability in my life. It’s nice having dependable things like a place to stay and knowing when you're gonna eat and rest. Through all of this, I’ve learned that the home I have is my body, wherever I lay my head at night. I’ve learned to be patient and kind to myself — to slowly allow myself to unlearn the bad patterns I adapted in childhood, to lean into the purifying fire of rebirth and be okay with learning for the first time, again.
Photos courtesy of sophie meiers