With four previous studio albums each offering a fresh perspective of electrifying emo-pop, Kicksie has released their all-new record Slouch via Counter Intuitive Records. In an array of slow-burn ballads and unabashed honesty, Slouch reads more like Giuliana Mormile’s personal diary where they’re free to be who they want to be and articulate their most intimate moments.
Opening with the kaleidoscope-esque track, “Closure” before blooming into the album’s third track “Boyfriend,” Slouch is an amalgamation of highs and lows that represent Mormile’s intimate journey as an artist. We had the chance to speak with Mormile, the mastermind behind Kicksie ahead of the album release. Take a listen to Slouch and check out the full interview below.
You have a number of releases in your discography for being such a young, emerging artist. How did you approach Slouch differently than your previous full-length releases?
Slouch was quite different from any other release I’ve ever written. Normally, songwriting happens naturally for me as I experience life, go through things, meet new people, etc. But since Slouch was written during peak COVID, when we were getting locked down over and over, I wasn’t really going out, doing anything, [or] seeing anyone. I almost had to force the songs out of me, which was really hard to do since it’s normally been pretty easy for me in the past. I had to come up with new ways of songwriting to keep it interesting. It was extremely difficult at first but then got much easier as time went on.
Some of the tracks from Slouch sound like they could have been plucked from the discographies of 90s and early 2000s artists such as Avril Lavigne. What artists did you listen to or find inspiration from while writing and recording Slouch?
I most likely will always have that 90’s/00’s flavor in my music, it’s just something that I’ve grown up with and can’t shake (not that I want to). I grew up with a lot of blink-182, Sum 41, Paramore, Avril Lavigne, The Used, etc. But nowadays and during the time of recording, I was actually listening to a lot of Frank Ocean, SZA, [and] Tyler the Creator. I’ve always wanted to find a way to blend the R&B and soul world with the emo alternative world, and I think Slouch is the very, very beginning of that.
“Wish I Was (Anyone Else)” marks your only collaboration across the 11-track collection. How did you meet with Mei and why did you decide to include them in the project?
Mei and I became friends in college in 2019. We got close very quickly and spent a lot of our time working on music together through FaceTime and playing gigs around Toronto. She was a big part of the behind-the-scenes of the last record, “All My Friends,” and worked on this record quite a bit too—you can hear her background vocals often throughout the project and she also helped with some of the arrangement as well. We’re really good at balancing each other out when it comes to music, and I consider her a very close friend of mine, which is why I wanted her to be a part of this record as a feature as well instead of just background credits.
Obviously, the LGBTQIA+ community has been targeted over the last several years. How, if at all, did this inform the writing and recording process of Slouch?
I remember when I first started writing songs I used to change the pronouns I would use so no one knew that I was singing about a girl. It sucked to hide such an important part of who I was while doing something that I used to completely open myself up to the world. I actually came out to my family because of my song “BANANA POP!”, which was the first time it was obvious that the song was about a girl. On Slouch, I was able to really dig into that, not hold anything back, and sing about whatever the hell I wanted to sing about. I stopped caring about what others would think (mainly my family), and that was the best decision I could have made for myself and my music.
What do you hope fans and new listeners will take from this album release?
More than anything else I hope they take a chance on the songs if they’re thinking about listening. It’s tough nowadays to catch the attention of new eyes and ears so I hope I’m able to make a good impression on those who haven’t taken the plunge into the Kicksie world yet. I want to prove myself and show everyone that I’m serious about what I do and I’m here to stay.
Is there anything additional you want to add or shout out for your fans?
I definitely want to say thank you to everyone who is listening, reaching out, and showing support! It’s so nice to know that I’m making a tiny little difference in the lives of others and I love to get to know those who take the time to reach out. It keeps me going when I see that others are receptive to what I’m doing and means so much to me. Also – we’ll be going on tour this summer and it’ll be our first time in the States so people should get excited about that – I’m terrified about it (but in a good way).