KTJ & CARLY say music is a remedy for them and that new single 'Almost True' comes from a space of honesty
Twin sisters KTJ & CARLY are back with their single 'Almost True' and they spoke to MEAWW about their journey
Singer-songwriters KTJ & CARLY first shot to fame in 2019 with their singles, 'On Your Mind' and 'MOONLIGHT'. Even before that, the sisters were already grabbing attention for their unique covers and stunning vocals.
After a successful year that included signing on to score their first feature film 'God Save The Queens', the duo is back with the darkly introspective single 'Almost True', which sees KTJ & CARLY reflect on the unique way we present ourselves and our lives to the world and the idea that we all hide a little pain inside us tucked away beneath the surface of a smile that everyone takes at face value because, as Carly puts it, "we are taught to hide our emotions from strangers".
In conversation with MEA WorldWide (MEAWW), KTJ & CARLY spoke about the inspiration behind 'Almost True', their approach to creating honest and relatable music, and what's in store for 2020. Excerpts:
You’ve come a long way since you unwrapped that pink Barbie guitar for Christmas in 2006. What has the journey been like from that spark of inspiration to creating deep and meaningful tracks like ‘Almost True’?
Carly: I think that ever since the beginning, we always tried to make sure that whatever we were doing was meaningful. The journey was very challenging but rewarding in the most candid of ways. We loved music, and we loved creating it. It was so natural to us. We didn’t care if we sounded bad, we just wanted to create music. I think it was when we started to write our own lyrics when we really decided: this is it. It became the most therapeutic thing for us. At the age of 13, writing music became a remedy for everything.
I think the difference between the first spark with the barbie guitar and more meaningful lyrics was the journey of life itself. We experienced a lot of life in those fifteen years. That allowed us to be more in touch with our emotions and the words we chose to use. It made music so much closer to our hearts too.
‘On Your Mind’, ‘Moonlight’, ‘Almost True’ all have a distinct, signature sound while also maintaining their own individual vibes. How different was it working on your earlier tracks versus this latest single?
Carly: We are always trying to find new ways to make music and produce music. 'On Your Mind' was halfway written through production, halfway written acoustically, then produced later. 'Moonlight' was originally written on a piano, we produced it later. 'Almost True' was actually a collaboration that we did with our good friend Jaidan Millar. He is a fantastic producer and it was our first time ever co-producing a track with someone. Each process was lots of fun, but all very different. It is always a blast getting to work with other musicians. It is also nice to get to write on your own as well. I think we have also learned a lot since 'On Your Mind', which helped us when we wrote 'Almost True'.
You’ve said before that you like to leave your lyrics up for interpretation but also that you love how raw and truthful the entertainment business allows you to be. How do you go about creating music that is honest while also being relatable?
Carly: I think the foundation for any good lyrics is honesty. If it is rooted in real-world applications, then most people can find a way to relate to it. Something I have learned, and still am working on, is to keep the lyrics less literal and more tailored to an emotion or feeling rather than being overly specific. If lyrics are too specific, it can get cheesy. It can be done well, it’s just hard to pull off. I think that of all the songs that we have written, the more vague ones seem to always turn out better. Even if it isn’t vague and the lyrics are specific, if a song is leaning towards hate, love, confusion, sadness, whatever it may be, we try to highlight that in the song.
Of course, we love a good storyline in a song. 'Almost True' has a storyline, but the main message of the song is how we are taught to hide our emotions from strangers. Someone else may listen and feel that it reminds them of all the people in the world they haven’t met. The storyline circles a topic, but that can open so many different doors in the listener's mind. At least it does when I hear music.
What do you hope people will take away from ‘Almost True’? Do you feel like you have a specific message you want people to hear through this song? What lessons have you learned through creating this single?
KTJ: I hope that people remember that everything in life is all about perspective— and that it’s important to be aware that we aren’t alone in whatever we feel— as we’re all human, and even though we all have a tendency to hide our feelings, they are still there and they are all valid and normal. [That perspective] put me in other people's shoes and helped me understand that everyone’s life journey is different and that it’s okay to have obnoxiously strong feelings, ones that society typically deems as inappropriate or wrong.
Making this song brought me more psychological awareness of the people around me. It's hard to talk about anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions, I’ve been there. Yet I still don’t understand why, as people all experience it. In different ways, yes, but we all have experienced a terrible day.
One last thing it reminded me, is that, (as cheesy as it sounds) after every storm, comes a rainbow.
Can we expect some more covers any time soon?
Carly: Yes, there will be covers in our live sets! For now, we are focusing on our own work and making our own music as far as online. But always be sure to stay up to date with our socials, because you never know! Lots of new music is coming this year.
Be sure to follow KTJ & CARLY (Instagram and Facebook: @ktjcarly or Twitter: @ktjcarlymusic) so you don't miss out!