“I played my first open mic night ever just a few years ago at the Lucky Cat in Brooklyn. So in that sense I feel like I’ve evolved ten times over,” she said, adding, “I cringe when I think about that.”
Since then, Zettler has been creating and refining music at a much faster rate than most musicians who are new to the business, showing maturity in sound equal to much more seasoned contemporaries. This is in part due to her taking a step back after her 2009 release, On Your Back Porch, and reassessing how she wanted to make music.
“There was a good solid year between releasing On Your Back Porch and starting my new project. During that time I had a life shift happening – everything in my personal and professional life felt particularly difficult, and I wasn’t feeling like myself,” she said.
After releasing two albums under her name, Zettler chose the band name Lightyear as a way to move beyond the music she’s made in the past.
“When you’re performing as yourself, it’s you up there. The songs are you, the lyrics are you. With a moniker I think I feel a little more free to make choices I might not have made before. It gives me a creative freedom that was there all along, I just couldn’t feel it until now,” she said.
“It Beats,” the preview track from her upcoming EP, sounds like someone who has learned to create art that matches her ambitions, and I suspect the rest of the songs will not disappoint.
“To be perfectly honest, I was really tired of being a girl with a guitar in New York,” she said. “I felt like I kept trying to write music that didn’t necessarily come easiest to me …”
For All Of The Miles, her first EP as Lightyear, Zettler says she, “… went into the studio with a handful of unfinished songs and completed them while we were recording. It was a really fun process, and I was mainly focused on just making sound. I wanted to see how far I could go and then reign it back in if I needed to.”
“I started to really think about the kind of art I wanted to make and the kind of career I wanted to have and the kind of life I wanted to live, and the pieces gradually started falling into place. I took some chances and I think they paid off,” she said.
“At the end of the day, music is absolutely universal … everyone is a fan of someone, and that puts us all on the same playing field.”
This Friday, Lightyear will be playing a show at Flux Studios to promote the release of All Of The Miles.
Check out Lightyear’s website for all sorts of neat goodies, and listen to the excellent “It Beats” from the forthcoming release. This track reminds me of the first time I listened to Mirah. It’s lush at times, sparse at others, and has me totally intrigued for the EP.
If Lightyear is a sign of musical things to come, then I exist in anticipation.
P.S. Brooklyn-based Mitten will also be playing at the release party, and this is a perfect time to mention that they make some very fun music that you can’t help but move to. I’ve been loving “All That I’ve Got” for a while, and if I were you and you were in the area on Friday night, I would not miss this show.
Lightyear All Of The Miles EP Release Party Flux Studios – New York, NY Purchase tickets here.