I love nature. I love going to the Ballard Locks, Discovery Park, Carkeek Park, hanging out with my dog Mochi at Golden Gardens. A little further south, the Kubota Gardens are really beautiful. I love being on Lake Union in a sailboat, which you can rent at the Center for Wooden Boats.
I had been writing in a pastoral mode, with a lot of nature imagery. But when I started the residency at Town Hall, I started going to a lot of the talks there, and spending more time downtown, at nearby cultural centers like the Frye Museum and the Central Library. It made me think more about human relationships and communities—which showed up in the songs.
I really enjoy playing those long sets, because every once in a while I have intense moments of connection. I play my songs mixed with covers of Simon and Garfunkel, and the Beatles, which has raised the bar on my own writing! My new solo album, Pieces of Sky, was inspired by playing at the airport and visiting Iceland, Sweden and Japan—which, like Seattle, have a laidback, modest way about them that I connect with.
When I first started playing shows I spent a lot of time at The Vera Project, the all-ages venue. Now the Triple Door is one of my favorite places. I also love the Fremont Abbey, and the Chapel at Good Shepherd Center—that room is really great for experimental and jazz music. I’ve played in the KEXP gathering space, where I also just like to hang out, drinking coffee at La Marzocco and reading a book. You can see the DJs through the glass, and there’s a little record store there. Sonic Boom Records is also great—one of the best record stores on the West Coast.
Interview by Brangien Davis. Photo taken at the KEXP Gathering Space.
Fourth of Julivar’s from Tomo Nakayama’s 2017 album, Pieces of Sky.