Mar 01, 2023
By Caleb Campbell
Photography by Amanda Kealii
Later this month, LA-based indie pop singer/songwriter Ashlynn Malia is set to share her upcoming sophomore EP, navigating galaxies, out March 21st. She debuted in 2021 with her EP, rather be alone, introducing herself amidst a stark blend of personal storytelling and cinematic pop songwriting. However, navigating galaxies represents an even more intimate and personal effort for Malia. Her sophomore effort is a series of voice notes, showing off Malia’s songwriting in a more raw and vulnerable setting.
Last month, she shared the record’s lead single, “comfortable,” and today she’s back with her latest single, “wheel of fortune,” premiering with Under the Radar.
“Wheel of fortune” feels especially intimate for Malia, traced only with her piano and voice. The track is hazily sketched and performed with a bleary sense of intimate honesty. With its sparse arrangement, simple composition, and stream-of-consciousness lyrics, it feels like you key in just as Malia is writing the song itself. This lends the track a charming immediacy and unassuming sincerity, a feeling that extends to its lyrics: “I’m a broken branch cut off the tree / Lying fallen bruised and severed from my family / It’s nothing like the way things used to be / I get that time goes on but why’s it gotta be so mean?”
Check out the song and lyric video below, along with our Q&A with Maila. Her new EP, navigating galaxies, is out March 21st via Inkind/The Orchard.
Since this EP and especially “Wheel Of Fortune” are so intimate and organic, do you hope people will listen to these songs differently from your previous music?
Absolutely I do – I hope they listen to the songs like we know each other, and like what i’m sharing with them is an idea, instead of something I share to impress and entertain. Everything I put out is from the heart, but this release is as vulnerable as I’ve ever gotten.
Do you think your immense TikTok following is an outlet to reach people via your music in a larger, more impactful way? Aka, in a world where most people connect through social media now, do you hope this EP forges a deeper connection?
Well, I hope it is! The algorithm kinda makes the decisions for me sometimes in terms of reaching my audience. But I think tiktok has to be one of many more outlets to reach people – As helpful as it is, I’d much prefer to use it as a tool to meet listeners and collaborators in person. The level of connection I crave through my music can’t be satisfied by social media alone.
What’s in store for your music and life after this EP? Do you have any wishes or hopes for your discography moving forward?
I hope I get to experiment forever! The next project I’m working on is VERY different from these voice memos – lyrically, sonically, etc. I have a lot of different sides of myself and I want my discography to reflect that.