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Los Angeles dreamfolk artist Misty Boyce is preparing for the release of new album genesis later this year by putting out new single “Telephone” now. We spoke to her about all that and more…
L.A. WEEKLY: When did you start writing and recording, and when did you realize it could be a career?
MISTY BOYCE: I started writing when I was around 9 years old. I was really into country music and imagined writing songs for Reba McEntire. Then I saw a  movie around that time called The Thing Called Love about a young woman who goes to Nashville to become a songwriter and that confirmed for me that songwriting and being an artist is a thing you can do in the world. I don’t think I thought much about it in terms of money or viability, I just beelined for that life.
Describe your sound…
My sound is something like thinky dreamy folk-pop? I’m ripping off Marc Maron there. There are elements of folk and pop and whispers of my jazz background but in a way that you only realize after it’s been done. Like…oh no…I just got JAZZED!!! But they made it sound so COOL??? HOW???
Tell us about “Telephone” — what is the song about? Is it representative of the genesis album?
“Telephone” is about the final stages of grief after losing a loved one. It’s about receiving the message from the one that you lost that it’s OK to let them go…they’re already gone…and they’re free…so can you be…
The sound of “Telephone” is the beginning of what my producer, Jon Joseph, and I started making together, so sonically genesis is in this world, but there is SO MUCH MORE to come vibe, tempo and topic-wise. Brace yourself for some Andy Shauf meets Return to Forever meets Tedeschi Trucks meets a skeptical Bible study.
How have you been coping with the lockdown? How are you staying busy?
It’s been a roller coaster for sure. Since I make my living touring, I lost all my income for the year and for the foreseeable future, which has been tough to reckon with, not just financially but in regards to my identity. Who am I if I’m not a successful touring musician and can prove it on Instagram? The life I worked so hard to attain has been taken away in an instant, and I’m left to just sit with myself as a person. Can I be OK just as a person? Turns out…yes! I’ve found tremendous peace in the simplicity and surrender of this time in the moments when I can let go of dread of the future. So I moved to Phoenix temporarily and have been writing and gardening and exercising and meditating and watching BoJack Horseman. And finishing the record! Scheming up art. Editing promo videos.
What do you have planned for after the lockdown is lifted?
I can’t even imagine what life is going to look like after this. I suspect live music will be one of the last things back up and running as “normal,” so it could be years before that’s a reality again, and by then, I’ll have needed to reshape my life. Again, after the initial panic and dread around that thought, I’m really enjoying the process of seeing myself be resilient and adjust and innovate and keep striving and pushing for solutions by focusing on what I can do or make or find beauty in this very moment.
Misty Boyce’s single “Telephone” is out now…