Analogue Music | Juana Everett

Juana Everett

By Matt Conner

Juana Everett was ready for a change.

It's impossible for Everett to differentiate her recent move from Madrid to Los Angeles as either personal or professional. Yes, she needed to get away from a toxic relationship and troubling situations. She also needed a change from a creative scene she knew too well.

A global pandemic hasn't exactly made such a seismic shift any easier, but Everett says she's finding her way these days—both personally and professionally. Move On is the new full-length album, filled with straightforward lo-fi jangly pop/rock tunes that document her experiences, describing a heart that's now "open and strong."

We recently sat down with Everett to hear more about releasing a new album and what inspired the move from Spain to SoCal in the first place.

Analogue: Congratulations on the new album. Are you getting anxious as release date approaches?

Juana Everett: I was actually hoping to release it in 2020, but because of the pandemic and circumstances, I thought I would wait a minute. But emotionally it was important for me to release it. I've released a few singles and that already feels great, but when I realize the full album, I'll finally let go of it. I can really move onto the next thing because these songs have been very meaningful for me in this chapter of my life in which I've transitioned from one country to the other. I've faced some personal drama that has helped me grow a lot. I need to share it so that I can detach from it in a way.

I decided go wait a minute and release it now and it really feels like it makes sense because of the circumstances. I feel like after everything that has happened around us, I think socially we're in a Move On moment as well. I think it worked out perfectly in that sense.

Analogue: Glad you mentioned the move because it's so central to the story I read behind the album. Was that a professional move?

Juana: It was very personal, in truth. My decision was definitely related to music and how the music scene out here is way bigger and richer and more interesting and diverse, I think, so that was a big factor. I feel like ever since I was a little kid, I always knew I was going to live far from home. I found myself in a place where I'd quit my job. I'd gotten out of a very toxic relationship. I was doing okay within the underground music scene back in Madrid, but I felt like I already knew everybody and every corner of it. I really needed a personal and professional challenge. It was a huge life shift, you know? [Laughs]

Analogue: Was that a decision you made quickly or did it take time to pull that trigger/

Juana: It was a realization, I think. I saw myself in this moment and realized it was now or never. I made the decision in a couple months. I first came out here for a couple weeks and checked out the place first. I'd been to northern California because I had a friend I'd met in the Netherlands years before. I fell in love with it and that was my first solo trip ever. It was very special for me and I had a very strong connection to nature and the ocean somehow. It was a profound experience. This was in my early twenties and I thought someday I'd want to live here. Years later, when I wanted to move, I decided on L.A. because I knew that San Fran had changed so much and there was a lot going on here. I came here for a couple weeks and fell in love. I went back home, packed the apartment, sold the car, and came back out.

Analogue: Wow. How much of this was written before the move and how much after the move?

Juana: I think only one or two songs were half-written before, just from leaving that relationship that ended before I moved. There were a couple songs I was writing when I moved but even they changed after I moved here. They were probably just ideas recorded on my phone and the lyrics weren't finished. When I came here, I thought I'd start recording straight away, but I was starting from scratch and there was a lot to do. I was enrolled in this production course so I had a lot to do. Then I started working. Everything just took longer. You don't expect things to take that long, but when you're starting over, it takes a minute for you to cover the basics. So I did write most of it after I moved here.

"I was just pouring out songs. I was using it was a way to handle everything that I was feeling in the moment."

Analogue: How inspired did you feel after the move?

Juana: This selection of songs I wrote in that time, I was very emotional. I didn't know that I was dealing with a lot of anxiety and I was a little bit depressed. I had a family crisis happening back home after I moved here. That all hit me but I wasn't aware how delicate I was emotionally at that point. I was just pouring out songs. I was using it was a way to handle everything that I was feeling in the moment. These songs have been written from a very intuitive place. The emotion just came out. When you're more calm emotionally, you can say, 'I'm going to sit down and write a song.' [Laughs] But in this case, you're like, 'I just need to fucking vomit what's inside right now!' So I was processing a lot through the writing.

Analogue: [Laughs] That's great. You mentioned the personal side of being here. How has the professional side been?

Juana: The last year sucked obviously. I haven't been out there connecting with people. But it did take me a minute to find musicians that I would connect with, who would write music I would empathize with. It really did attract me how eclectic this is, but it's also spread out. It really was a lot of work to start discovering the right places for me and the right communities for me. Madrid is a big city but when you try to explore the different music scenes, it's pretty easy to find. There are a few venues and they're close to each other. It's pretty manageable. But here, everything is so spread out. There can be venues in Hollywood and Silver Lake and Echo Park and Highland Park and everything is far from each other. So it was a lot of readjusting mentally to the logistics of a very different place. It took a minute.

Analogue: What are you most proud of about Move On?

Juana: I'm most proud of the honesty of these songs. I feel like I've really put myself out there with them. I'm also very proud of the people I've been able to work with, just having them trust my project and want to work in it. It's been super-encouraging.

VISIT: Juana Everett