Interview: Shallow Pools

Boston Trio, Shallow Pools, aren’t afraid of breaking the rules as they convey messages of hope and perseverance stemming from the heart through their music. I caught up with the ladies for an in-depth interview to discuss the recent release of “Haunted”, collectively raising Bibby the cat, trading existences with cartoon characters such as The Powerpuff Girls and Twister from Rocket Power, balance pertaining to social media and much more.

Congrats on the recent release of your new single, “Haunted”. Tell us about the message that you intended to portray throughout this track and video. 

Ali – Thank you so much! We wanted “Haunted” to explore the feelings of uncertainty and helplessness surrounding the future. Having a dream and feeling like it keeps getting further and further away but still pushing to make it happen every day.

Tell us about how shallow pools came together and the bond that you have developed through your artistry. 

Ali – We all went to the same high school! Jess and Glynnis had been friends for a while, and then met Ali in 2012. We found out that we all loved music, and started making acoustic covers together. We decided to start writing our own songs and at first it was pretty rough but we have all grown so much and it’s been really cool to see! We are truly best friends/do everything together and the band really feeds that bond. Even if we fight it’s like… well we have to write 3 songs this week so there’s really no time for that.

Showcasing the human in you, what is a challenging thought that you recently had and were able to overcome over time? 

Jess – Every time we write new music, I constantly struggle with feeling like I’m not good enough or that I won’t write a song as good as our last song. It’s something I’ve been trying to work on a lot lately!

Glynnis – I’ve always been dealing with insecurity, where I’ve felt like I’m not up to par in almost every aspect of my life. But honestly, being in a band and performing has really helped me to be more confident in everything that I do!

Ali – I often have imposter syndrome! I feel like because I’m a woman if I’m not playing super intricate drum parts etc. everyone will think I’m not good enough. I have to remind myself that less is more and the best drummers play in the pocket and aren’t playing fills every 3 measures.

What is your perception of the digital world that we live in and social media culture?

Ali – I feel like it’s a blessing and a curse! It’s a great way to get your name out there and stay connected with fans who would have never heard of you if it weren’t for social media, but there are also factors working against you and you basically have to be a digital marketer to get new people seeing your posts and videos since there is so much content out there!

Jess – I love social media! It’s cool to be able to connect with people you might not have met otherwise. For the most part we’ve had a pretty positive experience with social media as far as the band goes. There are downsides for sure, so you definitely don’t want to get too wrapped up in it.

No career path or amount of followers negates the fact that you are a human being that has feelings. Tell us about some parts of you beyond being a musician that you take pride in. 

Glynnis – Honestly, I’m very proud of my cat. I know he’s not part of me but I’m obsessed with him and he’s very, very cute. His name is Bibby, he’s a chubby black cat, and he’s very talented.

Ali – I really like planning things! If I’m travelling anywhere I will have like 52 places to go and backup plans to the backups and I used to be annoyed by it because I lack spontaneity but honestly now I don’t care, I like to be prepared!! Also bibby is a star he is the strangest cat i know I’m proud of his existence and glynnis for being a great mother.

Jess – I’ve become a lot more independent over the last year or two. I moved to a new place, got a new job, etc. I’ve been working at that for a long time so it’s something I’m super proud of! I also agree with Glynnis that Bibby is talented and I’m proud of him too.

As you are exposed to tons of stimulus, how do you proactively take care of your mental and emotional health when you’re out on the road?

Ali – We do all have full time jobs plus the full time job that is writing/recording/performing, so that ends up being really overwhelming at times. It’s just a matter of making sure that you’re also doing things that make you happy/relaxed! I like watching Degrassi and the Bachelor/Bachelorette (depending on time of year), editing videos even though it annoys me sometimes, going to breweries, and I also really love shopping online/at malls.

Glynnis – I think it’s super important to take time for yourself. Even if it’s listening to a podcast, writing, or listening to music, having time that is dedicated to relaxing/destressing can really make a difference in how you’re feeling, especially with interactions with others!!

Jess – I completely agree with Glynnis! I love being around my friends and playing music together all the time, but it’s super important to make sure I get time to myself too. I think we all know each other well enough at this point that we can tell if someone needs to be left alone for a bit. Also, communicating exactly how you feel helps too! It’s something we’re all still working on.

If you could trade existences with your favorite cartoon character growing up, who would you choose and why? 

Ali- I really loved Arthur but I don’t really think I’d want his life, it was pretty boring. So I’m gonna go with Emmy from Dragon Tales she had a SICK life, a super cool playroom AND the ability to go fly on the backs of dragons. 

Glynnis – I was very into The Powerpuff Girls when I was younger. I always resonated with Buttercup, and I think it’d be pretty cool to be this little angsty superhero.

Jess – I was such a big Rocket Power fan so maybe I’d be Twister! Honestly I’d be any of the characters because then I’d know how to skateboard, which is my DREAM.

Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?

Ali – Thank you for existing and promoting us and connecting with our music, we see you/hear you. You always have someone in your corner in us!

Glynnis – Thank you so much for listening & we can’t wait for you to hear what’s next!!

Jess – Thanks so much for listening/coming out to our shows! We’re super excited to put out some new songs and play in new places this year!

Shallow Pools Social Links:



Interview: Bent Knee

Boston Band, Bent Knee, are stepping into a new realm of musical creativity that pours forward an atmospheric touch that leaves listeners swooning in an electric rush. On the verge of the release of their new album, ‘You Know What They Mean’, I caught up with Courtney to discuss growing into a better team player, the dream of taking a yoga training course in the future, the importance of cultivating your sense of self and more.

Congrats on the upcoming release of your new album, ‘You Know What They Mean’. Tell us about the message that you intended to portray throughout the new release.

Like most of our albums, I don’t think there’s a definitive message behind YKWTM as much as the hope that folks enjoy listening to it. When we were writing the songs we were focused on finding infectious grooves that make you want to move. In the studio we worked on capturing sounds and performances with a lot of attitude. It’s simultaneously our most accessible and more experimental album to date, and we’re all enthralled with how it turned out. 

Though a broad question, what have you learned about yourself and what skills have you developed through working in the music industry.

It’s important to cultivate your sense of self. I think it’s easy to get thrown around if you’re trying to read other people’s expressions or parse through different pieces of advice. It’s a volatile industry where just because something worked once for somebody is no assurance that it will be a good thing for you. It helps to be at peace with yourself and the decisions you make, rather than feeling pushed around. At a micro level, being on the road or at shows can be challenging or fun, depending on how much you can meet your own needs in a graceful way. I was always somebody who tried to take the temp of the situation before deciding on what I want. Over the years I think I’ve become better about understanding and articulating what I need, which has counterintuitively made me a better team player.

Showcasing the human in you, what is a challenging thought that you recently had and were able to overcome over time?

For a long time I felt like I was a bad person, and I had a wicked confirmation bias that ensnared me in some sad basement corner of my life. Some of my bandmates and friends started seeing therapists for various different reasons, and I decided to start working with one myself. With their help, personal work, and time, I’ve dug myself out of that sad pit. I feel good about myself, and I feel more vividly alive than ever have. On sunny days I find myself looking at the sky and getting emotional about the bright blue and the energy radiating in the atmosphere. 

What is your perception on the digital world that we live in and social media culture?

It’s a lot to take in! I love Instagram and I get a lot of inspiration and encouragement from it. Still, I don’t like how much of my time it tends to eat, and how quickly my phone becomes a Instagram machine rather than a telephone. When I come off tour, I often try to delete social media off my phone to get back into a rhythm of life. If I’m in line for something I actively try to stare at the wall or look around, and avoid tuning into social media.

No career path or amount of followers negates the fact that you are a human being that has feelings. Tell us about some parts of you beyond being a musician that you take pride in.

Lately I’ve been really focused on yoga. One of my life goals is to take a teacher training course by the time I’m 35, but for now I’ve been trying to practice every day. I’m proud that I vary between hot sweaty yoga and restorative yoga, so I’m not just going to sweat or exercise so much as for my mind. In the last year I ran a half marathon and a 10k, which made me feel really great. I was never super athletic growing up, so I felt really empowered knowing I could run long distances like that. Cooking and baking are also big passions for me, and I’ve been really interested in photography, drawing, and watercolors, too. 

As you are exposed to tons of stimulus, how do you proactively take care of your mental and emotional health when you’re out on the road?

Being on the road is not a big chore for me (I’m lucky). Usually if I’m feeling rough, I just need to listen to myself and do whatever I’m aching to do. It’s always refreshing to walk somewhere alone, or even hop in a ride share to go do something I really want to. Sometimes taking a nap, reading a book with my nice headphones on, or drawing can really make me feel better. On most days I do yoga while we’re waiting for soundcheck, and that helps ground me a lot. I think the toughest aspect of tour is the waiting. Waiting for people to go eat, waiting for lines to be run, waiting for loadout, etc. etc. It’s good to find ways to make that time active and engaging, and avoid being  bummed out staring at my phone. 

You have toured with a wide variety of musicians over the past years and have played at some major festivals. Tell us some words of wisdom that you collected along the way.

I can’t think of anything anyone specifically said to me, but we’ve certainly toured with a lot of kind and thoughtful people. For some reason I thought that people got meaner or more entitled towards the top of the food chain, fighting for the limited space available of being a “big band”. What I’ve learned is that it seems there’s plenty of room for kind and hardworking people, and most folks try to help each other out whenever they can. 

Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?

So grateful that there are folks out there listening and enjoying our music. We hear you and we see you, and we’re very grateful for your support and your positivity! 

Bent Knee Social Links:


Music Reviews

Boston Musicians, Miss Cactus & the Desert, Release New Music Video – “Dating School”

Boston Musicians, Miss Cactus & the Desert, instantly move listeners and viewers with a fun and spirited track, “Dating School”, which is accompanied by a music video that explores the roles of gender which is commonly portrayed in boxes amongst modern-day society. Showcasing to the world that she and her team are the embodiment of a multicultural world that travels deep beneath the skin, Lead Vocalist, Alondra Ramirez Ladd, travels through the depths of her spirit to portray stifling projections of pain and how the lack of equal opportunity due to race, color, religion, gender, sexuality, etc can serve to only destroy a human life. Making the conscious choice of leading out a life of equality is what deems Indie acts such as Miss Cactus & the Desert as independent thinkers that have come together to create works of musical art that are stirred from the heart.

Finding remnants of herself that once were previously undiscovered within, Alondra Ramirez Ladd is a soulful blast of Psychedelic Funk and vibrant awareness that is compelling to observe throughout a light visual narrative and massive inner story coming forward through the lyrical backstory behind “Dating School”. If you’re a fan of a mixture of fellow musicians such as Santigold, Betty Who and Janelle Monae, then keep an eye on the promising ride ahead for Miss Cactus & the Desert on Soundcloud.

Miss Cactus & the Desert Social Links: