“The Philly show is gonna be lit! People just need to be ready to rage!” says UPSAHL. Last month the 22-year-old, sassy-as-fuck (although exceptionally sweet in real life) songwriter released her debut LP, Lady Jesus, a collection of infectious alt pop songs with a razorblade edge that would be equally at home on the Warped Tour or alongside a postmodern pop princess like Olivia O’Brien… which is where she currently finds herself (She also just announced two weeks of dates supporting Yungblud next March.) O’Brien and UPSAHL just kicked off a month-long tour that will have them at our very own Union Transfer on Tuesday, November 16th. And during a recent phone chat the singer/songwriter tells me that her plethora of varied influences – who include Weezer, No Doubt, Remi Wolf, Radiohead, and OutKast – will certainly be reflected in her live show: “The album was rock and punk inspired, so the live show is like that amplified.”
Although UPSAHL is a relatively new name, she’s actually been playing music since age 5 and making her own music since 14 (She released a self-titled EP under her full name, Taylor Upsahl, in 2013.) and, since her reinvention as UPSAHL, she’s co-written tracks for marquee names like Dua Lipa (“Good in Bed”), Madison Beer (“BOYSHIT”), and Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda (“Happy Endings,” on which she appears, alongside iann dior). “Just working with other dope female artists is so inspiring,” she tells me, going on to say that her fantasy is to do something with Doja Cat. However, she admits that co-writing was not something that she had actually planned on doing: “That kind of happened on accident. I was working on songs of my own and one of my songs wound up in a dropbox…”
Lady Jesus sounds along the lines of something that art school kids would pump at a house party, where they were indulging in both PBR and a sincere appreciation for pop music. But that wasn’t initially the plan, according to UPSAHL: “It started as a breakup album. I thought I was gonna write the saddest breakup album of all-time.” However, during a songwriting workshop in Nashville everything suddenly changed: “I was like, ‘I think I’m okay.’” But that change in attitude and tone doesn’t mean that the music is any less honest. “The biggest thing I would want people to know is it all comes from a very autobiographical place,” she tells me. She also admits she’s totally loving the reactions she’s been getting so far: “I guess it just feels weird working on an album for a year and a half and now having it out into the world. Any reaction is dope for me.”
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