It’s been five years since Miya Folick arrived on the indie rock scene with her acclaimed debut album Premonitions. But in the time since, Folick was dealt some pretty big blows. After going through a gnarly breakup and quitting drugs, Folick’s father sadly passed away suddenly. Faced with grief and the looming pressure of her sophomore album, Folick channeled her grief and confusion into song.
Her tumultuous years resulted in Roach, Folick’s most polished and resilient work to date. With songs like “Bad Thing” (which was co-written by Mitski) and “Cockroach,” Folick shows her ability to pen honest earworms, which was her goal going into the songwriting process. “It felt like I was masking my insecurities with poetry,” she says about her debut album in a statement. “Putting Premonitions out into the world and singing those songs on tour made it very clear to me that I wanted to make songs where I was not hiding.”
Ahead of the release of Roach, Folick sits down with Uproxx to talk Joni Mitchell, Moonstruck, and sleeping in an abandoned doomsday prepper’s house in our latest Q&A.
What are four words you would use to describe your music?
I sing my feelings.
It’s 2050 and the world hasn’t ended and people are still listening to your music. How would you like it to be remembered?
I don’t think my personal legacy matters to me that much. I hope the music makes them feel good.
What’s your favorite city in the world to perform?
Los Angeles is home, so it’s always a good show. I recently played in Prague and really loved it. But there are so many places I haven’t played in yet. I’d love to play somewhere in Japan or Brazil or Mexico.
Who’s the person who has most inspired your work, and why?
There isn’t any one person. Many people have inspired my work in chapters of my life. I think right now I am in a chapter where I’m looking inward the most for inspiration. But the sound of my work is definitely shaped by my music community, the musicians I am friends with and play with.
Where did you eat the best meal of your life?
I don’t do bests very well, if that isn’t already clear! But it’s probably the breakfast buffet at the hotel when I visited Japan as a child. My mind was really blown.
What album do you know every word to?
Joni Mitchell’s Ladies Of The Canyon. Laura Nyro’s Eli And The Thirteenth Confession. Rilo Kiley’s More Adventurous. Probably Destiny’s Child’s The Writing’s On The Wall. I haven’t tested any of these but I’m pretty sure I know all the lyrics.
What was the best concert you’ve ever attended?
Really struggling with the bests here. My brain just doesn’t work that way. The last concert I really loved was seeing Yeah Yeah Yeahs play at Kilby Block Party. They are magic.
What is the best outfit for performing and why?
I need to feel good and nimble. I can’t perform in anything too restrictive or tight. I need to be able to put my monitor pack somewhere. And I like to wear the same thing over and over again, so it needs to be something I won’t get sick of.
Who’s your favorite person to follow on Twitter and/or Instagram?
This person I don’t know whose name is Rose (@donniedarkeaux) is really fun to follow because their captions are incredible. Like strange tiny novels. My friend @arielfish is very fun to follow because her photos blow minds and her story is always very good.
What’s your most frequently played song in the van on tour?
Lomelda’s “Hannah Sun.” I CANNOT GET ENOUGH OF IT. Or maybe “Bainá” by Nia Archives.
What’s the last thing you Googled?
The last thing I googled was the definition of “best” to find out if there was a lesser known definition that just meant like “highly regarded” so I could have some linguistic wiggle room.
What album makes for the perfect gift?
Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever crashed while on tour?
I booked an Airbnb in Philly once that was on the second story of this seemingly abandoned building. There was a giant hole in the wall. And I mean huge, like the size of a garage door. It was there so you could swing on a rope from the apartment into a swimming pool on the ground outside. But the swimming pool was not filled. The apartment was one big room and the corner was sectioned off with plywood covered in tarp. But we peaked inside and saw that it was filled with prepper gear. There was a really high quality Batman costume hanging on the wall. And the person who let us in told us that raccoons might climb into the apartment at night, but that we can feed them cat food if we want.
What’s the story behind your first or favorite tattoo?
It’s lyrics from Laura Nyro’s New York Tendaberry.
What artists keep you from flipping the channel on the radio?
What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?
Be my friend.
What’s one piece of advice you’d go back in time to give to your 18-year-old self?
What’s the last show you went to?
What movie can you not resist watching when it’s on TV?
What’s one of your hidden talents?
I don’t have any! All my talents are visible.
Roach is out 5/26 via Stop Talking/Nettwerk. Find more information here.