Nashville indie pop singer CAPPA (née Carla Cappa) has created a mountain of buzz over the past year, thanks to a consistent output of indie pop earworms (see: "I'm Good" and "Next Ex") that have helped her captivate the hype machine and the industry at large, all while adeptly treading the indie-pop line in the vein of recent crossover stars like Lorde and Say Lou Lou.
CAPPA Returns With Blissful 'I'm Good' Video
Today, the singer arrives fully formed with the release of her new EP Queen Of Hearts, premiering one day early exclusively via Billboard.
And before kicking off a sweeping fall tour with Matt Wertz (Sept. 15 at The Belmont in Austin, TX), Billboard caught up with the budding star about the new set, working with Halsey producer Dylan Bauld, and prepping for life on the road.
This is your first proper "EP." What does it mean for you to be putting out a full set as opposed to playing the singles game?
Releasing an official EP feels really, really good. I actually released a self-titled EP last year, but it was definitely more thrown together. I spent a lot of time this go-around writing the best songs that I could. Once I had them, I flew out to LA to record them with Dylan Bauld who worked on Halsey's "Badlands." I was a big fan, and it was the first time I had ever gotten in touch with someone and was like "I need to work with you!" So he did half of the EP, and then I finished up the other half in Nashville (which is where I usually do most of my recording). This EP is definitely more pop-centered than my previous work, but sonically I think there is still that dark, brooding edge in each of the songs. Thematically, it feels very "coming of age" to me. This is the kind of music I've always wanted to do, and the songs are mostly about discovering myself and also about how much I hate dating.
What does the title "Queen of Hearts" signify to you and why did you choose it?
It's kind of a way of stating that I'm in control of my own life. The music industry can really run you into the ground, and I decided a long time ago that I'm doing this for me and no one else first and foremost.
You're on a sweeping tour with Matt Wertz through the fall - how did you guys connect? And how does it feel to be taking these songs out on the road?
We were actually on the same New Music Friday playlist on Spotify because he had just released a new EP and I had just released a single. His manager twitter messaged me and was like "Do you wanna tour with Matt?" and I was like "um yeah that'd be cool!" I'm stoked. The whole lineup is really awesome. It's my first US tour, and I've been dreaming about living in a van on the road since I was 15. I got really lucky with releasing the EP at the same time as the tour. It feels awesome to play these songs live after I've kept them to myself for so long.
What city/market/gig on the tour are you most looking forward to play and why?
We're playing the House of Blues in Houston and I'm really excited about that. We're also playing Philly, which is my hometown, so it'll feel really rewarding to play there.
Do you have any tour essentials that are musts for you on the road?
The road is all about taking care of yourself, so my tour essentials are kind of boring. Vitamins and lemon/mint throat spray are a must (I'm not an old woman I promise). Music playlists (because there's a lot of travel time), dry shampoo, and I have this onesie for traveling that I'm really excited about wearing for the next 3 months straight.
What are some tunes and artists that you're planning to listen to during those long drives in between dates?
I actually do have a tour playlist on my Spotify that I'll be updating as I go! Right now I've got some St. Lucia, Fetty Wap, Dagny, LANY, Purity Ring, Pete Yorn, Mokita, Jarryd James and Broods. I'll be needing new music suggestions though so feel free to send any current obsessions my way!
Catch CAPPA and Matt Wertz on the Gun Shy 2016 Fall Tour through December, with full dates here.