( ENSPIRE Music ) Alysia Kraft’s Music Celebrates Queer Love with Hopeful Indie Pop Beats and Poetic Lyrics
ENSPIRE Contributor: Iris Michelsen
In honor of Pride month, on June 17th, up-and-coming indie-pop artist Alysia Kraft released her debut album First Light. The album is an exploration and celebration of her coming of age as a young Queer woman growing up on a cattle farm in small-town Wyoming. Drawing inspiration from artists like HAIM, Kraft’s new album is Americana to the tune of indie-pop with a bit of folk mixed in. Her work aims to capture the feeling of home.
Kraft began playing the guitar at 21 years old, quickly discovering a passion for songwriting that inspired her to pursue a career in music. She was the frontwoman first of a band called The Patti Fiasco and later of the band Whippoorwill. She gained a cult following and later branched out on her own. Her standalone work is heartfelt and introspective, full of sonic and lyrical complexity.
ENSPIRE talked with Alysia Kraft about her latest release and the inspiration behind her music.
What drew you towards music as a career?
“I came into music LATE. I was 21 when I bought my first guitar and started writing songs. By a real miracle of circumstances, I started fronting a really great, really rowdy rock band playing my own songs almost immediately. One taste of the energy exchange between a crowd and a live band changed everything for me. It’s collective joy- precarious, surprising, cathartic and unifying. As a human being, I think I’m always trying to make sense of my feelings, and writing and performing songs is a really collaborative way of doing that.”
How has your queer identity influenced your music?
“I think rebellion, resilience, love and longing are themes in every song I’ve written. I relate those feelings specifically to my own queerness and I hope I channel those feelings in a way that’s palpable in performance. I grew up in a small town in Wyoming and it’s been a long and continuously evolving road to personal liberation. I’m grateful for music as a space to keep growing, processing, evolving and connecting with the experiences of others.”
Who are your biggest inspirations in terms of your musical style?
“The Cranberries, HAIM, Waxahatchee, Patty Griffin, Big Thief, Hatchie, Kacey Musgraves.”
Can you tell us about your partner, who inspired the song Hamilton Pool?
“Hamilton Pool is about “The Hill Country Queen” Staci Foster. We’re no longer together, but were for 9 years and co-fronted a band together called Whippoorwill. How to describe Staci…? Wise, classic, deep, wild… a bona fide river rat, a harmonica-ripping timeless country-tinged songwriter, and soul…a legend and a huge love and influence in my life.”
What message do you hope to send to your fans who are Queer, LGBT+, or exploring their own identities?
“Joy is the greatest form of rebellion. Trust the little fire inside yourself and let it be your guide in love, expression, and evolution. Trust that you’ll find who and what you need if your heart is open to the experience.”
Even in this brief conversation, Alysia’s strong poetic voice shines through. It’s clear where the inspiration for her powerful lyrics comes from. Her music brings together aspects of her identity that might seem like they would be at odds, but instead, she celebrates the overlapping of all the things that make her unique.