Finding out who you are isn’t easy, is it? If you’ve never been bound by the weight of not knowing, consider yourself a lucky anomaly. With an honest heart and a young soul, Marny Proudfit shared a song about being caught in that uncharted territory in life. The longing for being “anywhere but here” is a common mindset for those of us donning an underdog collar in our twenties; Marny is “23 years angry” herself.
Marny Proudfit is from Odgen, Utah and sings about the abundance of people and places she experiences on her journey. Her soulful tune, “Wilco (The Crowd)” is a first good dose of what she’s all about. Prepare to open your ears to something with stripped-down instrumentation (one guitar) and few lines tossed here and there. The song mimics what you might hear passing a lone songwriter in a coffee shop – tender, personal, and intimate.
23 years angry
The venom in my veins moves slow
It hasn’t killed anybody
I don’t want to be the first to go, no
Can’t we move to the city?
And watch but never join the fools?
We got in touch with Marny to learn more about the world she writes from.
You mention Wilco in the title, what is their significance to you or this song?
This one is actually a bit of a simple answer, I saw Wilco in concert 2 nights in a row and wrote the majority of the lyrics at the shows on my phone, while observing the crowd.
Other than maybe Wilco, what artists were you listening to while you wrote this song?
Dr Dog, Andrew Bird, Sufjan Stevens, James Blake, Emily King, & Bon Iver were all big influences amongst others at the time.
If you were able to make a song with any musician in the whole world, who would it be and why?
Probably Jonny Greenwood! He’s so talented, and values big, orchestral sounds like I would like to make someday.
Can you tell me about how this song came to be? What piece of it came to you first, and how did you build it from there?
I was home from college for the summer. Before I had left to come back home, I had met someone significant, who I’d created a lot of dreams and ideas with. They wanted a lot of the same things I wanted, and so I wrote this song about one of those dreams, while I was surrounded by strangers listening to the band play. I was lonely, angry, and missing that person, and thinking about what it would be like to just move somewhere new with them, apart from everyone else. Lyrics came first, starting with the opening line of the song, “23 years angry” – I just thought it sounded good, and it felt right.
When people hear singer-songwriter music, I think there’s an expectation that all the lyrics are autobiographical. How true do you think that is for you on this track, or in general? Does that expectation ever weigh on you?
Haha, that is so, so true for this song. Except that I was 19 when I wrote it, not 23 🙂 I stopped letting that expectation weigh on me, though it used to. I like the idea that my songs can have bits that are true, and other parts that are based off of my *imagination*
I really loved the opening line of this song, “23 years angry…” I can imagine a lot of different things inspiring that line, but what does that phrase mean for you?
I was angry at the time. I was living at home away from a life I’d built across the country. I didn’t know who I was, and was trying to figure that out. “19 years angry” doesn’t sound nearly as good as “23 years angry” so that’s the lyric I went with.
Another moment of curiosity for me was the repeated line, “Can’t we move to the city?” Was this a metaphor, or were you referencing a specific place?
The city could’ve been anywhere that we weren’t already. When I sing that line, I’m usually thinking about NYC.
What do you hope people take away from your music?
I hope they connect with it however they’d like to. I’d like them to use it to escape, to explore, to surprise themselves with feeling or thinking something new.
What’s next for you in your career? Will you be putting out more music soon, or going on tour?
I’m putting out an EP on 9/13, and have a large show opening for Of Monsters and Men on 9/17 that I’m extremely excited for. After that, I’d love to plan a tour, work in new tunes, and to continue writing.
Pay her a visit…