Marlana’s new single “I’m Good,” premiering in today’s QUARANTUNES, is all about being not-so-good. She talks about the powerful new song, from her solo EP coming in July, and shares a playlist of Black artists who have influenced her.
THE LATEST FROM MARLANA
On her debut EP, Marlana — the solo project of Marlana Sheetz of L.A. indie trio Milo Greene — touches all the sonic bases of pop, rock and soul and, more importantly, digs deep to explore the volatile emotions behind relationships, empowerment and general mental health.
Her new single “I’m Good,” out Friday, tackles the latter, a powerful memo-to-self that turns the typical response to the common question “How ya doin’?” on its ear. It’s a siren song rooted in her own personal tragedy and, she says, years of play-acting.
“‘I’m Good’ is a song about depression, frustration and pretending to be OK for the sake of everyone else around you,” she explains. “After the death of my brother and sister, I changed. Those around me did, too. People claim to like vulnerability, but in my experience, it just makes people uncomfortable. So I pretend that I’m fine even though I’m thinking about death 99% of the time.”
“I’m Good” is the latest single from Marlana’s EP “At Least I Tried,” coming out on July 24. The seven-song release features work she embarked on after the release of Milo Greene’s third album “Adult Contemporary” in 2018. “I started working hard on solo material after I had a complete mental breakdown,” Marlana says. “I went home to my parents’ place in the Sierra Nevada mountains and wrote for a few weeks after my antidepressants kicked in, and I started functioning again. For years in Milo, people kept telling me to go solo and it finally felt like the right time.”
Speaking of the Sierra Nevadas, Marlana’s previous single “Midnight Special,” a collaboration with Avid Dancer’s Jacob Summers, boasts a video in which she frolics through the pandemic-emptied streets of Placerville. Marlana had introduced her solo work in November with “So Bad” before releasing the left-field pop single “The Right” in February.
HOW ARE YOU HOLDING UP AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO MANAGE THE ‘STAY AT HOME’ EDICT?
It’s been a rough few months and an intense past few weeks. There is a lot to learn, and there are so many problems in the world that it becomes paralyzing. I have moments where I feel hopeful, but they are few and far between. It’s extremely difficult for me to stay optimistic right now, but I am committed to trying.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO WHEN THIS IS OVER?
I’d like to go dancing again. A solo mission to Oil Can Harry’s is long overdue.
ANYTHING WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THIS PLAYLIST?
This playlist consists of some of my favorite songs by Black artists.