Local Sounds: Moollz

By Conor Hudnut

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Local Sounds is a series that highlights musical talent throughout NYU. The series culminates in a concert at the end of the semester featuring some of the artists that have been profiled. Keep checking back in with NYU Local for updates and new music. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your new favorite band before they’re big.

I’ve known Molly Kirschenbaum, the artist behind Moollz, since I was twelve years old. I’ve always been jealous of her very actualized sense of self. While I tried on various different identities throughout middle and high school she has stayed steadfast and unwavering in her identity as a musician.

Molly first became interested in music as a young child, playing music in her living room for her mom and dad. She continued to discover her love for music in classes throughout elementary and middle school, as well as in the musicals at our school. When she would perform in our musicals or school assemblies I would hear parents or other audience members go “wow, she’s GOOD” — and I would always nod my head in total agreement.

She began writing music at thirteen, and first began uploading it to Soundcloud at fourteen. Throughout high school she began playing shows throughout Los Angeles, at local venues like the House of Blues, Whiskey a Go Go, and the Lyric. In 2014 she even performed at Lollapalooza with the band Pretty Little Demons.

Molly is now a freshman in the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Arts, and has recently released an EP titled “Moon Fruit” which is available on Spotify and Bandcamp. I sat down with Molly Kirschenbaum in the lobby of our very own Founders Hall to learn about all things Moollz.

LOCAL: Okay, so what exactly IS Moollz?

Molly: Moollz is a childhood nickname that became a character-like musical project!

LOCAL: What do you mean project or character?

Molly: So Moollz is a solo project turned collaborative project that kind of revolves around this character-like nucleus. Which is, I think, almost a caricature of myself. Like this kind of amplified version of my most ridiculous self which is both goofy and highly emotional and kind of spacey. It’s a caricature of my most real self which makes it both super personal and a little bit of a performance.

LOCAL: How exactly did Moollz come to be?

Molly: “Moollz” came to be because Molly Kirschenbaum is too long and hard to spell, and musically it came to be because I started writing music and wanted to play it outside just my living room!

LOCAL: What are some things you are trying to communicate through your music?

Molly: I try to communicate feelings and colors and stories! And also my worldviews. I try to make my music as personal as possible.

LOCAL: What do you mean by colors?

Molly: I usually associate sounds and musical phrases with colors, so I try to build emotions in my music that correspond with those colors in my head and in doing so create textured and interesting music. I also associate countries and people with colors, and so I try to incorporate all of those colors into my music, like fill my songs and lyrics with all kinds of bits of colors from different people and places.

LOCAL: Who are some of your musical influences?

Molly: My influences are Bjork, St. Vincent, James Blake, Fiona Apple, Bon Iver, Sylvan Esso, and Patti Smith.

LOCAL: What can we expect from you in the future? Do you have any new music you’re working on or concerts coming up?

Molly: I’m definitely working on incorporating a lot of new musical elements into my music as I’m learning more and more about historical and geographical musical context through my college courses, so I guess I would say be on the lookout for some new music with a somewhat new sound! But still focused on colors and personal experience, because I think that is what I care about most in my music.

LOCAL: How would you describe your music / style?

Molly: My musical style is some kind of mashup of electronic pop and blues, I like to experiment with synths and software but write songs that would still resonate and could still be played with just piano or guitar and vocals.

Image via Facebook.

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