We had the good fortune of connecting with Zoe Berman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Zoe, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
I am deeply inspired by nature and find myself feeling creatively fueled in the quietude of natural spaces. I write a lot of my song lyrics on hiking trails, bike rides, etc. My most recent single release, entitled Lilac Hour, was one of the more directly inspired outcomes of that process. I wrote this song on a bike ride in the foothills of Fort Collins. It sonically paints a picture of the brief increment of time following golden hour, just before dark, when the sky is swirling with various shades of purple. Each verse outlines the nuances of a different moment in that progression from dusk to darkness. I’m always deeply enamored by nature, and living here has motivated me to combine outdoor exploration with my songwriting process on a regular basis.
With regard to songwriting, I am also frequently inspired by my own personal experiences and the stories of those around me. I often use songwriting as a tool to process and come to terms with my own experiences, putting pen to paper and channelling my emotions into lyrics and melodies that best convey the experience and sweep it from my system. The same goes for others’ stories. Sometimes friends will share a narrative with me and I can’t help but attempt to visualize it from their perspective and channel it into a song.
Finally, I’m profoundly inspired by other creatives within the local community and beyond. Viewing/hearing others’ creative work motivates me to pursue my own with intention and leaves me with a keen appreciation for having the ability to participate in an industry that can evoke such a breadth of cathartic emotion and continuously foster human connection.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have been writing music since the age of 12. Music has always been an essential part of who I am and songwriting has provided me with a life-changing outlet and mechanism for processing the world around me.
I draw from a wide variety of influences and am often told that my music does not fit neatly within the confines of a single genre specification. I try to write songs that invite listeners to marinade in a shared feeling or experience, using narrative, descriptive imagery and wordplay.
I am currently most excited about my aforementioned latest single release, Lilac Hour, which can be heard this month on Indie 102.3’s Local 303, as well as all streaming platforms. I am also greatly looking forward to releasing a larger EP in 2021 entitled Freezing Heat. I have been working on this project for quite some time and I’m thrilled to finally release it.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Under “normal”, post-COVID circumstances, I would take them to see a Sofar Sounds show & to enjoy an afternoon of live music at Number 38. Brunches at Jelly, Sassafras, and Rosenberg’s, afternoon beers at Our Mutual Friend and Odell Brewing, ice cream at Sweet Cooie’s, lunches at Hoja and Olive & Finch, and dinners at True Food Kitchen and Denver Central Market. I would probably take them to an exhibition at MCA, show them around the REI Flagship Store (every visitor seems to geek out over how massive our REI is), and spend sunny afternoons in Cheesman Park.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Vindeket Foods in Fort Collins is doing amazing work. Chelsea Gilmore is a fabulous visual artist. Cloverlick Banjo Shop (also in Fort Collins) is incredible as well.
All courtesy of Katie Langley (Denver, CO)