Posted On 07 Mar 2019
2 Paper Dolls, embody emotional frustration on their debut single, “Not Alright.” Born out of loneliness and a desire to connect with others creatively after both moved to Los Angeles, Frida Farrell and Isabel Latz of 2 Paper Dolls met online and instantly developed a musical connection. Both talented on their own, Frida an actor, songwriter, and vocalist who recently starred in the film Apartment 407, and Isabel who has toured Europe in an all-female punk rock band since the age of 14, it was no surprise that their music would reflect their experience.
With influences that range from punk and folk to pop-rock, the women began writing songs together and performing throughout the Los Angeles area shortly after meeting, bringing their hyper-melodic and vocally rich sound to the stages of The Viper Room and the House of Blues. Their debut EP, “Never First,” is a reflection of their mutual musical influences and simmering emotional experiences.
Their debut single, “Not Alright,” was born from the untimely demise of a relationship. Full of longing and the torment of feelings left unsaid; there’s an unexpected sonic frustration that echoes throughout the track. Doused in a sheen rhythmic arrangement and percussive melodies, you can hear the smatterings of influences from bands like Haim and even 90’s Alanis Morissette at her best. Emotively raw and lyrically aching, “Not Alright” is a vulnerable reflection of what it feels like to be cast aside without a second thought. Layers of vocals create a wistful, almost ethereal, listening experience that pulls listeners into the folds of the emotional journey with ease.
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Learn more about 2 Paper Dolls in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! What is on tap for the rest of your day for you both?
Thank you for your interest in our band! I’m about to go to bed so a cup of tea, some social media surfing (although I shouldn’t) and then I’ll hit the pillow. (FF)
With the new year started, what is one musical goal that you have for your music?
I’d like to release another single and a music video or two this year. (FF)
How would you say that 2019 treated you overall?
I’d say so far so good, don’t wanna jinx it though…but I mean we’ve released our first EP, had a stunning review and about 4 interviews so far and it’s only end of February. I’m certainly not complaining. And I just wrote 3 more songs. Yey! (FF)
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be in this duo together?
We were playing live at an art event a little while ago and then played the following weekend again and there was a girl in the audience that had seen us at the art event the past weekend and she was singing along to (the song that has now become our single) “Not Alright” and she knew the lyrics for the chorus. She was siting right at the front singing along. It was amazing to see. That’s when I thought – maybe, maybe our music is good and we can actually do this…! (FF)
Has anything surprised you about this musical journey so far?
I started out on my own at the piano and now I’m doing electro alt pop and loving it. I still write on the piano though and sometimes I perform our songs acoustically on my own using just a piano, that’s how a see if it holds up. A good song is a good song. (FF)
How did you come up with you band name? Was it a difficult decision to make?
We spent ages trying to come up with a band name that felt up close and personal to us but everything we thought of seemed to be taken. Paper Dolls came to my mind cos it was my biggest hobby as a child, to collect paper dolls, I still have a bunch saved. Then it sort of resonated with us now as well cos I feel like we’re all as fragile as paper dolls if you think about it. And the number 2 is cos it’s just the two of us. (FF)
How do you think your hometown has influenced the sound and how you both carry yourselves in this band?
I would say being Swedish and obviously growing up speaking the Swedish language has influenced my songwriting since it’s a very “sing song” and melodic language in itself. So I think that has absolutely influenced me. (FF)
Let’s talk about your first single, “Not Alright.” What was the inspiration for it? How do you think it sets the tone for the rest of your debut EP, “Never First”? How did you go about choosing it to be the first track released from it?
I wrote this song one night when I was truly upset about being dropped by a boyfriend over the phone. He confessed to me that he had another girlfriend and said he didn’t wanna live a lie anymore. He broke my heart. I remember calling Isabel, who was at work, crying my eyes out and making her leave work for 20 min to talk to me. Then that night, while I sat there wallowing in my self-pity, I wrote the song and instantly felt much better. I sent the lyrics to Isabel and she came up with a melody and after a few rehearsals we had a song. (FF)
When do you plan on releasing more new music and a full album of new songs?
We have enough songs to release 2 albums at the moment but only enough money to release a single every 3 month or so unfortunately. But we’re saving up so hopefully by the end of the year we can have our album ready and go all out. (FF)
Where do you think you are both happiest- in the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
This is a great question. I’m a bit of an introvert so as much as I love performing, I’m probably happier in the studio. I never get nervous there whereas I always get nervous when I’m about to go on stage. (FF)
Do you have any upcoming shows you would like to tease? How were your recent US shows?
We’re looking to pay at Hotel Cafe soon, probably later in the spring, when it gets warm in LA again. Right now it’s so cold (LA standards) that nobody goes out haha. (FF)
How do you think being musicians and in this band gives you all the most joy in life today?
It gives me an outlet for my creativity that if I didn’t have it I’d feel empty and frustrated and since it has to come out somehow I’d probably start painting my walls with crayons in pure panic. So it’s definitely a good thing that I have this band 🙂 (FF)
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how your own music is reflecting this time period? If you don’t think it is, why is that? Would you say that other musicians are making music that has been influenced by this climate?
We’re not a big enough band to make an actual noticeable impact yet but I hope we will. I wrote one song called “followed my Heart” that was inspired by a woman who lives under the i-10 freeway. Being born and raised in a country where the government takes care of you 100% I have a strong need to do something about that over here. Let’s hope Bernie gets in…(FF)
Who would you love to work with in the future? Who are some of your favorite artists right now? What do you think would be a dream collaboration for this duo?
I personally love Ed Sheeran (who doesn’t) I could listen to him all day and I think I would lose my mind (in a good way) if we were to collaborate with him. And Adele, who’s just simply amazing. Tegan and Sara are also really good. Oh this is such a tough question cos there are so many incredible artists out there right now I’m just really thankful you’re taking the time to interview us! (FF)
If you guys were all going to be stranded on a deserted island, what musical item would you want to take with you and why?
I only play the piano so that would be really hard to drag along the beach on a deserted island…I guess I would have to settle for my voice which I regard as my musical instrument. (FF)
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
I always write from my heart about my own true feelings. I want people to know that it’s ok to feel really down but knowing that there’s always going to be a 180 degree turn of events. Nothing ever stays the same. If your sad you’ll be glad and vice verse (unfortunately). That’s just life and but if we learn to accept that, things gets easier. (FF)
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about your music?
I feel like if you listen to our music you’ll slowly get to know us personally cos I only ever write about things that has actually happened to me. I can only write straight from my heart. (FF)