photos / Lauren Wade
Los Angeles-based Pop choir Honey Child‘s 9-song album is a religious experience. Led by Opera singer Claire McKeown and supported by the angelic harmonies of six other female vocalists the band, is a majestic, lavish affair that will take you to a world of surrealness and wonder.
Today we premiere “… And So Goodnight” to put all the lonely hearts to bliss as they flutter to sleep tonight. We also chat with Claire about the muses in the chambers of her heart and how her music solaces her through every falling in love and the heartbreak that might follow.
Opera!! How did you get into that?
I thought it was so punk rock and a fucking rad way to turn my back on my peers, that I felt
incredibly alienated from. I also adored the music and the stories that are filled with heartbreak
, murder, betrayal, cheating, and passionate love. Opera is terribly romantic. I also
wanted to be a mythical creature which is still how I feel about Opera singers. They are from
As a Wagnerian soprano, what is the highest pitch you can reach?
I used to have a high A above high C at one point in my life but honestly being a Wagnerian
Soprano is all about being loud and having brilliance in your voice so you can be heard over
an orchestra with well over 100 players all playing at fortissimo.
Growing up what were you listening to and singing along to?
I listen to mostly punk rock in my teenage years. Big Black, Iggy Pop, Foetus, Flipper, The
Avengers, The Xray Spex, Blondie, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Talking Heads, The
Dead Kennedy’s, The Velvet Underground, The Pixies, and lots of Bowie. At the same time, I
also was listening to lots of classical music. I was obsessed with Mozart’s Requiem and
Beethoven’s 7th symphony.
You composed the music on the album. What does it take to get inspired when you are composing?
Not very music, I am pretty damn prolific. Melodies and Harmonies are literally falling out of
me. I tend to start with sitting with the piano or guitar and start playing around and the next
thing I know I’ll have a progression. Then I’ll start to hum a melody, then the hums will turn
into words, and there you have a song. Sometimes If I am too busy a song will dump itself
into me as an instant download. Those are a trip.
The song ‘She Calls His Name’ from our album was one of these. I was so busy with life and
work and hadn’t written anything in about two weeks, or so. I headed to the bank and just as
I deposited money into the teller that song fell into me completely formed. Words, Melody,
I have a theory that I am not really composing the songs myself. That it’s spirits of dead
composers channeling through me to continue writing on this plane. I have L. Cohen and
Bowie on my writing team, now.
What are your favorite kind of movies to watch?
I’m in love with Movies which makes sense since they are the kid sister of Opera. I regularly
haunt the New Beverly, The Nuart, and the Egyptian theater.
My favorite movie out right now is “The Shape of Water” it is absolutely flawless and I just
saw these movies on the big or small screen: Chaplin’s ‘City Lights’, ‘Valley of the Dolls’,
‘Badlands’, ‘The Long Good Bye’, ‘Zodiac’, ‘The Player’, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg’, ‘All
The President Men’, ‘The Last Picture Show’, and ‘Ed Wood’.
My favorite movies tend to be from the 70’s when the writers was given free reign to not
write in a formula. A good story and a well-crafted score and I am hooked to the silver
Can you tell us your worst heartbreak?
Its weird to even write about this because I am so over the breakup and in a realm of
dodged bullet about him. Let me start by saying, don’t shit where you eat!!!! and don’t cheat
behind the back of your bandmate and best friend with your other bandmate and best friend.
I did this and boy did I pay the price. Besides losing half of my friends because of how
scandals I was behaving I also had to deal with losing two of my best friends. It was
incredibly painful and a silent pain because you can’t really ask for pity when you did
something so shitty. So you have no one to talk to about it and it festers. I don’t want to get
into any more details than that out of respect for the person who was hurt the most, but I will
warn anyone out there who is behaving this way that you deserve love that is fully yours. It
took me years of work on myself to be able to get to the bottom of why I was behaving like
this and it all steamed from poor self-esteem and not dealing with my own shit.
Who is the muse for “…AND SO GOODNIGHT”
My old bandmates from my band Afternoons were my muses. I had just let them know I was
leaving the band after 7 years of playing together. It was a tough but necessary decision. I
drank a bottle of whiskey and wrote the words to the song with tears flowing down my face. I
think it only took about ten mins to do so. The lyric “until its right, and with no spite, we let go of our hands” was a tip of my hat to our pre-show ritual of doing a hand pile before going on
Do you visit your hometown in Ireland often and how do you feel?
I was in Northern Ireland about 4 years ago and am well overdue for a visit.
Most of my family still lives there and I miss them dearly. I am so proud to be from this
magical whimsical country. I also need to go and see how much my hometown of Belfast
has changed and healed since the last time I was there. So much blood has been spilled
there and they have been making huge steps to bringing peace there which I would love to
How has California influenced your music?
California is so dear to me being my second home, and all. I have been driving across it
more and more lately and am taken by its beauty. We have it all, Mountains, Beaches,
Forests, deserts… Los Angeles, in particular, influences me. There is so much opportunity
creatively here and I adore that there are little-hidden things happening everywhere. This
definitely influences my music and keeps me dreaming.
I am also highly influenced by the music of Californian natives The Beach Boys, Brian
Wilson in particular. I adore their complex song structures, odd chord progressions, and
glorious harmonies. The Doors are a huge influence on my music as well. They are beautiful
songwriters and I adore their theatrics, ritualistic music, and poetic lyrics.
Does anyone who might have a crush on you be reading this? What is your message
Tristan, I am yours.
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