Eartheater | To Be Illumined, To Reflect That of Another

Via the 25th Anniversary Issue, Under The Silver Moon!

Written by

Bree Castillo

Photographed by

Yulissa Benitez

Styled by

Lee Christmas

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WEIRAEN bra, stylist’s own underwear and leggings, PUMA MOSTRO shoes, and ALEXIS BITTAR bracelets

You don’t have to choose, you know. It is easy to think that there are ones who are destined to radiate light, and those who are fated to swim in opaque waters. But we all carry both qualities within us and make home in the duality of it all— It’s only natural. Even the moon, in all its splendor, is made up of the odious dust that gathers around our eyes. Or so says songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and hopeless romantic, Eartheater, who muses within the space where sunlight turns to shadow.

Eartheater has always been laced with the harmony and dissonance of sound. The artist spent her childhood homeschooled and playing the violin in the youth orchestra in rural Pennsylvania. In the comfort of her high school bedroom, she developed her specific guitar picking technique, and just simply started writing. The process so effortless, it must have always been within her. “I always felt music was my language. Very often I’ll go in and out of being able to articulate about how I feel or how I express myself in English. I feel like with music,” she says, “I could always express something that was inexplicable.”

MIOMI dresses, FALKE tights, ALEXIS BITTAR earrings and bracelets, and MARTINE ALI necklace.

Beginning her emotionally complex canon in 2015, the artist debuted with her ascending self-produced albums, Metalepsis and RIP Chrysalis built to immediately envelope you into her esoteric dreamscape. It is here where we first encounter her otherworldly sound palaces that are both earnestly light yet devastatingly mysterious. Then came beat-driven IRISIRI, followed by Trinity and her first studio album, Phoenix: Flames Are Dew Upon My Skin— which still reads as intimate as her previous bedroom albums.

While science can explain natural processes like erosion, metamorphosis, and lithification, can it really answer why a caterpillar must cocoon before becoming winged? Or why all beings must endure a period of discomfort to enjoy anything that life has to offer? Maybe, it can. But it is the autonomy of these innate phenomenons that Eartheater praises in her avant-garde meanderings. The artist’s attention lies upon the small details, every fleeting moment, and what might be usually considered insignificant and easily forgotten.

Her latest offering comes to us as her most actualized Powders, dedicated to the practice of being slowly broken down to our most basic form, only to be used again and assembled into something else. Recorded at Los Angeles’ Sunset Sound (a quick two-step from the FLAUNT office), each song is sewn with intention. The sounds are minimal; every breath counts for something and even the slightest hum carries weight. Irregular song structures have you linger on each beat, only to have already moved on. And yet, there is room to breathe as tender prose races against wispy and elegiac soundscapes full of intricate complexities and weeping limerence.


No longer interested in what has been, Powders explores the realities of what can come next. By going through the processes of grinding, sanding, and crumbling, we are allowed to enter a state of evolution. Within “Crushing,” she sings: You’re the wave crushing the shells into sand / You’re the flame melting sand into glass. And while it sounds painful and dire to be grounded into your most humble form, it can also ripen you for a new beginning. And there is a certain elegance to alchemizing your furies into something that would shed some light into the next phase, whatever that may be. “When you’re submitting to change, nothing dies. It just becomes something else. So I really do hope the album echoes or gives the essence of this feeling,” she explains. “That no matter how treacherous the process of breakdown is, it’s just metamorphosis really.”

For Eartheater, what comes after is her second installment and response to Powders, rightfully named Aftermath, to which she says is simply “bigger” and “dancier.” If Powders examines the dust on a minuscule level, Aftermath calls on the panoramic and grand. She reflects, “I felt like I’ve been walking uphill with all of this. With all these albums, I feel like I was going up something, up the mountain. And then with Aftermath, which is coming, I feel like it’s going to allow myself to then give into the grace of gravity and running down, or maybe even jumping off, who knows? Hopefully, I have wings.”

Eartheater—not naive to the brutality of nature—reminds herself of our temporality, saying, “For things to survive, there’s always violence and very intense circumstances that arise, and having trust in the bird’s eye view and the panning out of time just allows for a more peaceful state.” As time progresses through the singer, it is as if each album carefully peels a layer of herself back, traveling deeper into her subconscious with every falling note. She confesses, “I felt way safer in myself, with who I was and where I was in the world, and all the uncertainties, fears, and anxieties about life kind of felt less threatening once I knew how to really play and knew how to write. And just each time I would write a song, it felt like I was building another layer of forcefield.”


To enter Eartheater’s world, you’ll find yourself lying in the mud and somehow content in its shadows, only to inevitably be brought back into the light. Almost as if translating unfiltered desire to sound, there are moments of bliss and tender sentiments that loom, while also eliciting a sweet bodily and carnal feel to your insides. With the viscerality of her sound, I ask her which part of the body channels music. “I would say my coochie, for sure,” she laughs, but also adds, “the spine, and the lungs, ribs, the air, the architecture of the mouth, the tongue, the way the lungs are birds in a ribcage.” It seems like Eartheather uses music as a way to play with the natural powers amongst us, explaining, “Singing and projecting sound waves into the Earth, into reality, and having that probably disrupts and touches things and communicates things that we don’t even know. Things we don’t even understand.”

Before we leave—to each reflect personally on all the things we don’t know or understand, but wish we did—I ask Eartheater what she admires about the moon, the muse of her song, “Face in the Moon,” and one of life’s most beautiful mysteries. I can hear her thinking, and then it’s quiet. She breathes out, “Her presence is identified by her reflection of something else greater and bigger, which is the sun’s light. The moon would be invisible to us without her reflecting that light. She has this type of humility to let someone else’s light or something else illuminate you, I feel like that’s commendable.” And with that, we are finished and left to watch the dust settle and wait for it to inevitably reform again. 

MCM top, LOS ANGELES APPAREL shorts, GIANVITO ROSSI shoes, SPYLXN earrings, and MAM ring.

Photographed by Yulissa Benitez at Offshore Agency

Styled by Lee Christmas

Written by Bree Castillo

Hair: Luisa Popovic at Forward Artists

Makeup: Nina Carelli

Nails: Alexander Bondoc

Flaunt Film: Pierce Jackson

Stylist Assistants: Gabriella Contreras and Aaliyah Daly

Location: The Standard, High Line

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Eartheater, Flaunt Magazine, Issue 190, 25th Anniversary Issue, Bree Castillo, Yulissa Benitez, Lee Christmas, Miomi, Falke, Alexis Bittar, Martine Ali, Stella McCartney, LaQuan Smith, PUMA, PUMA Mostro, Amy Sheha, MCM, Los Angeles Apparel, Gianvito Rossi, Spylxn, MAM