If you’re struggling to wrap up a romantic, platonic, or professional relationship you already sense you need to, spend some quality time with indie singer-songwriter Melanie Pierce’s elevating second single “Illusions.” This sharp and stormy track will rustle up your frustration, embolden your stance, and drench you in resolution. (Yeah, it’s a much-needed gift from the alternative pop universe. And a grand reminder to purge your life of unhealthy relationships.)

Don’t let the track’s opening sounds lead you into thinking “Illusions” is a sad song. Somber piano and tender vocals merely set the stage for the deep, tumultuous inner battle that follows and, ultimately, leads to an emotional breakthrough. Melanie raises her voice in defiance only in the most critical moments—and the controlled aggression she masterfully delivers in her tone gives this track a rare luster. (Listen while you read + add the song to all your “things-need-to-change” playlists.)

My favorite lyrics will be revealed in the Q+A, but I bet these other two lines will stick with you as well: “I saw your eyes telling lies, beautiful stories at bad times” and “maybe there was a part of me that knew all along, that this was wrong”. What I love most about “Illusions” is that Melanie doesn’t specifically say she’s leaving the relationship. But you somehow know she is. Near the end of the song, I felt like she was looking back one last time right before walking away forever. Queue the breakthrough: A happy ending doesn’t require two people. You are always enough.

In this interview, you’ll learn: what’s at the core of Melanie’s new single “Illusions”; which series she was watching when she began writing it; where “Illusions” was recorded and produced; some insight into the gripping lyrics “painted words on paper thin walls”; a golden piece of advice for any artist or creator; how Melanie feels about genre labels and which two she’s *currently* focused on; why she loves listening to music on the road and where she likes to drive; three things fans should know about her; and what’s happening next in her musical journey.

BONUS: Once you’ve conquered the Q+A, vibe our exclusive Spotify playlist, MMM: Melanie Pierce, which includes Melanie’s newest tracks plus thirty of her current faves. It’s two hours of hand-picked, well-mixed, colorful pop and bold alternative to fuel your late nights and early mornings.

The conversation from our interview is chronicled below in a pure Q + A format.

Q + A:

What’s at the core of your newest single “Illusions”?

Melanie: The core of my newest single “Illusions” is rooted in an extremely personal experience. Being misunderstood has been such a strong, recurring theme in my life. When I started writing this song, it was like serious therapy. This song is for anybody who has ever felt extremely misunderstood.

How did you go about writing and recording “Illusions”? I’d love to learn any details about your process, team, and recording location(s).

Melanie: I wrote “Illusions” in my apartment in the Summer of 2019. At the time, I was living in a downtown apartment (something I have always dreamed of doing). I was absolutely thriving in my own healing. So much growth came out of that time in my life. I remember when I started to write “Illusions”, I was in the middle of watching the 3rd season of Stranger Things. I had to immediately stop what I was doing and go to my piano to write it.

I knew that I wanted this to be the second single that I released, so I began working on perfecting it, and recording with my team. For now, it’s just me and my current producer, Jake Rye from Social Recording Company. He is wildly talented, and has this sense of being able to feel out the direction of production and mixing so well. He truly believes in me, and my vision as an artist. Working with people who really see your potential—and who believe in not only your vision, but also you as an artist—is vital. You’ll never be able to bring your art to its full potential if you’ve surrounded yourself with people who either: A.) Don’t care, or B.) Don’t see your worth/talent.

I don’t typically ask about specific lyrics, but the line “Painted words on paper-thin walls” REALLY sticks with me. What can you reveal about these biting words?

Melanie: I’m so happy to hear that you really clung to my lyrics “Painted words on paper thin walls”! This is my favorite lyric line in this song as well. This was one of the first lines to come out of me when I was writing this song. For me, this line represents the fragility of a bond between two people who want something to work, yet, the base or foundation for a true connection just isn’t there.

Your Instagram profile notes that your songs pair well with driving. Where are your favorite places to venture via car?

Melanie: Hahahaha, I always wonder if people tune into Instagram bio’s 🙂 … I change mine frequently, almost as if it’s my current mood. When receiving feedback on “Headlights” and “Illusions”, I’ve heard pretty consistently that people love listening to these songs while they are driving. I love this so much because car rides have been so essential for me and my existence. The noise in my head, and of the world can get so loud. Going on a car ride, putting some music on, and sipping a coffee or tea is one of my favorite things to do to help me kind of sort out my thoughts and feelings.

As for where I like to drive, I really like exploring new areas and small towns. I also feel really good when I’m in wooded areas. There’s just something about the atmosphere of the woods. When you find the right song to match your mood, and you find yourself driving through the woods… If you haven’t experienced this yet, I heavily recommend it.

When did you decide to make music + how has your journey as an indie artist been so far?

Melanie: I have been singing since I can remember, and I wrote my first song at age 6 or 7. I picked up a guitar at age 12. I started playing piano last year, and have loved every moment of that. To be honest, my journey so far has been pretty complex. I’ve always known at my core that I was put on the planet to make music and to sing. It is my favorite thing in the entire world.

At this time, I am focused on writing more in the alternative-pop / indie-pop genres. Having said that, I don’t want to become so framed into a genre to the point where it becomes hard for people to imagine me doing anything else. Possibilities are endless when you’re creating. I have so much unreleased music that sounds entirely different from “Headlights” and “Illusions” stylistically. I love writing songs, and I love singing. We shall see… 🙂

Name 3 things your fans should know about you.

Melanie: 1) I love coffee, and I drink it black. Forever and always. 2) I value kindness very highly, and I believe that we all need to take better care of each other in all aspects of life. 3) I can’t do this without you. We are in this together, and I promise you that this is just the beginning <3

What’s next in terms of new music + future plans?

Melanie: Allllllll of the plans 🙂 !!! Once live shows return to our lives, get ready!!!

Connect with Melanie Pierce:

Listen to “Illusions”:
iTunes: + Apple Music:

Listen to what Melanie Pierce Listens to (our exclusive Spotify playlist):
MMM: Melanie Pierce

Photo: This selfie was snapped in the same apartment where “Illusions” was written