Committed to writing songs that make you cry in your car, Michigan-native Karissa Bone creates a world of lush soundscapes and intimate stories. Combining vibrant pop aesthetics with indie subtleties, her songs are a melting pot of her influences– the atmospheres of Bon Iver, the stillness of a Phoebe Bridgers lyric, and a gen z perspective on par with Gracie Abrams and Olivia Rodrigo.
Her upcoming single “Feels Like October" follows the release of her highly-praised debut “Maybe in the Summer,” which FADER described as “a Capri Sun pouch filled to the brim with sunlight.” With her signature “airy voice” (Quadio), lush soundscapes and nostalgic guitar hooks that warm like a cozy cup of chai tea– she explores the cold emptiness of watching someone fall out of love with you. Produced with longstanding collaborator Jondren Hwang (Dorian Electra, Nick Lee, thuy, SEBii).
A captivating performer and songstress, she recently landed a coveted spot in the world-renowned Berklee College of Music’s YouTube series ‘Two Track,’ where she debuted an unreleased original “Easier” and covered “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” with an uninhibited originality that completely transformed the classic. She also a regularly performs with indie sensation Charlie Burg in his Blue Wave Band.
Welcome to my safe space.
I'm going to start posting little snippets of writing here just to talk into the void. I'll write them as if I'm talking to my closest friends. You included. If you happen to resonate please send me a message:)
Entry #1 - Drinking Lemon Juice Out of a Broken Mug
7.15.22 I recently (as in this week) have felt fairly uninspired to write songs. A feeling I’m sure many of you have become well accustomed to. The strange element of my hiatus is that I can’t seem to stop WRITING. I can’t stop thinking of stupid goddamn poetic things at 12:15am and reaching for my way-too-bright & way-too-old iPhone to reluctantly jot it down— like it will somehow be useful to my tomorrow brain. I’ve also happened to lose my voice in the last 48 hours which makes writing songs inevitably difficult, so I’m resorting to life’s small comforts (trader joes green tea mochi and sliced pineapple) and thinking pointlessly deeply about life. I’m not going to say I’m “lost” but it’s definitely been a weird week/month/year. I seem constantly accosted by *existential* questions like: is your career actually supposed to be the most important thing in your life? Should I be spending more time with my family? Should I be spending more time dating (I’ll come back to this, but for now I’m giving it a *heavy sigh*)— the list goes on. So I drink orange juice and I go on walks around the corner to “get my mind off things,” but it’s really to get my mind off of everything. Although I haven’t been going into my void (if you know me you’ve seen this and if not you can guess). This is a new type of quiet confusion, one where I feel like I’m waking up after hours on social media or I’m exhausted after 10 hours of sleep. A brain fog when I’m driving to and from work and I don’t play music in the car. Is this a diary? It might be. I’ve never been good at journaling because I don’t like to remember the ugly parts and that’s always what I seem to write down. I actually made a scrapbook, sorry “the scrapbook,” for this reason— some of you have seen it. I’m fairly proud of my poor, scrawled handwriting and the retro polaroids I’ve forced on so many of my now deemed "college friends." I started “the scrapbook” because I couldn’t remember the good parts..or any parts for that matter. I was approaching my senior year of fucking college (which is over now, don’t mention it) and I didn’t want it to go by in a blur of cheap meals and crises I couldn’t recount. So I cheated. I glazed over the rejections and the failures and the times I felt deeply sorry for myself and covered them up with stickers from the movie cars and little scribbled stars. Am I cheating myself by only wanting to remember the good parts? Wouldn’t it be nice to just remember the parts you felt whole if you got to choose? I think I’m too young to know, but too old to not know better. x Karissa
Entry #2 - In Combat with Hornets at 2am
7.18.22 I used to have hornets in my room at home— they lived in the air ducts for a bit, so I was always caught in 2am combat. There’s something about squishing the life out of bugs that I just can’t get behind, so instead I had a nightly showdown. Normally I would manage to hit the bugger out of the air and then I would trap it under about 6 Harry Potter books and call it a night. The next morning I would whisk my mom upstairs to view my success in battle and politely ask her to move the remains. Now, I don’t have anyone to pick up my wasp guts. When I’m sick I get to uber eats myself groceries that are way too expensive and when I’m tired I get to go to bed without eating— shit I even called customer service today about not enrolling me in a 401K program. It’s like one of those annoying “would-you-rather” questions where they say idiot things like *would you rather crush the life out of a wasp* OR *deal with your retirement plan today*? I always hated those games because I wanted to say “neither,” but when you’re an adult you have to say “both.” Nostalgia hits harder when you’re not sure when it’ll be back. There’s a certain order to the first 21 years of your life (if you went to college), and when it’s over you wake up from very long coma with an apartment you can’t pay for. The nostalgia though, it hits you in waves. You buy a tote bag because it was inspired by your favorite book as a kid. You get ice cream sandwiches at the grocery store to remind you of Michigan summers. You grab onto the pieces because you’re not sure when they’ll be back. Up until now you’ve been twisting and turning through reliable cycles, you always kinda knew what was coming next even when you didn’t. You always knew that if you went home there might be a hornet in your room— and that would be enough. A small comfort in a large dish of unknown. x Karissa
Entry #3 - Saving your 10
8.16.22 Like any respectable adult I used to be an avid reader of YA novels. I couldn’t think of a happier place to be than in one of those old, worn-out cushy chairs in a B&N (reading books for free..sorrryyy). I have a hard time remembering most of the moments from ages 10-15, but I do remember reading that fucker John Green’s book The Fault in our Stars. God, it ruined me. He spoon-fed us tumblr-level quotes like ‘maybe okay will be our always,’ and ' he lit up like a Christmas tree,' but I still can’t get ‘I was saving my 10’ out of my head. If you’re unfamiliar, this has to do with a reoccurring scene in which the main character (hazel?) describes her pain on a scale of 1 to 10. She always saves the 10 because she has a feeling something is going to hurt worse than cancer. She SAVES HER FUCKING 10. Who the hell let me read that because I have thought about it every year since. I was just minding my own damn business recently admiring tulips on my walk home when I conjured the thought “what will my 10 be?”. I think ultimately I feel extremely lucky to have saved my mine thus far, but If that book came out in 2012 then I’ve been thinking about this for about 10 years. In the book she uses the scale to rate physical pain, but I think it’s truly meant for the other kinds of hurt. It’s really easy to feel 1’s and 3’s, the paper cuts of a friend not answering your calls, the jokes-that-were-actually-insults, or even your own insecurities getting the better of you. The 6’s and 7’s are harder— a fight with a friend, you said things you can’t take back. 8’s and 9’s into heartbreak, betrayal, abandonment. But 10? Somedays I think 10 is watching people you love experience an 8 or a 9, but sometimes it might be going through lower numbers alone. Fighting with yourself inside your mind and having no one around to shut off the voice. Because a 10 isn’t a fight you get over the next day, it’s a life-long trail of bread crumbs back to one of your lowest moments. Luckily it’s just fiction and we’re not all cancerous teenagers– John Green wanted an NYT bestsellerand he got it. But the danger of stepping into fantasy is that the feelings stay. You might not be in your world, but you're still in your head. x Karissa
Entry #4 - Window Seats
9.29.22 I’ve never liked flying, but there’s a peace in it that deserves some credit… or discredit for us anxiety folk. The white noise of the engines, the movies through other people's headphones– overwhelming your senses until all you do is think. Or at least that’s all that I can do. I get trapped in my own thoughts between the limited in-cabin oxygen and the crying infant next-door. What am I thinking about you ask? Well.. you, I guess. All of you. The you that helped me take down my posters and isn’t here to put them back up and the you that used to get me drunk on green tea shots. The you that always walked to trader joes with me, the you that knows bachanale, and the you I used to be before I met all of the yous. And she really wasn't me at all. I’m a reflective bitch, okay? (Not sure those two words have ever been used in succession) I just can’t help it. I’m in between the delirium of half-sleep and the next game of thrones episode and I’m thousands of feet in the freakin stratosphere and I’m moving. I moved. Across the country. And for why? For the sake of the callback,– IF I WERE JOHN GREEN I would say “ I go to seek a great perhaps” (from an abundance of Katherines, seriously underrated). I GO TO SEEK A GREAT PERHAPS. Translation? I think there’s more out there and goddamn it I’m gonna find it. I’m gonna harvest that shit out of the veins of Los Angeles (if they even exist) and transfuse it into music? Success? An unhealthy erewhon addiction? Transfusion TBD it looks like, but there’s an odd peace in not knowing. It filters down the ‘hopes’ and the ‘wants’ into the ‘nows’ and the ‘tomorrows.’ It’s the white noise of the engines.. so much of it that there’s nothing. I’ve been writing great songs. Really fucking great songs. Right in the middle of that white noise. Where I don’t even exist, only the story does. And it's so peaceful to just be yourself and tell the truth and take risks and think on the plane.