Dover Lynn Fox emerges as a versatile and introspective artist whose musical journey is deeply intertwined with personal growth and creative exploration. With the release of “Phantom Lover” from the forthcoming EP “Low Moon,” Fox showcases a unique blend of indie-pop sensibilities and raw emotion, inviting listeners into a world where vulnerability and empowerment coexist harmoniously. Drawing inspiration from a diverse array of influences, including literature and nature, Fox’s music transcends genre boundaries, offering a rich tapestry of sound that reflects the complexities of the human experience.

As an independent artist, Fox navigates the music industry with a sense of freedom and autonomy, yet also faces challenges in terms of exposure and recognition. Despite these obstacles, Fox remains committed to honing their craft and connecting with audiences through authentic storytelling and heartfelt melodies. With each release, Fox invites listeners to embark on a journey of self-discovery, embracing the highs and lows of life’s journey with honesty and resilience.

Beyond her musical endeavors, Fox is a staunch advocate for gender equality and inclusivity within the music industry. Recognizing the importance of amplifying the voices of women and marginalized groups, Fox actively works to challenge stereotypes and misconceptions, striving to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for all artists. Through her artistry and advocacy, Fox continues to leave an indelible mark on the music landscape, inspiring others to embrace their authenticity and pursue their passions fearlessly.

In a candid interview, Dover Lynn Fox reflects on the release of “Phantom Lover,” her eclectic creative process, and her journey as an independent musician navigating the complexities of the music industry while advocating for inclusivity and authenticity.

SheBOPS: Congratulations on the release of “Phantom Lover”! What emotions are you feeling now that it’s out in the world?

Dover Lynn Fox: Thanks for having me! I am excited that “Phantom Lover” is finally out. I also feel quite relieved because this song took a long time to finish; I wrote it some time ago now and I have wanted to share it for a while. 

Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind “Phantom Lover” and its significance in your life?

It is a song about changes, including relationships. Certainly, the end of a relationship was a factor, but it’s about more than that. It’s about the voices and forces in life that can make you feel a bit tossed about and your response to them. Anchoring and finding balance in these situations is so important. It is a meaningful song to me because it was cathartic-therapeutic to write, and musically it was a step into the indie-pop genre, which was a lot of fun. 

How does “Phantom Lover” fit into the broader narrative of your upcoming EP, “Low Moon”?

Low Moon explores themes of identity and finding contentment and assurance in life. It also considers the various ups and downs and curveballs that come your way. One thing that happens in the majority of my songwriting is the elements end up playing a big role. Weather patterns, the majesty of nature, landscapes, all seem to pop up and find their way into my music. I think “Phantom Lover” brings some mysticism and raw emotion to the EP.

You mentioned that “Phantom Lover” draws from a variety of voices. Can you elaborate on that and how it influenced the songwriting process?

Ah the voices... just to be clear they’re not in my head telling me what to do, lol. The voices of people I care about had some influence on Phantom Lover, but at the time I was reading a lot of older, gothic fiction. Shirley Jackson and Nathaniel Hawthorne were at the top of the reading list, and I was also reading Whitman’s poetry, so there is no doubt some of these wise old voices influenced me.

The single has been described as a cathartic breakup anthem. How did your personal experiences shape the songwriting and production?

I’m always interested in people’s interpretation of my music. I love hearing about what it says to them. Phantom Lover is partly about the end of a relationship, so it was cathartic, but  I would also say a mixture of intense emotions and the desire to overcome those emotions is what I brought into the writing and recording process. 

Could you share a bit about your creative process when writing and recording “Phantom Lover”?

I wrote it in the summertime and I was really fortunate because it is a song that just came out. I was able to channel all of these different thoughts and emotions centered around thinking you know someone…and you don’t. All of this energy flowed into a creative funnel that became Phantom Lover. As far as the recording goes, we tried to do something different and aimed for a particular sound; imagine a witchy and humid summer evening pierced by music, that’s the vibe we were going for. 

How do you find balance between expressing vulnerability in your music and maintaining a sense of empowerment?

Great question and to be totally honest, I don’t really think about it. For me songwriting is almost naturally a vulnerable thing. By its nature, it’s quite personal. I also find songwriting empowering. I would like to think that my songs contain hope and perhaps some shelter from whatever emotional storms we’re suffering. So, the balance for me happens organically.

Growing up, you were exposed to a wide range of musical influences. How have these early introductions shaped your approach to music?

 It was eclectic. The music that was most often played at my house offered a lot of variety and I listened carefully even as a young person. I was pretty tuned into themes and lyrics. Artists like Amy MacDonald, Neko Case, Travis and Jars of Clay were always on the stereo. First and foremost I loved their music, but I also enjoyed their honesty and how they put songcraft and expression first. I think that’s a very brave approach and it’s one that I have tried to emulate.

Your music combines elements of pop, folk, and Americana. How do you navigate blending these diverse influences into a cohesive sound?

This is a great segue from the last question. When I was younger, there was always a wide range of music ( from Dean Martin to Faith No More) playing. This shaped  my musical taste. I will start a morning listening to Engelbert Humperdinck, by afternoon I’ll be playing Fleetwood Mac and by the evening I have Wilco on repeat. I find this has a knock on effect for my songwriting. It’s no accident that pop, folk, Americana and sometimes a little rock find their way into my songs. 

Are there any rituals or routines you follow to get into the right headspace for writing or performing?

This is eccentric, but that’s okay. I love tea. I always make a pot of tea before writing. Right now my favorites are, earl grey, lavender, green and ginger. I also love aromatherapy. I brought some scents into the recording studio… so I recorded Phantom Lover in a light cloud of geranium. I found it helped me relax and focus all at once. 

As an independent artist, what are some of the biggest challenges you face in the music industry?

You have a lot of freedom, but you also have to arrange and plan a lot for yourself. You’re responsible not only for the music, but for all of the things around it that help it reach an audience. I would say exposure is a major challenge and sometimes this is beyond your control. As long as you’re writing the best songs you can, all you can do is put them out there and hope that people will connect with them.

Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians who are just starting their musical journey?

Patience and perseverance are the two words that pop into my mind. There is a lot of behind the scenes work and a lot of planning involved. So, my advice to anyone just starting out is to believe in yourself, be diligent and most of all, make time for your music! You have to set aside time for creativity and writing.

What’s one thing about being a musician that most people might not realize?

I think the journey to become a full time musician has a lot of potholes and bumps along the way. At any time during this journey you can be working two or three jobs, getting very little sleep, struggling with writer’s block and it can also be a lonely pursuit at times. As I said when we were discussing advice, you have to persevere through it and believe in your art.

Have you noticed any shifts or improvements in the representation of women in the music industry over the years?

I think when it comes to the presence and visibility of female artists, we have made great strides. I would personally love to see more female engineers, producers, music executives, etc., because I think we have a lot to say and to contribute.

From your perspective, what steps do you think the industry can take to counteract inequality and make the industry safer for women – even more so for indie artists like yourself?

That’s a big question. What comes to mind is open minds and open ears. I think sometimes in this industry people see the woman first and the music and the art second. I think we have to keep working to invert that and I think we have to keep working towards inclusivity. We are all musicians first and we should be communicating and networking on that basis. 

How do you think the music industry can better support and empower women in music?

I think empowerment can have different sources. I think to some degree it can be self propelling and self fulfilling. What I mean by that is if there were more female engineers, producers, bookers, executives, etc. I think it would be really helpful in giving women more opportunities. 

Do you think there are misconceptions or stereotypes about women in the music industry that need to be challenged?

Yes, I think there are misconceptions and I think sometimes we are kept in a box. Just a while ago I was watching a music video and the female artist was singing and dancing. Someone in the room said, “I bet she doesn’t write her own music.” I asked, “Why? Why couldn’t she have written the music?” I wondered if the same question would have come up if it was a male performer. That’s just one example that comes to mind immediately, but I think overall we are still up against this type of thinking and we have to challenge it at every turn.

Finally, what’s next for Dover Lynn Fox after the release of “Phantom Lover” and leading up to the launch of “Low Moon”?

I’m excited for my next single, When Youth Was Wasted. It is yet again a different type of song for me. I recently spent a few days in the Rocky Mountains and there was a lot of songwriting that took place, so I am excited to start that process again. For the immediate future, I just gave my dog a bath and he’s nuts – he likes to chase his stuffed dinosaur to dry off. So, that’s what I’m off to do now. Thanks again for having me! 

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