Interview: Queen Serene
BY Keep Austin
Interview: Queen Sereneabove

Keep Austin talked with Queen Serene about her latest double single release, marking the first original work from the new Austin group. 

Is this brief collection part of a larger project you are working on, or is it a one-off release?

The singles are a one-off release that I recorded with a friend this past year. Right now I’m working on recording an EP with some friends that will sound a little different.

What inspired you to write these songs? 

Both songs were written last year when things were really shut down and I wasn’t going out at all. I was messing around with pedals more and just recording riffs for fun. With “Close to the Ground” I wanted to make something people could dance to one day. I was also listening to a lot of Prince, The Cure and Wire around then. 

“Blank Canvas” and “Close To The Ground” by Queen Serene are out now.

What excited you the most about the experience of recording them?

My friend Craig has an amazing home studio and he made the process super easy and fun. He added a bunch of little details and layers onto both songs that kept making them sound better and better. It was cool to see a simple idea recorded in my bedroom transformed into something bigger after bouncing ideas off of someone else who understood exactly what I was going for. 

What was the most important piece of gear you leaned on when putting these songs together?

My delay pedal for "Blank Canvas" and chorus pedal on the bass for "Close to the Ground".

The lyrics in “Blank Canvas” follow a structure of specific, declarative statements and metaphors — my personal favorite being, ““You’re just a glossy finish / on the pages that are wearing thin.” Are these evocative images meant to describe someone, or a specific phase of life in particular? 

For me, it’s meant to describe the image of projecting what you want someone to be onto another person who just isn’t that. Sometimes when you meet someone new it’s exciting and mysterious and your mind wants to fill in the blanks with what it wants versus what is real. 

Last year you released  an EP of covers from groups like Talking Heads, PJ Harvey and Angel Olsen. But this new release marks the first original work for Queen Serene. Tell me about the decision to do the covers, and to release it as the first effort for this new group. 

I recorded some of the covers during the early days of the pandemic when I was home all the time. We recently got a little cassette recorder from Goodwill and to test it out I did a cover of Talking Heads’ “Life During Wartime” that seemed fitting. I just wanted to play songs that I really loved and to record them for pure fun and figured why not release it since my band at the time wasn’t able to play shows. I didn’t expect to release anything else under the name Queen Serene at the time, but I'm excited for what the project is shaping into. 

What has your experience in Austin been like over the past several months? What is the vibe when you are able to perform? 

For me things were starting to feel hopeful in May and that Austin was bouncing back. But by late July the cases were getting worse again, which has made playing shows harder. We played a couple shows earlier in the summer and those were so much fun, it felt so good to be back in.


Queen Serene's new singles, “Blank Canvas” and “Close To The Ground” are out now.

Article photo by Syd Fuller | @syd_fullah |

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