Ahead of the release of her second album, indie musician Elizabeth Wyld sat down with Tracy E. Gilchrist of The Advocate Channel to discuss the queer media that's inspired her, and how she's returning to performance after her scare with vocal paralysis.
Wyld, a Brooklyn-based queer singer-songwriter, was born and raised in Virginia. She's known for songs that explore queer love and lust, as well as growing up in a small, rural community.
Wyld shares that she grew up in a musical family, but she found a love of musical theatre all on her own. Shortly after moving to New York City to begin a career in performance, she experienced vocal paralysis.
For six months in 2017, Wyld struggled to speak and sing. She confesses that it was hard to maintain a sense of identity without her voice, but she was able to turn to writing and learning guitar in order to process her difficult times.
It can be scarier to write songs than to sing someone else's, she shares, adding, "It's such a vulnerable thing to share your life and your stories, instead of just playing a character."
Shortly after Wyld regained her voice, she found herself confined to her apartment once again when Covid-19 lockdowns began. Having lost her job, Wyld began writing her newest album, Delicate Creatures. She shares that she, like most, had a lot of free-time on her hands.
To undertake this project at such a difficult time, Wyld turned to movies and television as a form of escapism. She "gathered inspiration" from a number of sources, including the Netflix series Killing Eve, and Alison Bechdel's biographical musical Fun Home.
While Ani DiFranco is Wyld's biggest inspiration musically, moments in Fun Home also inspire her songs. Wyld performed in the show when she was younger, and through it, found a glimpse into queer life.
"I think that's a really important moment in a queer person's life," she says. "Is that moment of recognition where you see yourself in your community."
Elizabeth Wyld - "Loves Comes With A Knife" (Official Music Video) www.youtube.com
While Wyld always desires more queer media and stories, she feels she's "a little too old" for all the lesbian characters in children's shows or high school dramas. One of her favorite movies, renowned lesbian blockbuster Carol, also inspired parts of Delicate Creatures. Wyld says that she wanted to capture desire — both romantic and sexual — and frame it in a hopeful light.
"It was really powerful to me to see a queer story that ended with the two women together, and nobody gets killed off, which is so great," Wyld explains. "And you just see that two women can be together and can be happy, and there's hope there."
As for what's next, Wyld is excited to return to live music. Her recent shows have been a great way for her to connect with fans who can relate to her queer experiences. Though, it's not just LGBTQ+ individuals she's touched — Wyld shares she's seen grown men in her audiences moved to tears.
She says: "It does touch people's hearts, and not just in the queer community."
Delicate Creatures came out on October 28, and is now available to stream online. Check out Wyld's full interview with The Advocate Channel below. And for a great holiday gift for your queer loved ones, check out Photography, Two Centuries of History and Images.