INTERVIEW: Normie Girlfriend
Normie Girlfriend is a Washington, D.C. based folk rock band. It was started by singer-songwriters Madeline Graham and Alicia Coleman who grew close while working for a climate justice organization. Later joined by Liv Dussere, the band now records much of their music remotely from their college towns in US and Wales.

The homespun character of their recordings creates an impression of an overheard intimate conversation. The band even goes as far as saying that the imperfections in the recordings are the defining elements of their style: "we embrace any wrong notes or misplayed chords". We talked to the band's Madeline Graham about the writing process and chemistry in the band and their plans for 2022.
— Let's talk about the history of Normie Girlfriend. How did the three of you come together?
— Alicia Coleman and I got close while working on climate justice organizing together, and eventually started playing music together just for fun. We started making music with Liv Dussere, our guitarist, as Normie Girlfriend around December of 2020.
— How did the name come about?
— It's been a long running joke among us and our friends. I tend to dress kind of like a middle aged mom, while Alicia tends to dress more alternatively/ goth. A friend made a joke that I "looked like Alicia's normie girlfriend", and it stuck!
— How would you describe it – what makes your style different from other bands?
— I'd describe us as "imperfectionists". We like to start with a live take and get the rhythm guitar and vocals down, then add on top of that. We embrace any wrong notes or misplayed chords – we don't play it wrong on purpose of course, but rather embrace however it goes as a natural part of making music. We like the final recording to show our humanity.
— Do you write the songs together? What is the writing process like?
— Typically I write the lyrics, then work with Liv to get the music down- though occasionally I'll write to a track that Liv has written, and for our next record Alicia is hoping to write more of the lyrics as well. We really like to come together as a band and just play around with things for a bit until we find something that feels right- lots of sitting either in Liv's living room or my basement and just sort of sitting at our instruments and going with the flow.
— What usually triggers a lyrical idea?
— It tends to be lines of poetry, books, or other songs- I like hearing about stories and applying the lessons learned in them to my own life in order to create something new. I always try to make sure a song tells a story in some way, whether it's mine or one I've created.
— Writers often find the stories they previously told in their books or poems happen to them in their real life. Did it ever happen to you?
— I'd say all of my stories are already connected to me in some way, so yes, in a way. I draw inspiration both from my personal life and from stories or my own imagination, so my songs are varying degrees of autobiographical. However, I do think writing songs changes the way I perceive my life- there's sort of a level of detachment there that allows me to process things from an outside perspective.
— What is your favourite Normie Girlfriend song and why?
— My favorite is definitely Jordan. I came up with the idea while driving home from work at around 1am down a rather deserted road, and noticed someone behind me. I remember a story I'd read abt a killer who followed women home at night, and immediately came up with nightmare scenarios, and called my friend Jordan (the same Jordan who co-wrote our song Rosaries For Sale) to tell her I was being followed. The resulting song is, I think, darker and more intense than our usual vibe, which makes it a standout to listen to and play. It also really allows me and Alicia to show off our vocals in a way that our other songs really don't. It's just really fun to play!
— What are your plans for 2022?
— We're hoping to record our first full length album this summer, as well as take advantage of our time together to play together more! As we've been separated for college, we've been writing a lot of individual material, and are excited to get together and string it all together. We've also got some great friends that have been interested in our music that we're hoping to collaborate with in various capacities- basically, we're hoping to keep having fun and making music together as much as we possibly can!