The twins from The Shining have nothing on the ghostly Julia and Joanna Araujo, better known by their social media handle @little.ghouls. The twin sisters have undertaken a new project: making music under the moniker Satin Puppets. Alternative Press is excited to premiere their delightfully creepy and haunting debut music video, “Quagmire.”
The Araujos are incredibly busy as it is, running a popular art shop and apothecary featuring spooky paintings and prints, as well as ghoulish candles, perfumes and more, which they share on Instagram and TikTok with appreciative art fans.
Their art aesthetic took to the screen in their new video with contrasting makeup, dark eyes and many calls to nature in all its beauty and uncertainty. The two sisters stun in their first song and music video, and we can’t wait to see what’s next.
Alternative Press had the chance to sit down with Julia and Joanna to see how their project came to be, how they balance an already busy life with music writing and what we can expect as 2021 unfolds.
Check out the full interview and brand-new video for Satin Puppets’ “Quagmire” below.
How does being related affect your writing process, if at all? Having grown up together, do you find you’re able to connect on a deeper level to get your message across?
JOANNA: Julia and I have always had a similar writing style as far as expressing ourselves goes. We like to describe our experiences and lessons through analog visuals, hence our name Satin Puppets. We write for cathartic purposes as a way to express what we feel inside, and so for our music, we tend to take what we write and put them together. This process works for us because a lot of our experiences are shared, so our writing very easily weaves together to unfold our lessons as an analog visual.
Your track is dreamy and haunting, stunning and simple. What brought you to this particular sound, and do you have any sonic inspirations that helped lead to the final track?
JOANNA: Our sound is inspired by film scores we grew up hearing and nostalgic sounds that are atmospheric and airy. Even music boxes and carousel tunes. I have a clear memory [of] being about 5 years old and sneaking into my grandma’s closet to sit with a little music box I found in there once whenever I felt like I needed to cry. And I would quietly sit with it and release my feelings. Then I would hide it and go about my day like it never happened. Ever since we were little, we took comfort in eerie sounds and visuals. One of our favorite movies we watched growing up was an old live-action version of Pinocchio called Buratino, which our babushka [grandma in Russian] would put on for us. To this day, we love rewatching it and getting inspired from the puppet costumes and expressions.
What message do you hope listeners take away from your lyrics? What story, if any, helped shape the narrative in the track?
JOANNA: So “Quagmire'” is about when you are feeling lost and trapped in your body, and fear is keeping you from elevating into a higher state of consciousness. It’s about recognizing that you have the power to confront yourself about how you are feeling and recognizing what is causing you fear in order to move past the energetic blockages. We wish to bring that awareness to everyone who listens to our music so they may use our music as an aid to their healing journeys.
The shadowy “Quagmire” video features sharp makeup looks and various creepy character appearances. How did you brainstorm for this music video, and what inspired the visuals throughout? What challenges, if any, did you encounter while filming?
JOANNA: So we started writing our album without even realizing we were writing it because we wrote as a way to cope through the vortex we found ourselves in. It turned into our recovery journal when we confronted ourselves that we were depressed, and we began to heal and restore who we are. During this time, I was receiving a lot of visuals, and I would see things from dark spirits that were actually my reflection. They were urging me to push forward out of the situation we were trapped in at the time. [Both Julia and I] have always been energy sensitive, so when we were going through the dark time in our lives, I would see distorted faces through tunnel vision and demon figures that kept my mind in a spiral. Our visual ideas often come from what we see and experience beyond the veils of reality. This goes for our paintings as well, and this is why our paintings also reveal where we are at mentally.
This isn’t your first time working on a music video. You’ve acted and modeled in several multimedia projects before. How did this help when it came to shooting your own music video?
JULIA: Yes, we have had the opportunity to be featured in multiple music videos/short films, most of which were presented to us via Instagram or [by] helping our creative friends. Each experience was so unique, but one big thing that I took from all of them is how important it is to manage time, especially when you are filming in a place that you have limited access to or you’re only have so many hours of daylight, etc. Joanna and I are lucky that the two music videos we shot were not stressful at all, as it only features the two of us with our videographer. We also only have shot in the outdoors, in our own home or at found locations.
You have a large social media audience who follow and purchase your art projects, candles, perfume and more. How do you balance running a business, bringing new content to social media frequently and now writing music? How do you remain creative in all of your outlets?
JULIA: It’s important to us to make time for creativity, whether it be singing, writing, drawing or conceptualizing the next collection for our shop. It’s also just as important to make time to recharge ourselves and spend time being outdoors, even if it’s just meditating in our backyard. The visuals have always been the root of our world. Our biggest sources of receiving our ideas are dreams, memories and visions, mostly during meditation. Adding more elements, such as scented candles and music, helps create a more immersive experience. We’re very lucky to have each other as we get into a working rhythm when running our business and balancing that with creative time. It’s all about creating a schedule and allowing yourself to trail off where your curiosity takes you. But don’t stray too far or you’ll miss something important.
What do you hope to accomplish in 2021, whether personally or professionally?
JULIA: This year we plan to release one song a month, each with its own music video. With the help of our management team, our producer Chris Qualls [NXGHTSHADE] and videographer Jxpaz, we feel confident in our goal. Staying in our creative flow is No. 1.