Glacier Vein’s Malia Endres breaks down the dreamy self-understanding behind ‘Lunar Reflection’
Glacier Veins have released their new album, Lunar Reflection, via Equal Vision Records. Ahead of the release, vocalist Malia Endres offered Alternative Press a deep dive into the inspiration and meaning behind the project.
Lunar Reflection uses the rich feelings conjured by their dreamy punk instrumentals to musically capture a process of self-reflection. Endres took inspiration from “specific events or feelings,” but more broadly treated the album as a chance to reflect on larger themes in her life. Themes connected to the moon, Earth and nature are delicately woven into the musical fabric to give this process a distinctive emotional shade.
Rather than use the music to convey a definitive articulation of the results of this process, the band's hazy washes of guitar and bass pair with sinewy lead guitar lines to build something more complex. As a result, the music invites listeners to contemplate their own process of growth and introspection. Endres' commentary on the songs adds specificity to the music, which helps us as listeners to find a distinctive space in what is one of the most forceful albums this writer has heard this year to date.
For the most part, when I was writing songs for this album, the inspiration was coming from specific events or feelings, but looking back on the whole album, I see how the specificities are related to bigger patterns, or themes, in my life. Getting to reflect back on these songs as Lunar Reflection as a whole, I can see how my mindset has shifted between the time I started writing the songs for the album and now. I’m seeing the bigger messages that I received from the individual experiences, and it helps me feel like I have a better understanding of myself and how I want to connect with other people and the space that I am in.
It is personal, and maybe these ideas aren’t going to resonate with everyone, but it feels worth it to me to bring all these reflections together for my own expression and deeper understanding of myself and the world. If anything, I hope these songs inspire reflection on one’s individuality, relationships and experiences with the world in a purposeful way, looking toward growth. Writing this album has been a significant part of this path I’m on toward more meaningful and intentional self-reflection, and I hope for that inspiration and opportunity for self-reflection for others too.
“Autonomy” makes sense for starting the record. I think the energy clears the space for a fresh start, one that’s rooted in oneself. As the album goes on, there are more themes about relating to other people and connecting with the space we are in, but “Autonomy” is this reset back to oneself, and it is a place to keep returning to when we get lost in everything else that goes on in our lives. It’s about making yourself the best you can be for yourself and for the people around you, appreciating and learning from where you’ve been, and feeling excited about the potential that the future holds.
“Digging Myself Out”
In a way, this song goes hand in hand with “Autonomy.” It’s a bit more of an active approach to getting back in touch with oneself when you finally notice that you haven’t been feeling that way for some time; like a lightbulb moment and you just have to do something about it. It was actually the first song I wrote that ended up on the album, so I feel like it goes along again with the idea of needing to connect back to oneself before being able to move forward and being a part of new opportunities for growth.
“Flower Moon” is a song of dreamy reflection. It’s looking back on moments where the energy just seems to be flowing with magical ease. The moments feel meaningful, but at the time, I’m not really sure how that meaning is going to play out in my life. Then there are things later on down the line that connect back and make me feel like, “Oh, here is some of that meaning playing out.” Looking back on all the synchronicities between then and now, I see how that meaning shifts, each time helping me feel like I have a better understanding of myself and helping me be more open to the way my life unfolds.
“Cover Me” reflects on honesty and a desire for mutual effort and goals in relationships. It’s about wanting to hold space and offer support and enthusiasm for people we care about. It’s about wanting to inspire confidence and motivation through that support and enthusiasm. It’s knowing that we can find support and inspiration in one another. We can follow our own path in a way that meets up and aligns with other people’s paths, creating meaningful change within relationships and within the collective as a whole.
“Where Does It Go?”
There was a moment last year where I was feeling pretty stuck and uninspired. I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to drive eight hours up to northern Washington to visit my sister and her, at the time, 1-month old daughter on the farm they’d been living on. Getting to drive by myself for hours and then getting to connect with my sister, my niece and a beautiful new space sparked this whole new sense of purpose and inspiration within me. I wrote this song when I got back from that trip, and although it was definitely inspired by the flowy feelings that I had experienced, I think the big takeaway is that sometimes the best way to feel out the weird feelings is to truly just let your soul go, as the lyrics state.
At the time, I knew that I needed a little sense of adventure, but looking back, I see how much that trip impacted me, in a way that I only realized through reflecting on the way I felt, the symbols I saw and the things I learned then. It led me to this whole new perspective on how I want to live my life and what makes me feel good. It was a new understanding and recognition of myself, connecting back to the theme of “Autonomy.” In my head, it marks the beginning of this cycle of self-reflection that I’m in and that I’m working through with the other songs on Lunar Reflection.
“Embers” is about connecting with the power of nature and also our own power. There was a week in 2020 when I watched the smoke fill the sky from wildfires. I was emotional about the natural spaces being burned and the fear and uncertainty being felt within the collective. But then I thought of this all as a message from the Earth. Although the depth of the fires has been increasing due to the way we have been interacting with and using our natural resources and spaces, fire is a part of the nature of the Earth.
I visualize the Earth connecting and running with the flames; now they are a part of the Earth’s power. With it, we are being sent a message to do better, to reframe this moment as a transformation point where we see the power of nature and the lack of control we have over it. The message is also one of guidance and support, like a mother, showing us our connection to the Earth and encouraging us to change our actions and our methods in order to cultivate mutual love and growth of humanity and nature. There’s also a more personal, reflective space in this song too, reminding each of us of the purpose we have in our own lives and in the world. We have the power to create a loving, meaningful environment for ourselves, the people we interact with, and the Earth as a whole.
“Here & There”
This is one of the darker, heavier songs on the record, which I think reflects the theme of the song. It’s one of those “dark night of the soul” kinds of moments, where you’re just sitting with yourself and any frustrating, confusing feelings. You just have to let all those feelings consume you in order to make progress from that point. The “blue sky” is the light that you see on the horizon, giving you motivation and strength to work through the darker moments, knowing that clarity is coming. I think it’s necessary that we don’t avoid or push down the darkness. When we take the time to address the feelings within ourselves and reflect on who we are and what makes us feel whole, we are able to move forward with more certainty and confidence in our direction.
“Nurture” is all about taking care of ourselves, our relationships and the people within them. It definitely rests on the idea that our interpersonal relationships will be more fulfilling and healthy when we’re also taking care of ourselves. It comes back to wanting to hold space for people we care about to grow and become the best version of themselves. It’s a combination of working on our own growth, working on the growth of our relationships, and being available to support the growth of another person outside of our relationship with them.
I wrote this song after doing a meditation, sending love to my younger self. It really impacted me emotionally looking back at the dreams I had when I was younger and then knowing where I’m at in my life now, living out some of those dreams. So I guess this song is my message to my younger self telling her that the dreams she has are worth going after, and to keep the confidence and motivation in working toward them. I feel like this whole experience takes me back to the idea that everything is connected, even beyond the boundaries of time and space.
“Lenses'' is about thinking back on everything in your life that has brought you to this present moment. Through the happenings in our lives, we collect experiences, lessons, and energy that stick with us and become a part of who we are in the present. With each moment lived and experience collected, we have more to reflect on, to pull from, and to be inspired by as we continue to move through our life. I think it’s important to keep in mind, too, that not every experience is going to be easy, joyful goodness, but there is still potential for positive transformation by allowing ourselves to process and really feel out every situation. Our past is the energy that we carry with us, and through knowing and working with that energy, we can grow into the best version of ourselves — a never-ending growth.
While I was working on the songs for this album, the spiral symbol kept popping up in my life — in nature, in books that I was reading, etc. — and felt meaningful to me in some way. It led me down this path of being more aware of how everything is connected in a magical way. Synchronicity. It helped me come to this realization about the way we move through life and how everything is always in transformation — a transformation of growth, even when it feels like we’re moving backward at times. It is appreciation for where I’ve been and a reminder that there’s a lot of room for purposeful growth.
I started writing “Lunation” on the day of a new moon last summer. At the time, I had been really digging into understanding the lunar cycle and the energy and symbolism of the different phases. It took me a while to finish this song; I kept coming back to it on each new moon, until finally I clicked into the idea of having each part reflect the themes of each phase of the moon in a way that related to my own feelings and life situations of the moment.
I would say the message is about being intentional and motivated, appreciating the goodness that flows into your life, reflecting on your feelings and experiences and making a positive transformation in your life from all of that — no matter how big or small. It’s all about that growth and uncovering your whole self in order to have an idea of how to live a life that is meaningful to oneself.