If it were still the '90s, you wouldn’t be able to go to your local Blockbuster, rent a teen rom-com and not hear sophie meiers echoing in the opening credits. Creating a celestial ambiance on their latest EP, you and me again, meiers embodies soft whispers while exuding Gwen Stefani’s “zero fucks given” attitude.

Throughout you and me again, meiers whimsically explores the darkness in the world. Finding inspiration from artists such as Black Flag and LCD Soundsystem, meiers told Alternative Press how their influences helped them through the writing and recording of their EP. You can listen to you and me again below, as well as check out who meiers cited as their inspirations.

Read more: Some My Chemical Romance fans just saw this ‘Black Parade’ Easter egg

SOPHIE MEIERS: I think what draws me most to the music I listen to is raw, unfiltered expression and emotion. Throughout my life, music has meant more to me than just a hobby or something I like doing. It’s completely interwoven into my identity and how I absorb and process the world around me. I grew up listening to pretty much every genre imaginable, so it’s hard to pin down exact influences. It's a combination of so many different things, but here are some songs and artists who have undeniably influenced my music.

Billie Holiday – “I’m A Fool To Want You”

I really relate to the feeling of being helpless and out of control [and being] unable to stop yourself from wanting something even if it destroys you. (Ex: my song “unforgettable”) Beyond just the meaning of the song, jazz in general has been a formative part of why I make music. Its timeless storytelling, gorgeous, sultry, pained vocals and the vivid memories that speak beyond words made me fall in love with expressing myself in any way I can.

Black Flag – “My War”

“My War” made me feel comforted while my life fell apart. There's something hilarious about losing your mind and being self-aware of the condition you find yourself in. Punk music influenced my personal philosophy and style more than anything else. When I felt rejected by the world, I rejected it [back]. I found peace in being able to do whatever the fuck I wanted because life is too short and morbid to live for anyone other than yourself.

Black Flag – “Nervous Breakdown”

“Nervous Breakdown” is chaotic, messy, imperfect and unapologetic. It's therapeutic to listen to someone else say exactly how you feel. I’ve always wanted to be able to do that for other people. Being able to take my pain and trauma and turn it into a force that has driven me forward is what keeps me sane. I grew up listening to Black Flag, the Melvins, Mudhoney [and] Screaming Trees. For some reason, I never really had a scene or emo phase, but punk and grunge has been something that has stuck around. This song in particular makes me feel less alone when I spiral out of control. 

Jon Brion – “Little Person” 

Jesus Christ, this song hurts me so bad. Another priceless and painful song that I would classify as existential horror. This song is from the soundtrack of a movie called Synecdoche, New York. I would highly suggest watching the movie if you haven't already. The lyrics are devastatingly beautiful: "I’m just a little person/One person in a sea/Of many little people/Who are not aware of me." This song and movie have always struck a deep chord within me. Life is finite and precious, and maybe meaningless, but the little happy moments of sunshine are what I [cling] on to. I write about this feeling a lot in my song “as good as it gets.” 

The Roots – “You Got Me”

When I really got into '90s hip-hop and boom-bap, it put jazz into a completely new perspective for me. This was really a turning point for my music. It was around the time I started getting interested in producing and singing over beats. This [the Roots] song is truly timeless, [with the] vocals and lyrics blending perfectly together with the beat: the essence of collaboration. The samples and production are timeless. It made me start thinking about producing, like collaging, taking so many different sounds and snippets ranging across genres and time periods, and putting them all together to paint an entirely new picture. This song just feels fucking good to listen to and influenced a lot of my early work on SoundCloud.

LCD Soundsystem – “Dance Yrself Clean”

I have vague memories of growing up as an alienated kid drowning out my problems to “Dance Yrself Clean.” Its filtered-out vocals, grainy polyphonic rhythms and striking vocal delivery is captivating. Its matter-of-fact and nonchalant nature has changed the way I approach my lyrics and storytelling. Its juxtaposition of anxiety and letting go is beautiful and painful all at once.

LCD Soundsystem – “New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down”

To be able to inject a song with so much emotion and vivid imagery is a really beautiful thing. This song captures so many little heartbreaking details of the human condition and has really spoken to me in an existential way. I speak about these big questions and feelings in almost all of my songs, and this was one of the songs that I’ve always felt really drawn to and connected to throughout my life.