David Belisle

Since the release of last year's Hands Across the Void, Jesy Fortino has been working on new material for a new Tiny Vipers album, to come out on Sub Pop later this year. "The newer stuff is more subtle. It's more sparse; the songs are really spacious, and they leave a lot of room for interpretation," Fortino says.

Considering how sparse and spacious the acoustic songs on Hands were, one imagines the new material will be harrowingly spare and unflinchingly naked. But however threadbare the instrumentation is, and however open ended the lyrics are, Fortino's songs convey warmth and comfort, like candlelight on a wet and stormy night after the power's gone out.

Fortino is excited about her new material: "I've been writing them throughout the year, but only certain songs do you feel are done and perfect. For example, there are only a couple songs off the last record, 'Aron' and 'Forest on Fire,' that were genuine—when I play them, it never gets old because it feels like an extension of me in a weird way. It feels different to play those kinds of songs, when they are the perfect way to express something you can't express otherwise, I guess. And that's how I feel about a lot of the newer stuff. They're about something much less general, and much more, like, I don't know, weird—they express weirder aspects that don't normally get talked about."

Tiny Vipers songs can evoke all manner of emotions from the listener, often intensely personal and primal ones, and Fortino allows the songs to follow their own course during the writing process. "I write the lyrics and I don't understand what they're about—this happens a lot, it's just normal," she says. "But as time passes, I realize what they're about: really weird little moments in my life that I never paid attention to. And they surface themselves. Themes come up from really weird, specific situations, but at the same time the songs are written in a really spacious way, which hopefully gives somebody listening room to relate to it. It's not limited by how specific it is."