Exclusive Q&A: Halle Kearns On Crafting New EP, ‘Quarter Life Crisis,’ Connecting with Fans, and What’s Next

Kearns unveils a new dimension of her artistry with her third studio EP, inspired by the whirlwind of emotions experienced in her twenties.

By

Lauren Coin

| Posted on

June 26, 2024

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Halle Kearns; Photo Provided

Singer-songwriter Halle Kearns is showcasing a new side of her artistry in her third studio EP, Quarter Life Crisis.

The project’s name and concept stems from the mix of emotions Halle has experienced throughout her twenties. From love to nostalgia to friendship, this six-track record encompasses all the feelings that come with this season of life. 

“When I looked at the songs I’d been writing, I was like, ‘Why do all of these work for my life right now? But none of them go together?’ The concepts are all so different, yet they all match. And then I realized, like, ‘Oh, these are all representing a quarter life crisis,” Halle said.

Halle Kearns - Quarter Life Crisis
Halle Kearns – Quarter Life Crisis

Country Now recently sat down with Halle to discuss releasing her new EP, the story behind it, touring, and more. Read on to learn more about Halle in this exclusive Q&A below!

Congratulations on the release of ‘Quarter Life Crisis’! What experiences did you pull from your own life to create these songs?

Oh my gosh, all of them, honestly. I think the whole EP is just centered around where I’m at right now in my life. From wondering about my future to being certain of friendships, the whole project’s just about knowing something for sure about yourself and then second guessing it and then at the very end, it’s all wrapped up in that song ‘Carries Me’, which feels like that conclusion to all of the madness. I think it’s just really about figuring out what you don’t know yet, so that’s pretty much everything in my life right now.

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Is there one song in particular that’s the most personal to you?

‘Clothes on the Line’ is that nostalgic streak in anyone. Just thinking back to childhood specifically, I know I had in mind whenever I was writing it, I was thinking about my grandparents’ house and just growing up there. You know, after a pool day, or getting in the lake or whatever, seeing the towels hanging in the breeze. There’s something so nostalgic about that, something that you want to kind of go back to over and over again. And then another one, ‘Settlin Kind,’ for example, is a song I wrote about my now husband. In the beginning, I just was so sure that I wasn’t going to get married until way later in life. I just thought that with the nature of my work and being on the road all the time, I was feeling like a relationship would really slow me down. I just did not think that this was going to be something in my near future, by any means. And then I met this guy, and he completely changed my mind on all of that. So I think that’s one I really relate to too because that really just happened in the last like two or three years. I was so sure I wouldn’t get married till I was at least in my 30s, and now here I am, a couple years later, setted down.

Can you tell me a little bit more about the story behind ‘Settlin’ Kind’?

I always thought settling down meant that you were settling in a negative way, just in life in general, like there was kind of this connotation of I’m giving up some of my dreams if I choose to settle down. And he just showed me a whole new way of looking at it, and he made me want to be the settling kind, so that’s where the whole idea came from.

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How do you hope listeners will connect with the EP?

I just hope that they feel some relief in the fact that they’re not alone in any of these things, whether it’s the being broke and needing to stick to the homemade margaritas or the breakups that come with this season of life, really any season of life. Like ‘The Boot’ mentions, you know, just kind of sticking with your girlfriends. I just feel like there’s so many concepts wrapped up within this one EP that I want people to not feel lonely when they listen to, I want them to feel understood, and I want them to feel seen. And I want them to enjoy, like, I just want it to be kind of a release, whether it’s in the background while you’re driving down the road or you’re really listening and dissecting lyrics. I hope it just makes them feel less lonely.

What have you learned about yourself through the creation of this project?

I’ve definitely learned that I’m currently in my own quarter life crisis, that’s for sure. Actually the way this whole concept came about, I had written a few different songs and they all felt super representative of where I was currently at, which is something I always try to do when writing. And I love a concept project; I love a project that represents something bigger as a whole, instead of just the single thing. And when I looked at the songs I’d been writing, I was like, Why do all of these work for my life right now? But none of them go together? The concepts are all so different, yet they all match. And then I realized, like, Oh, these are all representing a quarter life crisis. So I think that, to answer your question, I feel like that was kind of the path that got me to this project.

This is your third studio EP, following the releases of ‘Finally’ in 2020 and ‘Every Girl’ in 2022. How does this one differ from your previous work?

Well, I hope that it furthers along the storytelling of who I am, for sure, just from a selfish standpoint. That’s what I always hope to do, is just continue to expose more who I am as an artist. But I also just think from a technical standpoint, I think, lyrically, the songs are growing. I think, sonically, the songs are growing. I really think I’m honing in on what I want to sound like as an artist, and finding those key pieces that kind of set me apart. And I just am trying to get more and more honest with every album, so I think that this one does a good job of that.

Halle Kearns; Photo Provided
Halle Kearns; Photo Provided

As a singer-songwriter, where do you usually find inspiration for your lyrics and melodies?

It sounds cliche, but genuinely everywhere. Sometimes I’ll just be driving down the road and a hook will pop into my head or some kind of twist on a word. Sometimes it’s melodies first. I listen to people a lot. I love hearing other people’s hearts and perspectives on things, which is why I think co-writing is so important because you get that in a room, but I love just hearing people talk about their lives. Sometimes it sparks an idea in me that I’m like I felt that, but I’ve never said it like that. I’ve never thought about it like that, till you just said it, and I’ll be able to write a song off of that. I’m always thinking through the lens of emotions. I’m a very highly sensitive and emotional person, so I think that I lead with that typically.

How did you celebrate the release of ‘Quarter Life Crisis’?

In the most quarterly crisis way you’ve ever heard, that’s actually so funny you asked that. On Thursday night when the song technically came out at 11 PM, and I was playing a show, which is perfect. And then I left Friday afternoon to fly home to Missouri. I got to see my family for a couple hours. Then I drove from Kansas City to Columbia, Missouri, and watched my best friend get baptized. It was just the most chaotic, beautiful, sentimental weekend. After that, I drove back to Kansas City, got to hang out with my nephews for a couple hours, and then I came back home. Oh, also my best friend got baptized in my elementary school which is now a church. So it’s just this super weird kind of, out of body, like, there’s like, this nostalgia and love and high emotions and everything tied up in a weekend celebrating a project that’s literally about like, some friends are getting married, some friends are getting baptized, some friends are like, having babies. I don’t know, all these things exist in one weekend, it’s nuts.

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This fall you’ll be out on the road again with Mason Ramsey. What song from the EP are you most excited to play live?

‘Homemade Margaritas’ is really fun live because I teach them this little clap-clap portion in the chorus and I love getting the crowd involved. And then ‘The Boot’ has been going over really well. Once you hit that line, “Give them the boot,” people always start screaming and chanting. so that’s a really fun one live, too.

What’s next for you?

Well, this fall is going to be packed, I have 40 dates with Mason. So it’s going to be a very, very busy fall, but the summer is a little more chill as far as show schedules go, so I’m really trying to reserve time to get back into the studio already and get more music prepared. That way, this fall, I can really roll that out and not be in two places at once. So I’ll be writing a lot this summer and in the studio prepping for the fall.

Fans can keep up with Halle Kearns on Instagram.

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Lauren Coin

Written by

Lauren Coin

Lauren is a junior at Michigan State studying Journalism with minors in Broadcast and Public Relations.