TREMORS// Juliet Ivy makes the struggles of girlhood sound like a dream

TREMORS is our monthly new-music profile, shining a light on emerging artists, making waves. This month, Rhian Daly meets New York's Juliet Ivy. Photos: Sarah Louise Bennett.


Viral moments in modern music might be hard to predict at the best of times, but you’d need an incredibly powerful crystal ball to have foreseen Juliet Ivy’s ‘We’re All Eating Each Other’ spreading like digital wildfire. Sure, the New York singer-songwriter’s 2023 track sounds dreamy and breezy – her signature sound – but she was shocked it would be a musing on death and the circle of life that would catch on.

“I was like, ‘Oh my god, people like the song about dying?!’” Ivy recalls from her home, days after returning from her first trip to the UK, where she performed at The Great Escape and sold out her debut London headline show. When she first shared the track, she had been apprehensive about whether listeners would “get it”, worried that her thoughts on such a weighty topic might be a little too out of the norm. After all, the song does find her imagining our decomposing corpses eventually becoming the honey “our grandkids will put inside / Their morning tea”. “It’s a weirder choice, but it felt too authentic to me to not put out, so to have it be the one that people connect with makes me feel like we’re all in this together.” 

‘We’re All Eating Each Other’ might give the impression that the 23-year-old is super chill about what happens when our time on Earth is up, but she hasn’t always been so at ease with the idea. “It’s the biggest unknown in the world, and it’s kept me up at night ever since I was little,” she laughs. Allowing herself to explore her fears around death, though, has been a tonic for her. “It was almost like a healing process because it made me see it in another way. It felt really therapeutic to be like, ‘We’re all gonna die but in a beautiful way’.”


Through that song’s unexpected viral moment, Ivy says she’s been able to start building a community around her music, but it’s far from her first step in her journey. Since 2022, she’s been drip-feeding the world singles that feel like conversations with a friend or as if you’re reading pages ripped out of a diary. Each, from the kitchen sink (or table) drama of ‘Breakfast Song’ to the insecurity-mining ‘Is It My Face?’, showcases her vision of the world around us, offering comfort through the shared trials of our modern life. 

As a kid, the musician harboured ambitions as a singer and dreamed of going on American Idol. She grew up in the Forest Hills area of Queens, known for its stadium that transforms into a music Mecca each summer. Many nights each year were spent there with friends and family, watching shows by the likes of Maggie Rogers and Ed Sheeran, each time Ivy imagining herself on the stage instead. Last month, she finally got the chance when she was invited to perform at 88rising’s Head In The Clouds – her debut festival appearance. “That was my biggest dream come true,” Ivy grins now. “I grew up a few blocks from the stadium so to be able to play there was crazy. All my friends and family were there, and I had the best time.” 

Music might have been a long-running dream for the rising star, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that she became curious about the writing side of being an artist. Like Rogers, she enrolled at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute, where she began working on her own songs, inspired by “all these incredible musicians” she was suddenly surrounded by. Off-campus, Ivy furthered her quest to find her own voice in sessions she booked with producers via Instagram – endeavours that gave her the confidence to share her ideas with strangers and helped her fall in love with the art of lyric writing. “Wanting to say something through music and write about anything I want is what’s always pushing me the most,” she says. 

Juliet Ivy

As well as her peers, Ivy draws big inspiration from the city streets and crowded subway cars of her hometown. “I like to write about being existential and introspective, and that really comes from being a small person in a big world,” she explains. “I don’t feel that as much as I do in New York anywhere else. There’s so much to look at, so much diversity and different characters and overheard conversations. If you wanted to study the human race, you could just look at New York because there’s every type of person here.”

Everything she’s learned and picked up on is now fuelling her latest releases, including ‘Is It My Face?’. It’s a candid document of the artist’s internal monologue and ridden with relatable self-doubt, encapsulated in the line: “I know you’re not supposed to say it, but I’m not like other girls.” This isn’t some superior, subtle put-down to other women, though, but rather a nod to how Ivy often feels like “an outsider”. “[It’s about] feeling unwanted in a room of other amazing humans and just wanting to feel loved and chosen,” she explains. “I’ve felt like that a lot – ‘Do I look the right way, or should I look more like this? Why isn’t my personality like this?’ It was fun to use that ‘not like other girls’ idea and twist it so it’s like, ‘not because I don’t wanna be, think they’re making fun of me’.” 

Her upcoming second EP will delve deeper into topics that fit under the banner of “girlhood”, whether she’s sharing an “overarching thesis” about being a woman or reassuring herself through tough times. As with all of her music, she hopes the release will “create a community around it, whatever size that is”. “The idea of that has always been the most important thing for me,” she smiles. “I just want to do that forever.”