When Alyse Vellturo, mastermind behind pronoun, released her newest track "run" into the world, she was a little nervous that the track would struggle to find its footing. "It was a lot of, 'This doesn’t sound like anything else,'" she explained, "but not in a good way, like, 'Oh wow!' It was more like, '...no one asked for this. But I was wrong, which is nice!"
Sure enough "run," the first track out from pronoun in over a year, made its debut on Stereogum and was quickly picked up by The New York Times and Pitchfork. Vellturo explained the release was more or less a challenge to herself to delve back into her archives of almost finished songs ("half finished, or I had verses but no chorus or had a guitar lick and nothing else") in order to drop something before heading off to SXSW this spring. But the road to the release was bumpy, filled with second-guessing and warring inner voices. Vellturo recalls, "I would go back and forth like, this is too rock, and then later be like, ugh who fucking cares, just put it out. I was just like YOLO WHATEVER, and dropped it."
With two other jobs within the music industry, Vellturo is able to see the more big picture realities of the minutiae other artists may overlook. As a label manager at The Orchard and founder of Sleep Well Records, she watches other campaigns play out in real time, a position she takes advantage of for her pronoun endeavors. "You see what things work, what things don’t work, what gets people excited, what pisses people off," she says. "It’s funny that now I have this attitude, 'Why don’t people just do it themselves!' which is just so unrealistic because it’s such a weird position that I don’t think anyone else is in."
Though she began working in management, Vellturo has always wanted to dive into performing, and during a brief moment of reflection, notes "I knew where I wanted to be...which I guess is where I am now? Now that I think about it I’m right where I want to be, but it was very slow work." She first began writing songs for pronoun on the other side of a bad breakup, out of a desire for deliberate discomfort. Interestingly enough, this was also when her Twitter account, often tongue-in-cheek and self-deprecating, was born. She recalls, "That was the only platform I didn’t have any eyes on. No one is searching for this. So I would basically use Twitter to be a crazy person. I would just tweet stupid, immature stuff I would never want anyone to see. I couldn’t do it on Facebook, I couldn’t do it anywhere else. But it just started building up kind of a following. And now I’m just a loose cannon."
As for what's next for pronoun, Vellturo says that she aims to complete her first full-length record by the time she hits the road with Citizen and Basement in May.