Shoegaze Princess Wisp Makes Us the Ultimate Grunge Playlist



Photo courtesy of Wisp.

This is SOUND ADVICE, a weekly destination for playlists curated by Interview’s friends, enemies, and lovers. Over the past few weeks, we’ve gathered playlists from Vegyn, DJ_Dave, and Varg2™. This week’s guest is the heiress of Gen-Z shoegaze, aka nu gaze, Wisp. Just one year after the unexpected viral success of “Your face,” which Wisp, born Natalie Lu, recorded in her bedroom on a YouTube “type beat,” the 19-year-old musician has turned into the face of a major TikTok-era revival of the noisy 2010s-via-’90s rock subgenre. Pandora, her debut EP released earlier this month, is a six-track dreamscape, featuring Lu’s floaty vocals over fuzzy, downtrodden instrumentals, and followed by today’s aptly mysterious music video drop. Before kicking off her first-ever tour this spring, she joined us to share the “pretty and ambient, and heavy and grunge” vibe that inspired Pandora and tell us which Whirr track she can’t stop crying to.


Where do you dance? In my room when I’m alone, or sometimes with friends but it depends what song. It has to be a good one to get me to dance in front of others.

Headphones of choice? Wired Apple earbuds.

What was your first concert? The Wiggles.

What song do you have on repeat? Maria” by Greg Mendez.

Dream collaborator, dead or alive? Whirr.

What song reminds you of your childhood? Fireflies” by Owl City.

What song on this playlist makes you cry? The first couple times I listened to “Blue Sugar” by Whirr I cried many tears, and I still do. I also get emotional hearing “GLASSHOUSE” by Downward because that song was on repeat during the beginning of Wisp being a thing. 

Where do you find new music? Bandcamp and YouTube.

What’s a music taste red flag? The Strokes (I love The Strokes).

Do you play an instrument? I play guitar and bass guitar, and I used to play violin for a long time too.

Your EP is called Pandora. What’s in your Pandora’s Box? Hugs from my mom, dinner with my dad, Roblox with my brother (it’s a happy moments Pandora box).

What sounds from nature inspire you? Ocean waves, whale sounds, and rain.

Name your favorite artist no one knows about: Diego, he’s a k-indie artist.

You’re going on tour, what’s your favorite post-gig meal? Tacos and horchata.

What album is playing in heaven? Piano Concerto No.2 by Rachmaninoff.

What do you collect? Blind box toys and vinyl.

The world is ending, what are you wearing? An astronaut suit.

Who’s the queen (or king) of pop? Beyoncé.