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Liner Notes with...Ashley Hutson

Late last summer, we launched our first flash contest: The Split Lip Summer Mixtape Flash Contest (Vol. 1). It was so much fun to read everyone's different takes on the playlist our judge Juan Martinez came up with, and we're thrilled to bring you the work of our winners in our March issue. Ashley Hutson, author of "Something Else," discusses how her story came to be.

1. How did the playlist inspire you?

I liked the concept. Each song tells a story, and the playlist itself tells its own story. Whatever story I would tell would be another refraction, and I wanted to discover what that would look like.

2. Was there a particular song that spoke to you?

"Whiteout Conditions" by The New Pornographers was about not being the greatest at life management and had an interesting lyrical cadence. And "Viene la Muerte Echando Rasero" by Lila Downs is such a catchy song about death. Both songs were upbeat and warm but in a really lonely way.

3. How did you engage with the music as you were writing?

I kept listening to the songs to visit certain planets of feeling.

4. Did the playlist/prompt change your writing process at all?

Well, usually I write about whatever I want. This time I wrote a story according to the playlist's particular "astral mouthfeel."

5. Do you normally write to music? If so, what what have you been writing to lately?

If you mean do I write while listening to music, I have only done that once, and it was recently. The song was called "Dark Space Low" on an hour loop, and it helped me get over my bullshit and surrender to what was in front of me, kind of like hypnosis. But that was a special case. I generally cannot listen while writing because it's too distracting. Music is always influencing my stuff, though. I mean, music transports, transcends, transmutes. It is the highest art form, in my opinion.

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