A Q&A With the May Flowers Song Contest Promotion Winner Belle Shea

“pink moon spring” 
By Belle Shea
Interview by American Songwriter

Belle Shea is the American Songwriter May Flowers Song Contest Promotion winner for her song “pink moon spring.” American Songwriter caught up with Belle to get the story behind her inspirational lyrics. 

How long have you been songwriting? 

I’ve played guitar on and off since I was 6 or so, but I really started writing songs in high school. I was listening to a lot of early Taylor Swift and teaching myself how to play her songs, as well as whatever came on the classic rock station on the radio. I loved Taylor’s songs, and Tom Petty, and the Goo Goo Dolls as well (I still do!), and the way they told stories in their music. I felt like finding the patterns in those songs made writing my own seem accessible. And Taylor Swift in particular I’m grateful to, because her music helped me see how being vulnerable could also be very brave. 

Why did you enter American Songwriter’s Song Contest? 

I’ve entered the contest a few times now! I’m really proud that I’ve kept trying, even when I didn’t succeed before. This time was truly on a whim though – I got an email on the last day before the “May Flowers” promotion was closing, and I thought the theme seemed to match the message behind my latest song perfectly.

What was the inspiration behind your song, “pink moon spring”?

Have you ever noticed how many sad songs there are, everywhere? Even in the background in grocery stores, or when you’re getting breakfast or spending time with friends or buying shoes. I absolutely love sad songs, and I’ve written a lot of them. Most of my love songs before “pink moon spring” have been quite sad. But then I fell in love again, this time with someone I really trust. And I felt for the first time like I was drowning in music that didn’t match what was going on in my life. 

I wanted to write a song that felt like it could be a soundtrack for a fresh start. Something that made me feel like staying open could be a wonderful, hopeful thing. “pink moon spring” is what flowed out, at first on a napkin over pizza then later on with my guitar. I’m so grateful for the recognition of “pink moon spring”, because it’s a wonderful reminder of something I believe in very deeply – that the simple, sweet things can make just as good art as the painful things do.

Who are your all-time favorite songwriters and why? 

I love the songwriting of John Moreland, Taylor Swift, Lorde, Phoebe Bridgers, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Aoife O’Donovan. I think my favorite songwriters are often artists who can balance a multiplicity of moods and feelings all in one song. I also really love songwriting that allows the music to speak in equal measure to the lyrics. I think the best songs are a balance of both, in order to become something greater than what either could say alone. 

Are you planning on releasing any new music anytime soon? 

I’m always working on something new! I have plans in the works for another single, something very different from “pink moon spring” (which was itself very different from my last Americana-inspired release, “Cheyenne”). I’m hoping to share a collection of these tracks as an EP, or even as part of a second full album after my first release, “The Art of Years”. I also have a series of covers I’ve reimagined with some artist friends in Brooklyn that I hope to share soon.

Listen to the winning song below:

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