"I love EPs--it is hard to get people to review EPs though." says Thornley.
It is, of course, difficult to get people to review anything unless you've been anointed by the proper hipster authorities.
As a listener, however, an LP also has drawbacks. Thornley says she has a hard time digesting an entire album. There are too many songs to really absorb. With an EP? The listener can check out the entire thing.
"I notice in digital download sites the first five songs are the most popular. The four songs on Septagon hook together well." she says.
This EP is a digital only release. Up until now Thornley has released physical product.
"The last was full of liner notes, an insert, lyrics and pictures. I still love holding a physical release--makes me sort of sad." says Thornley.
Whether the release is an EP or an LP, physical or digital, you have to create it first. Every songwriter has a process; what is Thornley's?
"In the beginning I wrote lyrics first. I always wanted to know what the song was about. Then lyrics would shift," she says. "I'd have an idea lyrically, that was where the feeling came from."
She could write the music without that feeling, without those lyrics.
"After I got the music down I would let the lyrics float in there. It almost never happens at the same time for me."
To avoid getting stuck in a rut she starts with music she has tried to change this up. In part she did this by thinking of all the instrumental music--going back hundreds of years--that is imbued with feeling with meaning. Ultimately, even when shaking things up, her work maintains the same focus.
"I think those people hear melodies in their head. I hear words." she says.
"I started looking at songs and thought' these all relate'." she says.
Thornley was going through a period where she was trying to look at the world and her life in a different way. The songs were about seeing a different truth.
"One day driving through the Midwest, looking at farmland, there was a sign on the side of a truck that said "Septagon" and that was it," she says. "We did Iowa,
Nebraska, Illinois, I looked out the windows for miles and miles looking at little houses--but they were not really little. There is so much space."
Thornley lives and works in L.A. but is originally from Alabama. Her second EP was about that move and the struggle that went with it.
"I left home, Alabama, to come out here. You work really hard but wonder if it was the right move," she says. "Sometimes I am melancholy or nostalgic for what I left behind."
But other times she feels she did the right thing. Her song, It Could Be, is about this transition.
"Of course in the song I don't answer the question. You present the picture. You hold up a mirror. I have no idea what the right thing for someone else to do is." she says.
Find out more at beththornley.com
"Television is the best thing. Every time my song has been on a TV show I see a bump." she says.
This "bump" is in online plays, sales and views on Youtube. Television placement is also the gift that keeps on giving; when a show re-airs she also sees a bump.
Lipsync Music represents her. She sends music and it gets into the hands of producers who need it.
"The biggest bump I ever got was from a show in Canada, Degrassi. It has a huge following among teenagers," says Thornley. "They are also going to pass it around and listen to it on Youtube."
Her biggest payout was a song used in the Steven Soderbergh film, Magic Mike.
"A film is going to pay more than a television show." she says.
She also saw big bumps in traffic from songs on Royal Pains and Hung.
Just because her music gets used, with some frequency, in television doesn't mean she tailors it to the medium.
"I actually thing I am writing about the common human condition and that is what my job is anyway." she says.
She also thinks "chasing it," trying to create songs you think will work for television or movies.
"It is a needle in a haystack anyway. The problem is you just never know. Writers sit down and write a dance song or a ballad. Then you are targeting a market but it is a broad goal."
Just write good music and hope it appeals to a music director.
What is next for Thornley?
"I've got two separate EP ideas in my head. I have two songs a piece for each. I am sort of writing and recording them at the same time." she says.
Her last release was in 2010. One reason for the years between that release and Septagon is that Thornley and producer/musician Rob Cairns wrote a musical, Bad Apples. It was produced in Los Angeles in 2013 and will be on stage in Seattle in the fall of 2014.