Thirty seconds in to ‘Fall Asleep To TV’ and the repetitive, layered vocals and rolling drums vanish, leaving Sophie Brochu, the artist behind Fauvely, alone with barely a strumming guitar for company. Initially her voice is controlled, before she howls “I’m so fucking crazy at the way things turned out,” her voice faltering, on the brink of falling apart completely. It’s the most poignant moment on ‘This Is What The Living Do‘, their debut EP that’s out today, and indicative of Brochu’s ability to completely flip a song on it’s head.
Opening with a looping, elusive instrumental, Fauvely’s EP starts as it means to go on, sending the listener way off the trail of the more traditional songs that follow. It’s an EP where light and dark have equal significance, for one light moment – the plush choruses on the title-track – another dark moment awaits in the shadows – the sad, unrequited nature of EP closer ‘Those Dreams of Mine.’ In that closing song Brochu recounts her rollercoaster-like relationship with music, singing “You can’t see me.” We see you now Sophie Brochu, and your star is blinding.
Below Brochu talks us through each of the EP’s tracks, allowing bandmate Dale Price to tell us about opener ‘Theta.’
“This is What the Living Do is about love, loss, falling asleep to TV, rejection, the monotony of life, and small, beautiful things.”
Dale: Theta is a fun song because it came about by accident. My amp sometimes gets a little shrill and needs to be dialed in before I play; the easiest way for me to do this is to loop something, then adjust till I’m happy. One day, I looped a little figure from an old demo to adjust, and something about it clicked with the rest of the band.
Rather than poison the well with my original demo, I let the arrangement come together with the band. The end result (after a few minor stumbles) is much better than what I came up with on my own. It’s also very different from Sophie’s more song-centric approach to writing, which makes it a nice contrast.
Sophie: I love how malleable it is. Every time we play it, it’s a little different. Even the lyrics are fluid, and in the recording, they kind of go in and out and overlap.
What the Living Do:
Sophie: This one gets its name from a poetry collection by Marie Howe. I pulled it from the shelf when my dear friend, Kim, was losing her mother last spring. In May, she was sent home from the hospital to die. It was horrific and fast, and it happened at an otherwise beautiful time here in Chicago when all the flowers were blooming and everything was turning green. It’s weird how life carries on the way it does. Kim was with her mom until the very end, so this song is for her, and her beautiful mother, Donna.
Sophie: Good News is about being in a rut. I started writing it after a couple of my bandmates (at the time) fell through. And then I got rejected from a label I was talking to (this is pre-Diversion Records). I was feeling pretty crappy about myself, juggling freelance work and waiting tables. This is me simultaneously pouting and trying to turn things around.
Fall Asleep to TV (aka Fucking Crazy):
Sophie: Hmmm…where to begin? This one is a little more abstract, I suppose. In writing, I like to leave room for surprise and this one definitely surprised me. Like, in retrospect, I have to wonder what in my subconscious made me want to scream “I’m so fucking crazy” in a loop. Although, the original line from the demo was, “it’s so fucking beautiful,” but somehow that morphed into “I’m so fucking crazy.” Whoops!
These Dreams of Mine:
Sophie: This was the last song written for the EP. It ended up sounding like this sad unrequited love song. It goes, “I fell in love, but I was never enough. You are all I need, but you can’t see me.” In actuality, it’s about my relationship with music, which I love so deeply, so, yeah, I guess I take it back. It is a love song.