Forever Forever: Vinyl LPBF132
Label: Brainfeeder Records
Release Date: 17th March
Oh damn, this is pop with chops, the hooks my friend go deep but you're also getting elite wig-outs, you're getting served some jazz-fusion with you John Hughes ready soundtrack, you're getting Stereolab or synth funk with your dream pop and ya know what? It's a thrilling feeling to be delivered pure pop and pure chops.
For those who dig: Genevieve's regular collaborators Louis Cole, Pedro Martins, Sam Gendel, Sam Wilkes, Jacob Mann and Chiquita Magic. Plus a bit of late 70s/80s high concept jazz-prog-fusion-dream-pop.
“Forever Forever” is the new album by Genevieve Artadi, the LA-based singer-songwriter, producer, archer and Dr. Mario enthusiast (“I keep my Switch in my back pocket most days”). A creative tornado, Genevieve is known for being the force in KNOWER, Expensive Magnets and her former band Pollyn, signing to Brainfeeder to release a sparkling solo album “Dizzy Strange Summer” in 2020. The following year she also collaborated with Thundercat, Raedio and Louis Cole on ‘Satellite Space Age Edition’ for the Insecure Season 5 soundtrack (HBO). “Forever Forever” encompasses a truly kaleidoscopic range of influences, making it impossible to pin down stylistically. Rooted in jazz, but winding up at alternative rock or avant pop, it’s in the lineage of legendary boundary-testers Stereolab and Talking Heads.
Genevieve hails from the scarily talented crew that includes Louis Cole, Pedro Martins, Sam Gendel, Sam Wilkes, Jacob Mann and Chiquita Magic, bearing a similar foundation of classical and jazz traditions offset with a healthy punk attitude and passion for musical hybridity and fusion. She admits that being surrounded by these talented individuals is motivation to create in and of itself.
Drawing on the spiritual teachings of Thích Nhất Hạnh – the Vietnamese Thiền Buddhist monk known as the “father of mindfulness”; Ram Dass (guru of modern yoga); Eckhart Tolle and Jiddu Krishnamurti, Genevieve reflects on her relationships, growing up and her adventures in life on this new album. “‘Forever Forever’ is an album about the love I have for the people in my life, attempting to express with a lot of care different sides of it: reassurance, acceptance of change, ruptures, joy.”
Genevieve also emphasizes the importance of anime in her life: “It has inspired me to adopt a bold, full-hearted attitude to my music but also my life more generally,” she acknowledges, referencing a few favourites: Naruto (“It’s changed my life”), Attack on Titan, Rurouni Kenshin, Hikaru No Go, and Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures.
Half of the songs for “Forever Forever” were originally written for big band, with Genevieve having struck up a relationship with the Grammy-nominated Norrbotten Big Band from Sweden with whom she has been a composer in residence and performed live many times. Consequently, she says that she listened to Duke Ellington and Gil Evans with Miles Davis in pursuit of a creative spark. “The rest I think is just everything from my past that is in my subconscious,” she says. “Random flashes of inspiration from Chopin, Bach (I was learning some 2-part inventions during the lockdown), Debussy, Nancy Wilson, Björk, Ryan Power, Nobukazu Takemura, The Beatles, Dionne Warwick…”
With an accompanying tongue-in-cheek video that goes hard in an 80s hair metal style, the first single ‘Visionary’ climaxes with suitably epic solos from Pedro Martins (guitar), Chiquita Magic (synth bass), Christopher Fishman (piano) with Louis Cole and Daniel Sunshine doubling up on the drums. “It’s a celebration of love, expressing gratitude to ‘the other’ who was first to be brave enough to jump into a relationship when I had lost hope,” says Genevieve.
Genevieve’s relationship with the Brazilian guitarist and Thundercat collaborator Pedro Martins is also evident in the music, with Genevieve drawing inspiration from Brazilian legends of the ‘60s-’70s such as Beto Guedes, Toninho Horta and Elis Regina that Pedro brought into her orbit.
Recorded on location in Mexico at El Desierto Studio on a recommendation from Thundercat keyboard maestro Dennis Hamm, Genevieve travelled with best pals Chiquita Magic (keyboards, vocals), Pedro Martins (guitars, vocals), Chris Fishman (keys), Louis Cole (drums, synth bass), Henry Halliwell (additional production) and Daniel Sunshine (engineer) to elevate her demos. “The band made the music come alive with their skills, making all the written stuff more musical, adding ambient layers, choosing sounds that were perfect for the songs,” says Genevieve. “They played beautiful solos too. I loved watching them get so into it because all of them have musical visions I respect.”
“My previous albums were made at home, so this was a big jump”, she explains. “But I felt like it was the right move for these songs and, thankfully, it ended up better than I imagined. El Desierto is a big, beautiful wooden house in a forest designed for music, with everything we could possibly need. There was a camp vibe because we all slept there, had meals together, played on the crazy instruments everywhere, jammed and practiced day and night, and partied in the kitchen after sessions.”