Live Slow Die Wise

Live Slow Die Wise

The music of Geoffroy traditionally resides somewhere between the dance floor and the therapist’s couch, as the Montreal alt-pop singer-songwriter spins neon-tinted beats and self-reflexive lyrics into sultry future-soul confessionals. But with the pandemic closing the doors on his proverbial discotheque, Geoffroy’s creative process changed to reflect his new reality as a housebound hermit. On Live Slow Die Wise, the clubby undercurrents in his music are fully suppressed in favor of art-folk hymns composed on acoustic guitar and piano, while Geoffroy’s candid words plumb new depths of existential introspection, as he reflects on both his state of mind and the state of the world. “Yeah, well, I had a lot of time to think,” he tells Apple Music with a chuckle. “I’m naturally someone who likes to ask myself questions and dig in, so I guess I allowed myself to do that more here. When you’re writing with just one instrument and lyrics, you want to make sure that you’re telling a story, because there aren’t really any other elements to rely on. It was such a different process for me, and the result is something much more organic.” Here, Geoffroy reveals the inspirations behind Live Slow Die Wise’s lockdown lullabies. “As My Old Man Always Said” “There’s this line in the song that made me think about my dad. He’s French-Canadian and he always says this phrase that translates to ‘better be late than arrive in a coffin,’ so in the song, I say, ‘Better late than dead.’ The song itself has nothing to do with my dad—originally, the title was ‘Fooled Me Once,’ and that has more to do with the love story—or lack thereof—told in the song. But this felt like an old kind of Western train song, so ‘As My Old Man Always Said’ just fit—it sounds like a movie title for an old Western.” “Strangers on a Train” “This is me observing my patterns and habits—it’s the truest song on the record. At certain points in your life, you start asking questions about yourself, and I just put them down into words and made a song that’s very transparent. I’m 34 now, and I still don’t live a ‘normal’ life—I don’t have kids, I’m still dating here and there, and I don’t know at what point it’ll end. I’m at that age where I’m asking, ‘Should I keep going like this?’” “Youngblood” “This isn’t even about a relationship; it came from a hookup. It’s just an intimate and sexual song based on lust and desire. Everyone involved is over the legal age—nothing creepy here! I just love the word ‘youngblood,’ and, as an exercise, I tried to write about it and make it fit. Inspiration comes at weird, random times.” “Santa Catalina” “The girl singing the backing vocals on this record is my friend Amylie. I recorded the acoustic demos for this album with her boyfriend David, who’s my soundman for the live shows. And for this song specifically, the demo sounded so good. They live in front of a lake, and at sunrise we drove his boat to the island in the middle of the lake, and we powered a mic to the boat’s battery and recorded this acoustic song. Since there’s no lyrics, I wanted some ambience and background noise. The mood was right, so we kept that version—we didn’t want to reshape it in the studio. Amylie laid down some vocals over it and sent them to me—I didn’t plan on having vocals, but I loved it. And you can hear their kid just playing and wanting to touch the buttons. It just feels real.” “Sweetpie” “‘Sweetpie’ and ‘As My Old Man Always Said’ touch on the same breakup moment, but this one has more of a happier feel. I had the core idea of those songs for years, but they never really fit into any album I had released before—they were too acoustic and too folk. ‘Sweetpie’ had been done for a long time, so I scooped it up and used it. Sometimes you’ll write songs and finish them, and it takes so much work and effort and fucking dedication, it’s hard to finish a song and then not release it. I’d rather create and release a song and move on than sit on tracks for ages and never release them.” “Cold World” “I always find myself writing about myself, and I kind of got annoyed with it, so I tried to do something different. It’s definitely a challenge for me to step outside of my own self or relationships, but this one just flowed, and it worked because I had something to say, and I had a clear message that I wanted to get across. I just wanted to come out with what I think about the world. It really comes across in the music video, where there’s clips of various different absurdities of the human species, like Black Friday, buying diamonds, neighborhoods where all the houses are the same—just shit that I think makes no sense in our societies.” “Life As It Comes” “When I first came up with those two piano chords, I had just seen the Queen movie Bohemian Rhapsody. It wasn’t that good, but there’s that scene where Freddie Mercury is on the stage at his piano in front of millions of people, and I just felt something. This is a very personal song where I’m explaining how I feel now with all that I’ve been given, on a personal level and on a professional level as well. It’s one of the first ideas that developed into a song after lockdown had started, and I was just feeling grateful, despite what was happening. So, I wanted to dig into that state of mind and try to explain it. It’s pretty much a testimony of gratitude.”

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