5 Questions With: Gal Musette
Ahead of her upcoming record release, the singer stops by to chat about all things music.
Today we’re talking with baroque pop artist Gal Musette
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Gal Musette got an early start playing music.
When your grandfather is a ragtime pianist, and your dad is a player/composer, it only makes sense. Grace Freeman, (who performs as Gal Musette) began writing and performing at open mics in her native southern California at the age of 10. In her early teens, she was was opening for the likes of The Magnetic Fields.
All of that before she was legally allowed to drive.
In October 2021, Gal released her debut album, Backwards Lullaby. Today, she’s getting ready for the October release her sophomore record, Pendulum.
While her artist name is taken from bal-musette, the accordion-based, waltz-style music popular in late 1800’s France, she draws her primary inspiration from much more modern songwriters including Joni Mitchell, Regina Spektor, Björk, Cocteau Twins, Burt Bacharach, Big Thief and The Cure.
Into the blue, sunshine grips my limbs on his fishing hook.
I tried to be light, but I outgrew larger than my width, larger than my height.
My lungs let me climb.
Now I can be brave, who knew that I could be brave like you?
All my intentions fade into the blue.
“Into the Blue” is the 4th single from the upcoming album due for release in early October. According to Musette, listeners can expect a record that’s “denser, bolder, and braver production-wise while employing a lot of the same instrumentation/effect” from the previous LP.
In a wide-ranging chat, we talk about how she got her start, her time in a cabaret/Beatles combo, and how her upcoming record compares with it’s predecessor.
And with that, I'll get out of the way and get right into the interview.
Our chat has been lightly edited for clarity/flow.
The inspiration of Regina and Joni in my music is so strong that it almost feels subconscious… When I listen to my songs I don’t hear it, but I think it’s because their music has been such a huge part of my life, and understanding of music in general, that at this point it’s just infused into my creative mindset…
KA: Can you fill in a little bit of your backstory? Walk us through what made you get started playing. Are there other bands (or artists) that you are/were involved in?
GM: Sure! I started playing piano when I was around 10, and was taught through my grandpa (a ragtime pianist) and my dad (a contemporary player and composer.) I had always been obsessed with music but never really explored playing an instrument until that age. Over the years I joined a few different bands, the main one being a group called the Moon Police which was a very playful and chaotic… a cabaret/Beatles inspired project. We had fun!
KA: I was doing some reading ahead of our chat, and comparisons to the likes of Regina Spektor and Joni Mitchell were a common thread almost everywhere I looked. That’s obviously high praise. Do you hear them in your sound? Were/are they heavy influences on your work? Who else would you add here?
GM: The inspiration of Regina and Joni in my music is so strong that it almost feels subconscious… When I listen to my songs I don’t hear it, but I think it’s because their music has been such a huge part of my life, and understanding of music in general, that at this point it’s just infused into my creative mindset, haha! Other influences have changed over the years, but I would say The Beatles, Rufus Wainwright, The Magnetic Fields, the Cure, The Beach Boys and Bjork were foundational for me.
KA: Your name is a riff on Bal-musette, a genre of French instrumental music. For those curious to hear more of that, where would you recommend they start?
GM: Fréhel is an incredible singer of this genre, as well as the accordionist Gus Viseur.
KA: It’s been a couple of years since the release of your last record, “Backwards Lullaby.” Does the upcoming release take up where that left off stylistically, or will listeners be in for a whole new sound?
GM: The new record evolves upon the world my producer and I created for “Backwards Lullaby;” Pendulum is a denser, bolder, and braver production-wise while employing a lot of the same instrumentation/effects.
KA: What’s next? More recording? Out on the road? What’s the rest of 2023 look like for you?
GM: Pendulum comes out on October 6th, which I’m looking forward to!! I’ve started working on some new recordings over the last few months, which could turn into another record.. who knows! Other than that, I’m playing Bumblefest in Florida this September and have a few gigs in LA that I’m really pumped about, particularly opening for my hero Via Mardot in early August.
Gal Musette- Into The Blue, 2023
Click on the record to listen on your platform of choice.
To connect with Gal and purchase her music, click here.
Describe your music style in one sentence.
Baroque pop with a touch of folk and electronic flare…
What music was playing in your house(s) growing up?
What are you listening to these days?
Big Thief, Madison Cunningham, Harry Nilsson
What are your 5 Desert Island Discs?
Big Thief: Both Sides Now, God Only Knows, and Change
Rufus Wainwright: I Don’t Know What It Is
Sufjan Stevens: Death With Dignity
If you could collaborate with any artist/band, who would it be?
Thanks to Gal for stopping by, and thank you for being here,