Experience a night of evocative storytelling and raw musicality with Dead Gowns live at Quarry House Tavern on December 5 at 8:30 pm (Get your tickets here!), featuring an intimate performance alongside h. pruz from Brooklyn and m andy from DC.
Geneviève Beaudoin, known as GV, fronts the Portland-based band Dead Gowns, whose latest expanded edition of the 'How EP' delves into themes of self-acceptance and the haunting echoes of the past. Exploring nostalgia woven into everyday experiences, the new tracks offer a peaceful yet ghostly sense of visitation.
Dive deeper into GV's creative journey as she shares insights into the expanded edition, the conceptual music videos, and the band's evolution, captured in the following Q&A.
What is something you’d want first time listeners to know about you and/or your work?
Most people call me GV, which is short for Geneviève. I grew up in a French-American household, so I tend to get my English expressions mixed up. The French ones, too. All my songwriting is caught in the middle.
Your latest release, the expanded edition of the How EP, introduces three new tracks. How do these additions complement or expand upon the narrative and themes explored in the original collection of songs?
The original four songs of How were written during a period when I really wanted to “start over.” I had just quit a job, left another musical project, and was trying to figure out what I wanted to do next. I had no clue.
Then we put out the EP and toured it DIY-style across the country, and this opportunity with Vinyl Me, Please came about. And I knew I wanted to take it further and add extra songs. So if those original songs deal with self-acceptance and understanding how I 'begin again,' the new songs remind me that my past doesn’t stay past — it comes to visit no matter how much I’ve changed, and that’s okay.
The new songs deal with nostalgia and how it manifests daily in objects and sensations: From sipping “bowls of instant coffee” in ‘Kid 1’ to smelling peach as if the juice was “dripping down my chin” in ‘Kid 2’ to the radio playing like “singsong arithmetic” in ‘Castine.’ It’s this sense of visitation in moments that feels ghostly but peaceful.
The music videos for ‘Kid 1’ and ‘Renter Not A Buyer’ seem to exist within the same story-world. Could you share more about the creative vision behind these visuals and how they relate to the overarching themes of your music?
Yes! This was an ongoing collaboration with my good friend and the director, Emilie Silvestri, who developed both concepts based on the lyrics and my backstory.
In both videos, there’s this push and pull between my character and these forces around her that she can’t quite see. In ‘Renter Not A Buyer’, these forces have their fun, bending my home around me until I fall into a stripped-down parallel reality. In ‘Kid 1', my sense of place is again distorted as I follow a string on a tin can like my life depends on it. Perhaps the message from both is… “Well, GV, life happens. Run with it.” Which is a good reminder because I can get so fixated on a moment or an emotion and have trouble letting it go.
The journey from the “larval state to the transcendence of uncalloused being” is a powerful metaphor in your work. How has your own personal growth and experiences shaped the evolution of Dead Gowns’ music, particularly in this expanded edition of the How EP?
Michael Cormier came up with that line as he helped craft the EP’s bio, and I like to read it as a mantra. Am I an uncalloused being now? If not, can I get there? Writing and performing these songs has reminded me that I just love music and making this work. And I feel lucky that we can put out this vinyl and tour the record one last time before we move on to our next album in 2024. It’s all about timing, I guess. Like I said, I can’t get so caught up on one fixed moment... but things just keep going.
That wraps up the Q&A with GV from Dead Gowns. Ready to catch her performing this upcoming Tuesday with with h. pruz and m andy? Tickets are available for purchase at this link.
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