Oct 15, 2021
By Caleb Campbell
Photography by Guillaume Plas
Today, Paris-based French-Australian singer/songwriter Elodie Gervaise releases her new EP Syzygy, out now via B3SCI Records. Gervaise got her start as vocalist and guitarist in Australian bands Galaxy Girls and Candy Lucid, before relocating to Paris and reinventing her sound with her debut EP Brut. Sygyzy marks another reinvention for Gervaise as she pivots towards beat-driven electronics and electro pop in her first truly solo EP.
Despite the fact it is her first solo EP, Gervaise sees the music as primarily about connection. “Connection is vital,” she says. “It is what creates a sense of belonging, and according to this project what matters most in life. Our relationships are what enable us to survive and truly feel seen.”
As Syzygy unfolds Gervaise unveils her world of her own making, one of honeyed vocals, hypnotic minimalist beats, and stark, elliptical soundscapes. Opener “Urgence” is likely the most contemplative and sparse offering on the record as Gervaise examines climate collapse. “IMYG” and “Free Babe” prove to be entrancing electro pop dancefloor fillers, while still retaining the DEP’s personal feel and stripped-back construction. Finally, “Bienvenue” ends the record with Gervaise’s most expansive instrumental and crystalline vocals. Altogether, Syzygy proves to be a work of subtle confidence and a brilliantly layered and textured introduction to Gervaise as a solo artist.
Check out the EP and read our exclusive Q&A with Gervaise below.
Did moving from Australia to France inspire a different creative direction for you?
Definitely. Before moving to France I hadn’t really experienced much electronic music or the world of synth-driven sound. I had quite an awakening when I arrived in Paris and am grateful to have also been inspired by the music in each of the surrounding cities and their respective cultures.
How was it working solo for Syzygy instead of with the band?
In moments it was challenging as I had no one to answer to but myself though it felt quite natural. I had a clear idea of the universe I wanted to express and thought it a perfect match when I met producer Maria Korkeila. Although it’s a solo project I had the support of many great friends along the way which made it all okay.
Do you feel like the choice to work solo brought a different sound out for Syzygy in comparison to Rust?
For sure. Working on electronically produced sounds rather than live recorded instruments created a really different slate for me to write on. It allowed me the space to focus more on my vocals, lyrics and melodies and the instruments that we then added in to build the songs as the tracks already had a great base to work from.
Why did you settle on the name Syzygy for the EP?
I was sitting in a park with a friend one day last summer searching for a word that would encapsulate this body of work and we came across Syzygy. I felt it depicted the concept of connection perfectly on both a universal and cosmic level. It has a mystery to it which I like and plays into the idea of a dystopian, sci-fi realm which I would love to transport people to through my songs.
What are some of the themes that inspired the new record and what drew you to them?
Connection, mental health within romantic relationships, meeting someone you felt you’ve met in a past life and the state of the Earth. These themes were all triggered from experiences that moved me in some way and are topics that come up within my close circle. I wanted to express something other than love as I find songs of the heart can often be the easiest ones to write.
You’ve said the tracks were written the week before the first lockdown in France. Looking back, do you feel like that experience influenced the tracks?
For sure. It was a pretty manic time and I think we were all picking up some intense energy that was surging societally, that what the hell is going on feeling. I remember it was a pretty passionate moment but I guess a good one to write in.
What’s next for you now that the EP is out?
I’m playing a release party with my band on the 29th of October in Paris, just before I head back to Australia for a few months. My mum’s a sculptor so I’m going to give that a shot while I’m there, hopefully finish a little poetry book I’m working on, then come back to Europe to record my next album!