5 writers, 5 questions, 1 band, hand-picked by MWA. Welcome to FIVE x FIVE. This week: Chicago-based dream pop outfit, Fauvely.
Fauvely is the project of Chicago-based singer-songwriter Sophie Leigh, who melds folk with dream pop and a touch of shoegaze. The title of her debut EP, Watch Me Overcomplicate This, speaks to the confessional tone of songs that range from delicately self-effacing to hauntingly sad. We touch on Fauvely’s debut EP and more in this week’s FIVExFIVE:
I assume you’ve been in other bands before. What I’m interested in hearing about it the very first band you were ever in. Can you tell me a bit about your musical roots?
I was the lead singer in a band called Videotape. I think I really sucked at first as I was trying to find my voice. I overcompensated by shouting when I couldn’t hear myself. We played together for about three or four years, and I think we made a lot of progress in becoming better musicians, individually and collectively. I’m really proud of the last album we put out. It’s called Underwater Weather, and this track, “Dunes”, is my favorite. Listening to these songs, it’s like opening up a time capsule. I go right back to what I was going through when singing those lyrics.
What can I look forward to hearing on your upcoming full-length album?
The EP is a good indication of what’s to come because it’s somewhat of a continuation, building off those first songs. I’ll be focusing on a cohesive narrative, but whether or not that comes through is to be determined. I only have two songs completed–one called “Savannah”, which is where I grew up, and it basically exudes this nostalgic feeling I get when I think of living near the water. I think it’s beautiful and sad and it makes me think of what will happen to this place when everyone I know is gone. Then I have another called “High Hopes” that’s a lot more energetic. That one is about letting go, changing paths, moving on. It’s a happy/sad song. The LP will likely be higher energy all around because those are the songs I want to play live with the incredible line-up of musicians I am lucky enough to play with.
Let’s play favorites–What’s your favorite song on your most recent release, Watch Me Overcomplicate This?
I think it would have to be “Break”. I have very specific memory of writing it, and yet, it seems like it came from nowhere. It just was. And when it came time to record, Alex Burns, who produced the EP added this really cool additional guitar part at the chorus that gave it a new energy. And, Alice sort of mimicked one of the guitar lines I had on the violin, but made it better. Everyone writes their own parts and makes the songs a lot cooler.
How does your songwriting process usually play out? Do you prefer to write on your own and flesh things out with a band later or do you find the ideas flow better with other musicians in the room?
I prefer to write alone, then bring a version of it to the band. From there, everyone figures out what to play, and this usually happens pretty quickly. I don’t necessarily always want it to be this way, but this is what I know and what’s worked so far for me. One of the newer songs I brought to Alice, and she was like “Throw a D in there!” And, it was the perfect connective chord to go from verse to chorus. I still feel fairly new at all of this; I’m learning and making mistakes and figuring it out as I go.
Where do you gather your inspiration from when writing?
I try to focus in on very intimate, specific things I’m feeling at a given moment in time. I want to give some kind of platform to the weird, in-between feelings that are hard to describe, but can come through in these time constraints. The songs are places for me, and hopefully for others, to go in order to feel the feelings we don’t necessarily allow ourselves to feel otherwise, if that makes sense. Think of a fleeting feeling captured in a chorus.
Catch Fauvely at Cafe Mustache on August 25th, and then with a full band on September 19 at the Emporium.