Roughly 7 months ago, I felt as if my head had become haunted by the ghostly voice of Margaux Sauvé by virtue of the veiled catchiness throughout her vocal performance on the single "Touch". And who is Margaux you ask? Well... she's an artist who carries the kind of voice which is eerie but simultaneously imbued in innocence and grace under the name Ghostly Kisses.
The release of her 2018 EP The City Holds My Heart saw the musical blogosphere react in a frenzy with the adoration of the dreamy and melancholic mood conveyed through her music. It almost feels as if Montreal based artist has eavesdropped into the inner dialogue of the lovesick when it comes to her lyricism, and in this interview with Margaux, we learn more about the woman behind the voice and what has inspired the sound of Ghostly Kisses.
I'm curious as to how the moniker Ghostly Kisses reflects the style of music you make?
I think the name ‘Ghostly Kisses’ embodies the heart of the project. It personifies mainly the particular aerial textures of my voice and all the romance, ubiquitous subject in my lyrics.
You've been involved with music since you were five years old, although at which point did you decide to dedicate more of your time and pursue music as a career?
Everything changed when I was studying at university. While I was getting deep in my studies, I got a burst of creativity and started to write songs, play and compose on the piano and sing, things that I had never done before, strangely. I think that I thought for a long time that I didn’t have enough power in my voice to be a proper singer. I was a trained violinist with an education based on performance and discipline and I honestly never imagined that I could be a lead singer. At the end of my studies, I showed my songs and compositions to Dragos Chiriac (Men I Trust) and he said he loved my voice and he wanted to work with me on my songs. This is how it all started.
During your time studying psychology, did you ever feel that your academic life was getting in the way of your artistic endeavors? Did you actually want to become a psychologist?
Initially, I really wanted to pursue a career in psychology. I was really passionate about it and I wanted to understand the human being. It is still very fascinating for me to understand human interactions, personalities, etc.
But at the time, the more I was studying and understanding what’s the role of a therapist, the more I understood that it was not for me. And it is at that moment that my creativity exploded and I had the need to use my voice all of a sudden.
You've previously described your music as quite melancholic... So what do you think it is that has you gravitating more towards a sad kind of mood within your music?
I went through a depression at the end of my teenage years. I still have to deal with this today. I think it's just part of me and when I write songs, this darker side of myself tends to be put into words. Luckily, music gives me a space to express these darker thoughts through art.
Tracks like "Never Let Me Go", "Touch", "Barcelona Boy", and many more tracks in your catalog I've noticed revolve around unrequited love, or even the uncertainty of the union. It'd be great to get your thoughts on what love means to you, and what your ideal union looks like?
I idealize the need of proximity and fusion with the other, a need of an emotional security. I think that deep down, I'm always afraid that the other is not completely true. It takes time for me to trust someone and to be myself completely. I think that I'm influenced by certain emotional insecurities that I experienced in my youth. I think this is still manifesting in my romantic relationships and in my personal interpretation of love, and it influences a lot my writing and moods of the songs.
On the subject, "Touch" blew me away the first time I heard it and I thought your vocal melodies were very compelling. Can you take us through the creation process of the track?
Louis-Étienne composed chords and came up with the idea that it would be all played by an ensemble of strings. He showed me the chords and I really wasn't sure about it at first, I thought the whole thing was a bit weird, haha. But then, that one evening, we jammed on these chords, Louis on my little Yamaha reface CP in my apartment and me singing to find a melody. A few hours later we had the song and it was already magic. Louis was completely right about it and it was one of those times when everything fits together so easily without effort. It is amazing when that happened.
When did you meet Louis-Etienne and how did you know he was the right person to help realize the sound of 'Ghostly Kisses'?
I was asked to open for a band in Montreal very last minute. I think it was my second show ever as Ghostly Kisses. I didn’t have anyone to play with, so I asked Louis-Etienne, whom I've met through mutual friends in Quebec City, to play the piano.
We met for practice and as soon as he started playing, he played "Running to the Sea" by Royksopp and Susanne Sundfor. I hadn't told anyone about this before, but it was one of my favorite songs ever and probably the one song that inspired me the most to start singing. It was definitely love at first sight musically. We even did the song as a cover at the show. We started playing together at that moment and never stopped. We have the same taste and really good communication, so it is really easy and fun to work together.
Your favorite era in music and why?
I think my favorite era in music the end of 90s / early 2000s.
Albums like Parachutes – Coldplay (2000), No Angel (1999) and Life For Rent (2003) – Dido, Bury The Hatchet (1999) – The Cranberries are few examples of the first complete albums that I’ve listened to over and over. I have memories of listening these albums with my brother and my father in the car. I think they will have influence over me unconsciously forever. They really bring memories and nostalgic feelings of my youth.
Could you give us an overview of the contrasts and similarities between the scene in Toronto, versus Montreal - where you're currently based?
I think the main difference is that Montreal has a distinct scene because of the language. The province of Quebec is predominantly French-speaking and stands out from the rest of Canada by having its own musical scene. Some Quebec's artists can be very well known in Quebec and have a good career here and in France and be practically unknown in the rest of Canada.
What kind of atmosphere do you try and create in your live shows? How do you go about creating that?
I play live with 3 musicians; Louis-Étienne on keys and synths, Antoine on guitar and vocals, and Alex on drums. We also have David our sound engineer and Xavier our light engineer. The show is built visually to create a mysterious and vaporous atmosphere to put emphasis on the emotions of the songs. I also try to create as much contrast as possible between the songs, like intimate moments with "Zombie", interpreted only piano-voice, and other full band moments where the intensity is at a climax with "Barcelona Boy "or" Touch " for example.
So… 1) An artist/band you would have a D.M.C (Deep Meaningful Conversion). 2) An artist/band you’d love to party with. 3) Artist/band you would like to be within the studio for a week.
2) Post Malone
3) Sufjan Stevens