The brainchild of US-based musician Grace Freeman, Gal Musette has an ethereal and elegant approach to her flowing melodies. Inspired by acts like Regina Spektor, The Cure and Joni Mitchell, it is easy to think that Musette’s music will have a unique intimacy, and it really does. While Musette’s discography is on the slimmer side, this does not mean she has limited experience in the industry. In fact, this singer-songwriter began writing piano compositions and performing at the age of 10. By age 14, Musette recorded an album of original ballads catching the attention of The Magnetic Fields and won her a supporting slot on their Midwestern tours. More recently, Musette has performed with renowned acts like Macy Gray and Suzanne Vega. I have the honour of reviewing one of her new singles, ‘Oliver’.
The opening track of her debut album Backwards Lullaby, ‘Oliver’ is a haunting tune fusing dream-pop sentiments with a classical piano foundation. This arrangement can be seen among dream-pop and alt-pop musicians; however, Musette is original with her distorted but flowing melody. The well-textured synths harmonically connect with the acoustic piano finding an otherworldly balance between organic and synthetic. Moreover, her obscure vocals are layered above the intricate instrumentation like a silver thread in a kaleidoscopic sonic tapestry.
Alongside tracks like ‘Juliet’ and ‘Papillion’, ‘Oliver’ opens Backwards Lullaby with a hazy ambience setting the stage for an eclectic journey. Yes, Musette’s voice is enough to captivate listeners with its light tone, but it is the incorporation of Rufus Wainwright’s bold voice that makes the song more robust. Complementing each other, the warmth of Wainwright reflects the delicacy of Musette resulting in something that defies definition or understanding.
“To me this song is about feeling alone in a crowd, feeling ignored by the one you want attention from, and having the epiphany of what all these millions of love songs are about on this planet.” – Gal Musette on ‘Oliver’