Gal Musette - Spencer Callum - Opeongo
Gal Musette is the nom de plum of Grace Freeman, a musical prodigy who began writing piano based lyrical compositions and performing at open mics in her home city of San Clemente, CA at the age of 10. Her graceful approach to melody-driven indie-folk and French chansons has captured audiences all over Southern California. At age 14, inspired by The Magnetic Fields’ triple album 69 Love Songs, Gal recorded her own collection titled 70 Love Songs, which caught the attention of the band, and won her an opening slot on a few of their Midwestern U.S. tour dates. In more recent years, Gal has opened for several renowned artists such as Macy Gray, Suzanne Vega, Todd Snyder, and Donavon Frankenreiter. While her artist name is taken from bal-musette, the accordion-based, waltz-style French instrumental music, Gal’s primary inspiration is drawn from songwriters including Joni Mitchell, Regina Spektor, Bjork, Cocteau Twins, Burt Bacharach, Irving Berlin and The Cure.
In October 2021, Gal will be releasing her debut album, Backwards Lullaby, featuring a vocal duet with one of her biggest musical inspirations, Rufus Wainwright. The upcoming album explores the pangs of hopeless romances and unrequited love, what it’s like to move beyond idealized love into the acceptance of what is real and constant, as well as the cyclical nature of life and love in relationships.
“Summertime,” the first single from the EP, was released in June and tells an overwhelmingly nostalgic and bittersweet narrative about short-lived friendships, like romances, that fade with the season’s change. The romantic and warm nature of the song overflows with a joyous indie-folk melody laced with snippets of loss and heartache.
Gal’s newest single, “Ghost,” is rooted in tragedy and carries her listeners through the struggle of being in love with two people at the same time. Heart-wrenching vocals and gentle piano fill this song with raw emotion, painting a vivid portrait of pain, passion, and longing - but also leaving much of the song’s meaning open to unique interpretation. Gal confides “there’s no one meaning to be understood from the lyrics- I would hope that each listener could take something a bit different from them. The “ghost” could be seen as a metaphor for an imaginary friend that stuck around a little overdue- even when you’ve grown up and shouldn’t be clinging to those fantasies anymore.” Indie-rock band Coma Culture is featured on the song and adds to a harmony full of ecstasy and emotion.
|Photo - Angelina Castillo|
With an arm’s length list of credits stretching from the likes of Kesha, Dolly Parton and Deer Tick, to Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town, pedal steel savant Spencer Cullum is one of Nashville’s most in-demand session cats.
That’s in addition to making up half of acclaimed, primarily instrumental space-country duo “Steelism.” Clearly he’s had little trouble fitting in since moving from his native London to Music City by way of Detroit eight years ago, even if it’s mostly meant blending into the background. “I guess I’ve always hidden behind [the instrument],” he deadpans. “I’m always the guy who looks like he’s studying for a test in the background.”
Now, with a debut solo album, Spencer Cullum’s Coin Collection, paying homage to the ’60s and ‘70s psych-pop, folk and proto prog heroes of his homeland, this Nashville sideman’s stepping out from the shadows into the spotlight.
The album is being released September 24th via Full Time Hobby. Along with a supporting cast of fellow Music City stage and studio aces like guitarist Sean Thompson and multi-instrumentalist Luke Reynolds, as well as singing and writing partners like Caitlin Rose, Andrew Combs, Erin Rae, Annie Williams and James “Skyway Man” Wallace — he’s bringing a bit of Britain to Tennessee.
Opeongo is the moniker of 28-year-old singer-songwriter Keegan Trumpour of Midland, Ontario. After releasing debut LP Miasma in 2019, Opeongo is preparing his sophomore album, we’ll all go with (the-will-o’-the-wisp).
Opeongo returns with a bigger and bolder single “dreadful sorry clemency,” reimagining the protagonist Clementine from the traditional folk tune and Elliott Smith song. “dreadful sorry clemency” encapsulates loss - of mercy, lenience, and forgiveness.
We can survive a lack of empathy and understanding with a little bit of warmth, compassion and care for one another.