The small town of Anacortes, Washington is said to have some sort of magical power which makes itself most obvious during the summer. Somehow many creative people from all over the globe find themselves passing through, often making arrangements for a future, longer visit. Gus Franklin, an innovative Australian musician living in Melbourne, spent the summer of 2008 as the artist in residence at the Department of Safety (a legendary music venue in Anacortes' old firehouse/police station). He stayed in touch and came back to town for large chunks of 2009 and 2010.
Geneviève Castrée (Ô PAON) had the idea that she wanted to work on a record with Gus and another friend of theirs, the Canadian artist Nicholas Krgovich. Both Gus and Nick have established themselves as stellar pop music producers for their own projects (Architecture in Helsinki, No Kids) but Geneviève's style tends to be all over the place and raw. Somehow this combination and challenge sounded fun to all.
Initially, a few ideas were thrown about, but the unavoidable brutality which hides behind much of Ô PAON's work took over. The songwriting was inspired by the most surrealistic times in the life of a teenager, the difficult moments as well as the ecstatic ones. All the lyrics were written from the perspective of an alienated teenaged girl.
Throughout the two recording sessions there were some minor miracles. "Hors-Terre" came from the shadow of an idea looped on Gus' computer which Geneviève thought was one of her own recordings. The vocals featured on "Arbres Muets" are the first attempt at singing some words which had just been written down, this first take was kept and unchanged. Various other ghosts appear on this record due to it having been recorded at the Dept. of Safety which at the time was home to at least seven people. The second recording session had to be done at night in one of Anacortes' oldest buildings. Microphones were snuck into a yoga studio which had a piano and wide-open windows. The night wind coming from the sea was captured by the microphones.
This record, in a way, is a love letter to struggling teenagers, as well as a love letter to those who grow up wanting to live in a calmer place.
4 songs / 18:04
(released as TAUS004 by Ô Paon, Sept. 3rd, 2013)