Ge­of­froy rid­ing the buzz of Po­laris nod

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ENTERTAINMENT - BY DAVID FRIEND

Ge­of­froy was en­joy­ing break­fast in the north­ern reaches of Thai­land when he de­cided to fi­nally re­lease his grasp on his de­but al­bum, “Coast­line.’’

Sit­ting along­side a lo­cal Thai fam­ily, who was host­ing the Mon­treal back­packer in the vil­lage of Pai, he emailed his pro­ducer call­ing off any fur­ther tin­ker­ing with the al­bum that he’d spent two years ob­sess­ing over.

“I’d rather go slow and do what I want to do,’’ he says. “I con­sider my­self more of a sail­boat than a speed boat.’’

Find­ing the right pace has al­ways been a fine bal­ance for the 29-year-old mu­si­cian, born Ge­of­froy Sauve, whose “Coast­line’’ was named to the long list for the Po­laris Mu­sic Prize.

His sail­boat anal­ogy is also fit­ting for the mu­si­cian’s blend of smooth elec­tronic folk that’s the per­fect sound­track for the siz­zling hu­mid­ity of sum­mer.

Tracks like “Coast­line’’ and “Trou­ble Child’’ drift along at a plea­sur­able pace that never over­stays its wel­come. Oth­ers are wo­ven with the laid­back vibe of a glo­be­trot­ter who has ex­pe­ri­enced many flavours of the earth.

While he’s en­joy­ing the height­ened buzz since get­ting the Po­laris nod last month, he’s also re­ject­ing some pres­sures of the record in­dus­try.

He got his first taste of the spot­light af­ter fol­low­ing a friend’s urg­ing to au­di­tion for the French-Cana­dian edi­tion of “The Voice’’ in 2014. His sleepy vo­cals on a cover of Black­street’s “No Dig­gity’’ won over the judges and he pro­gressed deep in the com­pe­ti­tion be­fore be­ing elim­i­nated in the ninth episode.

In re­flec­tion, the singer is happy the judges showed him the door when they did.

He be­lieves the longer he stayed in the com­pe­ti­tion, the harder it would be to forge a per­sona sep­a­rate from his stint on TV.

“It just gave me a kick in the butt — like, dude you need to take this se­ri­ously,’’ he says.

Con­nect­ing with a lo­cal pro­ducer, he re­leased an EP, which led to an of­fer to record a full al­bum.

“Coast­line’’ was com­posed and writ­ten as Sauve made ev­ery at­tempt to es­cape his fa­mil­iar Mon­treal sur­round­ings. He dipped out of the coun­try a num­ber of times for in­spi­ra­tion be­fore wind­ing up in Thai­land dur­ing the mix­ing process.

When the al­bum was fin­ished, he found a rea­son to travel again by shoot­ing the “Sleep­ing On My Own’’ mu­sic video on the Mex­ico coast.

Sauve reached out to lo­cals who ran a temaz­cal — a type of sweat lodge — and the re­sult­ing video fol­lows his mind-al­ter­ing jour­ney tak­ing medic­i­nal mush­rooms.

“It’s like be­ing born again,’’ Sauve says. “We all did shrooms, the whole team. Ev­ery­body. It was amaz­ing.’’

Even with an al­bum to pro­mote, Sauve sought out a lowkey sum­mer, choos­ing to play only a small num­ber of mu­sic fes­ti­vals and events that car­ried a cer­tain sta­tus, like Mon­treal’s Osheaga, where he’ll take the stage on Aug. 4.

He’s also not buy­ing into the sug­ges­tion that mu­si­cians need to crank out new songs ev­ery few months to stay rel­e­vant.

De­spite find­ing his strong­est fol­low­ing on Spo­tify, he doesn’t in­tend to feed that beast.

“If you rush things, ob­vi­ously the qual­ity is go­ing to come down,’’ he rea­sons.

The mu­si­cian is still fig­ur­ing out his next steps. Know­ing the Cana­dian mu­sic in­dus­try is no sure bet, he’s still hold­ing down a full-time job scout­ing mu­sic pro­duc­ers for TV ads and films.

“As any en­tre­pre­neur will tell you, don’t quit your day job un­til you hon­estly can’t do both any more,’’ he says.


Ge­of­froy, seen here in this un­dated handout photo, was en­joy­ing break­fast in the north­ern reaches of Thai­land when he de­cided to fi­nally re­lease the grasp on his Po­laris long-listed de­but al­bum, “Coast­line.’’

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