“Music as background to me becomes like a mosquito, an insect. In the studio we have big speakers, and to me that’s the way music should be listened to. When I listen to music, I want to just listen to music,” David Lynch told The Independent in 2013. Grizzly Coast’s latest music video for “Half-Light Boy” draws on Lynch’s 90s TV classic Twin Peaks, employing more than just the show’s aesthetic by mirroring the foreboding, skin prickling plot in timber as well as tone.
Grizzly Coast, the project of singer-songwriter Alannah Kavanagh, grabs attention from her first sweet, passive aggressive coo; the song is a kind of time vortex, instantly reminding the listener of young romances embroiled in misunderstanding. “Broke my patterns / have I not earned your words,” Kavanagh pleads with her lover, attempting to regain favor. “Half-Light Boy” has a winning restraint to it, the quiet angst that accompanies the slow death of intimacy.
Watch the exclusive AudioFemme premiere of “Half-Light Boy” and read our interview with Alannah below.
AF: Tell us about your new single “Half-Light Boy.” The music video is super dark and dreamy.
AK: Half-Light Boy is a song I wrote when I realized that not everyone you meet will have the same heart as you do. The lyrics explore the idea that someone else’s small capacity for caring for you is due to something lacking in them, and not an expression of what you deserve. I tried to illustrate this by exploring the aftermath of a scene where I felt insignificant in the eyes of someone I held a candle for. With the video, which was very much inspired by David Lynch’s spooky ’90s TV Show Twin Peaks, I had a lot of fun running with the idea of using the visual metaphor of being haunted by a ghost to make the lyrics hit harder.
AF: What is the songwriting process normally like for you? Do you start with a line, a general theme, or with the music itself?
AK: Songwriting is by far the most fulfilling part of the process to me, and the way I go about it changes from song to song. There are times that I do just go in with a general theme I’ve been aching to write about, but there are others where I sing stream of conscious lyrics along with my guitar to just see what presents itself. Sometimes, when I’m really lucky with the latter approach, a song will essentially pour out in its full form. These are typically the best ones and I’ll never know where they come from.
AF: You’re from Toronto. What’s the music scene like there?
AK: The Toronto music scene is welcoming and cool as hell. What I love about living in the city is the sheer number of different types of shows that happen every night of the week. There’s always something to go to!
AF: What’s your favorite local music venue?
AK: It really depends on what you want to see. But I’d have to say that the Horseshoe Tavern is my favorite. It’s always a good night there, they host killer bands!
AF: Name a book or painting or record you regularly come back to for artistic inspiration.
AK: I’m not big on re-reading books, but I’ll typically underline sentences and passages of what I’m reading if I feel like they speak to me in some way. Two books I’ll often check back on to see what I underlined are Just Kids by Patti Smith, and The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Both are centered on the journey of what it takes to make it and feel fulfilled living as an artist.
AF: What artists do you have on rotation right now? Anyone new we should have on the radar?
AK: I’m currently into this Toronto artist named Lenny Bull. I saw her live show a while ago and was totally blown away by her entire deal. In my rotation though, Hard Bargain by Ron Sexsmith has been on repeat. I’m also super into the new Julia Jacklin album, Crushing.
“Half-Light Boy” will appear on Grizzly Coast’s forthcoming LP later this year. Check her out live at one of the dates below.
GRIZZLY COAST TOUR DATES:
4/19 – London, ON @ The Rec Room
5/6-12 – Toronto, ON @ Canadian Music Week, TBD
5/22 – Edmonton, AB @ Sofar Sounds
5/19 – Burlington, ON @ TBD