Geneviève Racette on working with women and co-producing her new album
“Touring with mostly women, there’s just a different vibe,” said Montréal singer-songwriter Geneviève Racette. “For me, it’s kind of a statement I’m making rather than a personal thing.”
Geneviève has begun a tour in support of her new album, Satellite.
The team guiding her career is made up of 80 per cent women.
A couple of years ago, Geneviève realized not only was she the only female performer at most multi-act concerts, the support team of manager, agent, publicity and so on were all male.
“Once you start to see it, you can’t un-see it. It is not hard to gain equality of the sexes in music. You just have to think about it and consider it,” she said. “To me it’s very important touring with mostly women. There’s just a different vibe. It’s 2022. There’s room for women now.”
Satellite, Geneviève’s third full-length album, is a cycle of songs dealing with various stages of love, which she started writing in the fall of 2019. The remaining songs were written during the COVID-19 lockdown, with the album recorded during lockdown breaks with co-producer François-Pierre Lue. After two previous albums and four EPs, it’s the first project where Geneviève is listed as a producer.
“We really went deep,” she said. “I was present from A to Z. From the guitar licks to the reverb to the mix to the photos. Every step of the way I had a word. I’m very proud of that. It’s the first time my name is there as a co-producer. It’s exciting.”
While Geneviève’s first full-length album, les aurores boréales, was all in French, her subsequent English albums, 2019’s No Water, No Flowers and the new one, both contain French language songs. Whether Geneviève writes in French or English isn’t a conscious decision.
“It’s kind of a weird process for me when I write,” she said. “I still don’t fully understand. It just kind of comes from above. It’s mostly a build-up of emotions, and I need to let it out. Sometimes the words come in English and sometimes they come out in French. I don’t really think about it. It just sort of happens.”
A life in music was kind of pre-ordained for Geneviève, who was raised by musical parents. Her mother taught piano in the house for 20 years and her father was always playing the guitar.
“Instead of watching movies at night, we’d watch DVDs of live concerts as a family,” she said. “I grew up thinking it was normal to be obsessed with music. I just always knew I was going to be an artist, and I was going to sing.”
It was Geneviève’s singing of the City And Colour song “Hello, I’m In Delaware” on Instagram that led to a close connection with singer-songwriter Dallas Green. The City And Colour/Alexisonfire front man became a fan of Geneviève’s music and invited her to perform with him at the 2019 Osheaga Festival in Montréal. Dallas appears on Satellite, singing with Geneviève on “Someone.”
“it [was] unexpected but when I look at the bigger picture, it was meant to be,” she said. “I’m a huge City And Colour and Alexisonfire fan. When I was a teenager, I had posters in my room of Dallas. He’s one of the reasons I wanted to write songs. When I was listening to City And Colour when I was 15 I’d [say], ‘When I’m older I’m going to have tattoos, and I’m going to write some songs and tour with my friends!’ Now I’m doing exactly that and I’m singing a song with Dallas Green. It’s too much.”
In describing the new album, Satellite, Geneviève said she is very proud of how it turned out. During the making of it, she listened to fellow singer-songwriters Donovan Woods and Taylor Swift because they achieved a folkie sound that included an element of pop in their music.
“It represents what I was listening to and going through lyrically,” she said. “This record’s very personal. It’s kind of like releasing my diary to the world but I’m okay with that. It’s part of the job.”
Now that Geneviève has started touring in support of the new album, it’s an exciting time for her.
“It’s been so cool having a human connection again,” she said. “It feels really nice. It’s the dream. I’m having a really, really good time. I’ve been working on this record by myself at home for so long. Now it’s time for it to fly away and be in your ears.”
For more information on Geneviève and Satellite, go to genevieveracette.com.