Amuse-Bouche: Something that pleases your mouth. A collection of small hors d’oeuvres. The goal is to have a lot of flavors in one bite.
A lot of flavors is exactly what I wanted to create with this EP. It’s my third one. The idea of writing about food came to me at the beginning of 2021. It was an obvious choice; I knew I wanted to work with a concrete concept on this collection. As I have always been deeply passionate about food it became clear very quickly that I wanted to write an entire EP about food. When I think about food I think about people. I think about gathering with my friends, long nights in the kitchen with my family, endless Christmas dinners. I know that this is a very cliché thing to say, but food brings us together. I have had the most difficult conversations of my life over dinner and I have celebrated some of the most memorable moments of my life over food. So, I realized that this concept allowed me to go beyond the surface and explore the full spectrum of emotions through food.
I always liked to play with metaphors, contrasts and juxtapositions. After I had settled on the concept of food I began thinking of ways to relate this to things that personally moved me at that time. Very subconsciously I somehow related all the songs on the idea of growing up both on a personal level but also in a more political and social sense. I wrote down a list of food items that I associated with different ideas. Slowly, but surely the idea for “Amuse-Bouche” grew, even if that title came way later. I am very happy to present the menu: Bubblegum, Bread, Spaghetti on Repeat, Gateaux, Coffee and Popcorn.
I have talked about some of these songs in other blogposts, but I still want to draw some attention to all of them in the context of this collection.
“Bubblegum” is a song that celebrates growing up. I look back on my longest friendship that I have since the day I was born. I chose bubblegum for this song, because it makes me nostalgic, it reminds me of my childhood. The texture of chewed gum also made me think of a growing motion how we stretch as we get older. But it also reminded me of the connection I have to Ada. Growing up we were at times very close but regularly got out of touch and in touch again over time. Now we meet regularly every couple of weeks and our bond seems as strong as ever.
Musically this is one to chew. Being inspired by punk and pop music I tried to make both influences shine through. Again, playing with dualisms and contradictions I wanted to make something loud but soft, with electric guitar sounds in the verses but softer choruses seasoned with autotune.
“Bread” is a song for and about Jeff Bezos and I can tell you it´s not a love song. I have never been a big fan of capitalism but growing older I come to dislike it more and more as I realize how deeply unjust it makes this world. I despise the idea that people can make fortunes off of other people´s labor, while they can barely feed themselves. I despise the idea that there are people that are so rich that they could eliminate world poverty, but they don´t. I despise the idea that some people are so rich they could solve the climate crisis, but they don´t. I wanted to put all this anger into a song, so I went to Wuppertal and created this very eclectic song with Miserere Mei aka Jonathan Ungemach.
“Spaghetti on Repeat” is a plate full of hope. Hope for a better future that will probably never come. The idea came to me when a friend of mine told me how for her growing up, spaghetti was the meal that was served when her single mother had trouble to make ends meet. I decided to write a song about the myth of social upward mobility, the idea that if you work hard enough you can climb the social ladder and leave poverty. The truth is it is not as easy as it often appears.
“Gateaux” is a song about a cake full of birthday candles with a bitter aftertaste. Ever since I can remember I´ve known about climate change and it´s dramatic consequences. When I was a kid, I had enough faith that “the grown-ups” would be able to stop this. I knew my generation´s future was at stake, and it was impossible to believe that anyone would let that happen. The older I grew the more my frustration grew, watching those in power taking almost no measures against the climate crisis. I became increasingly infuriated, so I took all this anger into a studio to write a very angry song. Gateaux is a cake for the kids in the future that won´t celebrate their birthdays because we´ve burnt their futures. Writing in French was a first for me, the language gave me access to a range of vocabulary I didn´t find in English and that´s how “Gateaux” came about.
Coffee is at the same time comforting and electrifying, it makes your heart race if you´ve had too much but makes you feel cozy when you have it in your living room surrounded by the people you love. This is the reason why I chose coffee for this song. “Coffee” is about moving out from home for the first time, stepping out of your comfort zone and exploring the world on your own. I first started drinking coffee around the breakfast table with my family. Then it became an afternoon tradition with my mom, where we would sit down and talk over a cup of coffee. After that I started meeting friends for coffee, spending hours around small table talking. Once I started having a shot of Espresso after family dinners I started feeling like a grown up. But this feeling of growing up truly kicked in when I moved into my own flat and got my own coffee maker. Now, I ritually prepare my percolator in the mornings and enjoy a cup of coffee while reflect the day that lies ahead. Or I frantically make coffee at 10pm in the hopes it will keep me awake to finish that essay I´m behind on.
Finally, “Popcorn” is an homage to something I love: the cinema. I have always been fascinated by film and television, but especially over the last 5 years my passion for cinema has grown. I love meeting new people and exchanging our favorite movies. I love ranting about bad movies and debating with my friends why they are in thinking it´s a good movie. But most of all I love the intimacy of the movie theatre, the silence of a room full of people while we get showered with impressions. I love sharing the experience of watching deeply emotional movie with a room full of strangers, to then walk out of the room and see everyone´s dried tears on their cheeks. With this song I wanted to explore how cinema blurs the line between the real and the virtual, because once the lights turn off nothing around you matters and all you see is that screen.
I hope you enjoyed this degustation. I am deeply proud of this one. In every aspect: musically, lyrically and visually the entire experience of making this EP has made me grow. It grew with me and grew on me.