Sometimes, a single moment is all it takes to spark inspiration. That’s exactly what led California native and singer-songwriter Gal Musette to her latest single, “Plateau.” A song that first started to form in Los Angeles traffic, “Plateau” is a moment of self-realization and catharsis wrapped in the imagery of everyday life. We caught up with Gal to talk inspiration and how “Plateau” sets us up for a summer of more music from her.
Showstopper Magazine Online: Hi, Gal!
Gal Musette: Hello and thanks for having me!
SMO: Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get into singing and songwriting?
I started exploring the piano when I was in my young teens at my grandpa’s house, and that’s when he started teaching me the chords to some of his favorite standards. The first time I heard the music of Regina Spektor was the moment I took interest in writing songs, and I ended up using the chords my grandpa showed me (He only played in the key of F#, the black keys.) to write my first song. Since then I have learned the other 11 keys which my grandpa was always jealous of.
SMO: What would you say are your biggest inspirations?
Gal: It changes constantly, but over the last year I’d say Big Thief (Adrianne Lenker,) Madison Cunningham, Fiona Apple, Lake Street Dive, and Perfume Genius.
SMO: Your song “Plateau” came out a couple of weeks ago. This song was inspired by Los Angeles traffic. Can you talk a bit about that?
Gal: Yes, haha! I was bored in the car sing-complaining about being stuck in traffic when the chorus of “Plateau” was born. The lyric evolved, as I continued writing the song, accidentally revealing to myself the season of numbness I was in.
SMO: What was the connection for you between the way you felt in traffic and in life in general?
Gal: This song is about monotony, numbness, depression. The feeling felt similar—being stuck in one space, a lack of control of your surroundings, the feeling of wasting time but not knowing what to do about it, the isolation, maybe even being too comfortable.
SMO: Do you have a favorite line from the song?
Gal: Maybe this one—
“The moon looks different now than just years ago, the sky was crystalline as my eyes moved slow. Now my lens is green, logic rules my mind, nodding is default, keeping tabs on time.”
SMO: Given its inspiration, would you call “Plateau” a “play it really loud in the car” song?
Gal: Absolutely, the louder the better. For optimal results, listen while speeding on the freeway at 3 am.
SMO: Your last song was a heavily poetic French track! What is it like to shift languages and genres again for this new single?
Gal: It is fun, as well as nerve-racking… As an artist honing in on my sound/audience, it’s fascinating throwing darts to see what resonates with listeners. I feel like I’m wrong 99% of the time when it comes to others’ perception of my music and what songs they connect with, so I’ve stopped guessing.
SMO: How does “Plateau” fit in with other plans you have for your music this year?
Gal: “Plateau” will be the first of three singles I plan to release preceding my record “Pendulum” which will be coming out early Summer!
SMO: Is there anything else you’d like people to know about “Plateau” or your work?
Gal: “Pendulum” is a deeply personal and relevant record to me. Many of the lyrics are a release of one of the most challenging times of my life mentally, where I was struggling with mind-altering anxiety and numbness. Recording this record was cathartic and helped me find myself again. My producer Jon O’Brien and I went a bit wild and explored more density and bolder instrumentation on this record than anything we’ve previously created, which was such a blast. I really hope my listeners enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed recording it.
“Plateau” is out now.