Forever Endeavor: The last time we spoke to L.A. artist Genevieve Artadi was in August 2020. The pandemic was six months in and still raging, and showing no signs of letting up. Concerts were on hold, along with the rest of our lives. The whole thing feels like a fever dream.
Artadi had just released the Dizzy Strange Summer album which, while written prior to the pandemic, offered an ideal soundtrack to the trauma. It felt both relevant and soothing. The new album Forever Forever is different but similar in that regard.
“I recorded the album in Mexico,” Artadi says, via a phone interview. “We went to this beautiful studio called El Desierto, and it’s just the most gorgeous place ever. But we had to cut the first session short because we got COVID. We went home, and recorded the rest of the album. Because we were on such a time crunch and I wanted it to have a live feeling, and a unified sound which is really different from Dizzy Strange Summer, we were recording things three people at a time and doing things in fewer takes. So I think generally it has a nice, cohesive vibe which matched the whole vibe of the place.”
Artadi worked on the album with, among others, guitarist Pedro Martins. The pair have an on-and-off relationship which slightly awkwardly informed the record.
“I started doing Muay Thai and archery,” she says. “Pedro and I were together and then we broke up. There’s a Muay Thai studio by my house and I was like, ‘I’m gonna start doing that.’ Just to take care of myself and be healthier. Now, we’ve been back together, on and off, and all this stuff, but it’s been really helpful. I just feel so helpful and energetic these days.”
Artadi found El Desierto in Mexico through old friend Dennis Hamm, who now plays with Thundercat but used to play with Artadi in Knower.
“He recorded there and posted something on Instagram saying, ‘this place is amazing, and affordable,’” she says. “I was like, ‘Uhhh, I wanna do something like that. I’ve never done anything like this before. Recorded my own solo music in a beautiful studio.’ It was just amazing.”
Artadi self-produced the album. She took her demos into the studio with most of the parts written, and then got feedback from her band.
“The band just came in and added solos, added their own types of voicings,” she says. “Made the drum parts come to life and everything. So it was Louis Cole, Pedro Martins, Chiquita Magic, Chris Fishman, Daniel Sunshine (he was engineering with the guys from the studio), and Henry Halliwell did some electronic stuff on there.”
The theme of the album, Artadi says, is love.
“I wrote the whole thing while I was falling in and out of love, and just trying to be a healthier person and I think it came across,” she says. “I wanted to make sure that the musicians weren’t bored. So I wanted to write parts that would hopefully stay interesting, and I wanted to write harmonies that went somewhere. I was more aware. I went a little bit deeper into structure, harmony and melodies. And lyrically, too, because I was like, I want to convey my love in a deep way if I can. I just tried harder, I guess. Pedro being the person that I was writing a lot of these songs for, he’s Brazilian and so knowledgeable on Brazilian music, so he was showing me all kinds of beautiful stuff. That really influenced me a lot, too.”
It was during that whole process that the entire band caught COVID, which Artadi describes as horrible but funny. Thankfully, everyone is all right. Meanwhile, fingers crossed, the industry appears to be getting back on its feet.
“I can tell that everybody is feeling excited,” Artadi says. “It’s like, business as usual or something, in the sense that people are back at it again. It’s vibrant. That’s how it seems, although I don’t know how things are actually going.”
The new album drops on Friday, March 17, and on the same day, Artadi performs a launch party at the Echo. That will have happened by the time this article goes to press, but there are more shows to come.
“It’s going to be almost everybody from the original band, and then like my friend Adam Ratner who’s also going to play guitar, and I have my friend Maya Mitter who’s going to be singing with me,” she says. “That’s cool because when I do my other dates opening for Lewis on tour; it’s going to be a smaller set with a trio. Me, Chaquita Magic and a drummer. That’s with projections and a mixture of old and new songs. Whereas my album release show, we’re going to play the whole album.”
In advance of that, Artadi has released lead-off single “Visionary,” one of the first songs she wrote and recorded from this new album.
“It sounded big, the solos were just shredding, and I feel like it’s not too out there like some of the songs on the album,” she says. “Maybe some people would think that. This song is pretty clear about what it is. It’s energetic; I wanted to come out energetic.”
Artadi has more videos coming out this year, and more touring to do in Europe, as well as the U.S. Impressively, with the new album in the bag, she has already started planning the next one.
“I’m working on my next album ,which I think is going to be anime rock inspired,” she says. “I watch a lot of anime. Naruto is the one that indoctrinated me, so that holds a special place in my heart. I love JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures, I love Attack on Titan – there’s going to be some new Attack on Titan coming out.”
What that album looks like remains to be seen. For now, we have Forever Forever to enjoy, and marinade in. That’s plenty.
Forever Endeavor: Genevieve Artadi’s Forever Forever album is out now.
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