Most of us who have researched our family trees, have experienced that weird feeling of looking at old family photos of our ancestors and wondering what their lives were like. Did they share our personal feelings and convictions? Did they share our humour and enjoy the same things, like art or music? Maybe it also started us thinking of our own mortality. Their lives were important to them, but now they’re just photos in someone’s album. Many unidentified, because nobody labelled them. Could this be us in the future? All our ambitions and in the end we’re just a photo?
For Isabelle Reynaud, the young singer/songwriter, behind Cheeky Goose, this is a thought that stuck in her mind and became the inspiration for her first single Photographs, from the recently released self-titled debut EP.
“The EP, is very eclectic,” she explains. “It draws from so many influences. The first single Photographs is very Brit Pop. It’s interesting, because the lyrics and meaning of the song are quite dark. We’ve always got that in our songs; this really Poppy fun tune, or really beautiful cinematic song, but there’ll be a darker meaning. We like to make the listener have to think about it. Our song Photographs is celebrating life. It’s saying: ‘You only live once so lets make it amazing.’ Then there is that darker sense: ‘We are all going to leave one day, and all there will be are photographs.’ I find that a bit morbid. I’m part French, so when I go to France, my grandmother is showing me all these family photographs from generations – like the 1800s, and they just look like faces. I’m related to them and I know nothing about them. It’s really haunting. My flesh and blood, thinking exactly what I’m thinking, but in an entirely different time and sense. What is beautiful, is that my grandmother can pass on their stories, so I start to feel a sense of them after I’ve heard the story, not just seen the photo. In Photograph’s I talk about that. I say, it’s the memory you’re creating that’s important.”
Whilst Reynaud writes most of the songs for Cheeky Goose, she shares custody of this baby with friend Richard Butler. The pair met when both studying at The Victorian College of the Arts and quickly found they shared the same vision when it came to music genre and style.
“I have always been very lyric driven in my song writing, enjoying simpler/folky melodies to accompany my stories and Richard has always liked more complex dramatic music. When I brought my songs to the table I suddenly saw my songs in a completely different light with his arrangements and ideas. It felt like the perfect musical match. That’s how it came about. It’s mainly just us two. We write it all. We arrange it all. We fund it all. We finance everything and then we’ve got our musicians that we bring on board to make the bigger picture. It’s really come together over the last year, after recording the EP, and we’re trying to get gigs now.”
In fact, if you missed the recent launch of the Cheeky Goose EP at The Grace Darling Hotel, you still have the chance to do some toe-tapping, hip slapping; maybe even flap your elbows and do some Cheeky Goose quacking…or rather squawking, at the The Spring Fling Cancer Council Fundraiser.
“It’s going to be a great night and your tickets are going to a great cause,” enthuses Reynaud. “I’ve also decided 50% of each CD purchase at the event will be donated to the fundraiser! Lots of prizes up for grabs too! Or if you are looking out for a later gig Cheeky Goose will be playing at The Catfish supporting Fifth Friend on the same night! Why not be a groupie and come to both!!!”
CHEEKY GOOSE play THE SPRING FLING CANCER COUNCIL FUNDRAISER at ST ANDREWS CONSERVATORY 8:15-9pm and then THE CATFISH, Fitzroy, 9:30-10:10pm supporting FIFTH FRIEND 27 November 2014.
The EP CHEEKY GOOSE is available from BASEMENT DISCS