This interview took place in 2022 following the release of Loviet’s “777” album
“I think I have a desert soul. I was inspired by that my whole life: a lonely highway and a neon sign and a derelict shopping mall – sort of those castaway places.”
So explains Loviet, referring to the imagery for her new record, 777, which has several photos taken in the United States’ southwest deserts despite the musician hailing from a smalltown in Canada’s eastern Nova Scotia province. “I kinda relate to the desert. Even in my hometown there’s a desolate vibe. I kinda relate to the middle of nowhere.”
While she now resides in Toronto, she talks the small moments and encounters that ultimately build into a narrative to form her lyrics.
“In that sense, I don’t want to read about it, I want to dream it up myself. Bruce Springsteen is an incredible storyteller. Lana Del Rey, she just creates these worlds.”
Having turned 27 just after the release of her 777 record, she relates her small town upbringing being the catalyst for where identifying with the castaways and the empty spaces comes from.
“Being from a small town, it’s been a bonus but it’s also been a detriment. It didn’t have a lot to offer. It didn’t have a lot to experience or a variety of people. But that said, it was like a playground to me. I could make it whatever I wanted. Every single thing I touch, every person I talk to, you can put light on those in a different way.”
On the artists that shaped her view of music growing up, Loviet is clearly able to touch on different bands and performers that fall far from the radio pop spectrum.
“I grew up off of the pop punk stuff – Avril Lavigne, Kelly Osbourne, Courtney Love. Of course classic rock, and Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears. I was into all those things.”
Though maybe somewhat surprisingly, she credits the 80’s era with making her feel more comfortable taking a pop sound but wanting to build an explosive stage presence behind it.
“I found for a long time, my voice didn’t do so many different things I was comparing myself to. And then my time listening to Belinda Carlisle and Pat Benatar and Heart, all these different vocalists from that era, I was like ‘I get this!’ Trying to channel things that were really badass and rock and roll, the 80’s had that. The vibe of the show was a rock show. The energy – that’s what I absorbed from that era.”
For having songs so unguardedly catchy, Loviet acknowledges a wider group of contemporaries. She cites the immediacy – the lack of over-curation and fine-tuned soundbytes and image projection – of punk.
“The punk scene’s sick. That attitude – ‘we’re gonna put out a shitty record, and it might totally disappear,’ I love that! I like the idea where I can walk into an interview and it’s 20 minutes and it is what it is, and that’s where people have to be to get it. They need to be tuned in to get that taste of you, they have to be there to see it, and it’s special. I remember how important it was and how it affected me wanting to be a musician. It’s just a really different world right now with stream counts or ‘how many likes did I get?’ – you have to [create music] because it’s beautiful and that you can connect with people this way.”
Flickering lights off in the distance, a landscape that is slower by nature, where the constructed world is at a constant struggle against the wind and sand and sun that works slowly but perpetually to break them down, and the vast areas of space… These are the desert qualities. This is where stories might be more beneath the surface. This is the environment that Loviet uses as a canvas for her songwriting. And the result is a glimmering indie pop with knifesharp elements of spectacle and electronic layers, of lyrics of recklessness remembered through meticulous and abetting eyes. This is the confluence of creative experimentation and impulsive catchiness on Loviet’s recordings.