The twisting path of life is unpredictable and often circular in nature.
Savannah native Sophie Brochu left the Lowcountry for Chicago when she was 18. She’s spent her entire adult life in the Windy City, returning to Savannah to visit family a few times a year.
For her next journey home, she’s bringing her latest musical project, Fauvely, with her for back-to-back shows.
Fauvely began after Brochu finished her graduate degree for fiction writing. She had sung in bands in college, but the gravity of graduate school forced her to take a break. After putting music on hold for a number of years, Brochu returned to the art form with a new fervor.
“I kept really wanting to do it,” Brochu said of her time away from music. “I put it on the back burner, because I didn’t want to split my focus up. As I was finishing the writing project and finishing up the program, I had this time to devote all of the sudden. In that short amount of time, I couldn’t stop with the music.
"It’s kind of evolved ever since. I’ve come at it later in life and I still feel like I am discovering a lot in music and honing the craft, and there’s a lot of room to grow.”
Fauvely released an EP last year, “Watch Me Overcomplicate This,” which precedes a studio album, “Tides,” due out this fall. Fauvely’s dream pop comes to life with stripped-down, simply arranged songs and beautiful melodies. Helmed by Brochu’s mostly clean electric guitar and phlegmatic vocals, which shy away in the verses only to soar in the choruses, Fauvely fits nicely in the musical universe of P.S. Eliot, Mothers and Waxahatchee, but without the air of mimicry.
While songs on the first EP followed a more introspective path lyrically, “Tides” ventured on a different journey. Brochu wrote one song about her hometown, and from there, the new album’s eight songs took on a narrative of their own.
“A lot of it is inspired by Savannah,” Brochu said of "Tides." “I didn’t set out to do that. I didn’t have a goal of writing about Savannah at all. But the first song that I wrote for it, I suppose accidentally, ended up being about Savannah. From there, I just began thinking, maybe there’s a story there.
“I always like — I guess this is going back to writing — one thing that I do think about is how to create a visual or cinematic feeling in music; try to paint a picture. Then I got obsessed with how to use Savannah as a setting, the way in writing you create your setting and develop your setting and that’s a huge part of storytelling.
"I started thinking about elements of Savannah, but I was writing in Chicago. It started to take on a little bit more of haunting or majestic elements, because I was writing from afar about a place I wasn’t in.”
When it comes to music, in which Brochu has no formal training, the process is distilled into an emotional purging. Juxtaposed with writing, Brochu finds the latest creative endeavor to be satisfying for different reasons.
“With writing, the written word, you sit at the computer and your brain hurts because you’re just thinking, thinking, thinking,” Brochu said. “It’s a different style of creation. With music, I just turn that off and it’s a very emotional process. I just try not to think and allow myself to feel and have this stream of conscience thing go on, where I am letting it come instead of forcing myself to make it happen.
“I am not over thinking it. My songs are really simple. I think because of that, people can relate to them. I am always a lot more inspired by artists who are not as technically skilled as they are emotionally vulnerable. That’s the stuff I care about and know how to do.”
Hoping to book more southeast shows, Brochu ended up with two shows in Savannah, on June 22 at El-Rocko and June 23 at The Sentient Bean. Savannah Arts Academy schoolmate Vuk Pavlovic will join Brochu on drums for the El-Rocko show as she premieres the new material for her hometown.