At just 20 years old Margaux is a force to be reckoned with. Margaux, a.k.a Margaux Bouchegnies is a singer songwriter originally from Seattle,WA who moved to New York to study music at school. While balancing school and music, Margaux has been constantly writing and recording new material. Not only does she write and record her own music she also plays various amounts of instruments including upright bass, guitar, piano, and pretty much any other instrument you can name, she has it all. She recently released her debut EP More Brilliant Is The Hand That Throws The Coin, out on Massif Records. She wrote and recorded the EP and played all of the instruments you hear on each song, some of which include handbells, bottlecaps, glockenspiel, and mellotron, which you don’t hear everyday on a song. Margaux may be only 20 but she has an old soul. Her music and style is reminiscent of early 70’s folk rock and she draws inspiration from legends like Joni Mitchell and David Byrne. The stellar EP draws on a coming of age story, and deals with the trials and tribulations of growing up. The EP is a cohesive work of art and Margaux is a star on the rise who continues to break all the boundaries. We got the chance to chat with Margaux about the EP, the writing process, and few other surprises you’ll have to read to find out!
- Hey! Nice to chat with you! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself for those who may not be familiar with you? I’m originally from Seattle, WA and moved to New York about three years ago for school. I’ve been playing music all my life but got serious about pursuing jazz upright bass in high school. Songwriting with the guitar was something I dabbled in, but it wasn’t my main focus until freshman year at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music when I realized that the conservatory environment wasn’t the right fit for me. I found myself longing for a different kind of relationship to music and felt more inspired to write songs by my courses in literary studies. Since then I’ve pulled away from music in an academic setting and have prioritized songwriting in a way that feels most meaningful and authentic to how I want to express myself.
- Your debut EP More Brilliant is the Hand that Throws the Coin is about to drop (Congrats on that!), how does that feel to have your first body of work officially out for the world to hear? It’s equally exciting and overwhelming but I’m feeling a lot of gratitude for all the support I’ve received. As with most songs, these are all very personal which makes it feel vulnerable to put out into the world.
- What was the process like writing this EP?
With the exception of “Cave In,” most of these songs were written without the intention of recording an EP. Moving away from Seattle to NYC was a big catalyst in my songwriting processes, even the ones that don’t directly deal with themes of change/growing up. More on this below!
- Which song on the EP was your favorite to write? Favorite to play?
“Faced with Fire” was my favorite song to write because I felt the most patient in crafting the lyrics. I had a really specific vision and mood in mind and wanted to put as much care as I could into articulating what I was feeling. The essence of that song came from a deep kind of longing to know what it might feel like to be fully in love. There are a couple of nods to the writing of Susan Sontag and Emily Dickinson in there, both of which have moved me in ways that feel in line with what I thought romantic love might feel like at the time.I love playing “Cave In” because it’s the one song that really ROCKS OUT. Power chords are powerful.
- You’ve said you often draw inspiration from Joni Mitchell, who else would you say inspires you?
Some other big musical inspirations include the Carpenters, Pixies, Paul Simon, Lyle Brewer, and Kate Davis. I also feel very inspired by the artist Taryn Simon who creates a lot of multidisciplinary art that I’ve found really compelling. While her work doesn’t fall in the category of music, I’ve been inspired by the care and research she puts into what she creates and her ability to articulate themes of life that hold a lot of complexities.
- How has it been moving from Seattle all the way to NYC for school? Has the move inspired your work in any way? I went into it thinking I wouldn’t be fazed which only made being fazed that much more jarring. Uprooting is big and forced me (as it does with most people) to face a lot of growth and change in ways that were very uncomfortable but necessary. These types of fundamental shifts can also bring what feels like the loss of a previous self; both freeing and strange, especially when it’s made obvious by how the people around you respond. “Smaller Home” is a song of the EP that I wrote when I went home for winter break and was feeling the ambiguity and tension of seeing myself differently amidst familiar and familial surroundings treating me as unchanged. Growing up is a pretty universal experience and I wanted to express the aspects that felt most nuanced throughout my experience.
- If you could work with anyone in the industry who would you want to work with?
Omg. Paralyzed by this question.
- What are your plans for your music going forward? Full-length album? touring?
The ultimate goal is really to just keep refining and stretching my own songwriting. I’ve been working on some new songs lately that I feel excited about recording with Sahil and have plans to continue playing around the NYC area. I haven’t thought too far ahead but would love to go on tour sometime in the future!
- What music are you currently jamming to?
Kate Davis’ new album, Trophy. It’s brilliant and striking and timeless. Kate has been a huge inspiration to me for a long time and this album is chock full of the kinds of honest lyrics and compelling melodies that leave me playing it on repeat. There’s a lot of really interesting rhythmic stuff going on too that sits within a more straight-forward seeming rock sound. This album is really effective at being accessible while bringing something new through clever kinds of intricacies. Kate rocks.
Keep Up With Margaux!