Blending the best of summer soaked indie rock like Valley, with the bombastic star power of Carly Rae Jepsen and The Night Game, Brooklyn-based queer artist Souvenir’s new single 'Human Nature' is powerful fruit punch flavoured pop.
Packed with 80's inspired percussion and synths, drizzled in dreamy open guitars and topped with oaring vocals, the track is about our undeniable instinct to always come back to the person or place where we truly belong. And the liberation that comes with that.
We had the chance to speak with Souvenir on the release and more...
Introduce yourself and tell us a bit about you!
"Hey The Lowdown! My name is Michael Fenuccio, I’m a 25 year old queer synth pop artist based in NYC, under the name Souvenir. Thank you so much for chatting with me!"
When did you start making music?
"Since before I can even remember! I wrote my first song at like age 6, and my mom has is framed and saved somewhere. The lyric was “shining star, shining star, playing on my guitar…” which I think is pretty good for that age! I definitely got more serious about writing, singing and performing in high school, and then I actually studied it in college."
Where are you from and what’s your favourite thing about it? Do you feel as though your surroundings have inspired your sound in any way?
"I was born and raised on Cape Cod, MA. There is so much about my childhood that I am extremely grateful for, especially all those summers being so close to the beach! But it was still a small town, and one that I remember desperately itching to leave. I think my college years in Miami and now being in NY is what definitely influences my sound- the pulsating energy of a big city, the queer communities I have found, and the constant pursuit of new experiences and adventures. It all finds its way into my music."
How would you sum up your sound in the form of a hashtag?
Who are your biggest inspirations, musically?
"I draw a lot from other queer synth pop artists, and artists that reference classic sounds. I am a devout Carly Rae Jepsen STAN, as well as Troye Sivan, Jack Antonoff, MUNA, Years & Years, Betty Who, The 1975. I also love all my 80’s babes like George Michael, Cyndi Lauper, Phil Collins."
Who would be your dream artist to collaborate with?
"Jack Antonoff!! I swear everything that man touches turns to pure pop GOLD. His own music and all the artists that he works with have inspired me so much over the last few years. His work still feels so authentic and he’s very unapologetic in his pop sensibilities, which I aspire to emulate."
What would be your dream venue to play?
"Honestly, I’m still dying to have my moment at some of the classic but smaller NYC venues like Bowery Ballroom, Mercury Lounge, Union Pool. I have seen some of my favorite artists on those stages, and there can be so much magic in those smaller rooms. After those, THEN we can talk about the big boy stages!"
You’ve just released your brand new track ‘Human Nature’! How have you found making music over the past year which has been especially difficult for artists and creatives?
"I am extremely lucky to have come out of this past year in a way better creative and emotional headspace than I entered it in. Having just moved to NY in 2018, I felt like I was still hustling and struggling to just find my footing and stay afloat. Being forced to stop and drop everything allowed me to recalibrate my life and reprioritize myself and my music. Although I DESPERATELY miss performing live with my full band and I cannot wait to do so again, I spent the last year writing and recording a whole upcoming EP, which is something I never would’ve had the time or energy for otherwise. I needed that pause to now be in fast forward."
Tell us a little about it! (writing / recording / inspirations etc)
"'Human Nature' to me is a song about finding the people and place where you truly belong, and the liberation that comes with that. I wrote it in the early months of quarantine, when I was obviously craving that sense of belonging and community. I’m always chasing new ways to reference classic sounds in ways that don’t feel super derivative, so I remember hearing the non-diatonic chord progression in ABBA’s 'SOS' and jumping off of that. From there, last summer, I met my incredible producer Dominic Florio (professionally, FLORIO) who helped me bring the song to life. Musically, we drew on more contemporary pop artists like Valley, The Night Game, and of course, Carly Rae ;)"
Do you have a favourite lyric in particular from the release?
"I think the pre-chorus lyric stands out to me as a real crux of the song. “I can hear you now, your spirit is calling me back, I can hear you now, and you sound like a song.” This idea of finding clarity and meaning, and connecting all the threads of your past, present, and future. “You” to me is not meant to be necessarily a romantic partner, but anyone who you feel cosmically meant to be with."
What have you got planned for the rest of 2021 so far?
"'Human Nature' is JUST the beginning! I have a full 6-song EP almost finished that will hopefully be released by the end of the year. I just booked my first live show in NY since before the pandemic, and I’m collaborating with so many incredible musicians, visual artists, and creatives to bring Souvenir to a whole new level! I could NOT be more excited!"
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