Fellow Kentuckians Jenni and Aaron make dreamy music under the name Genevva. Their song 'Silver Cord' is one of our favs off their album Late Bloomer released in September of 2023. Check it out below and then learn a bit more about them and the song.
What were some early musical experiences that influenced you both?
Jenni: There are some artists I vividly remember hearing for the first time; Elliott Smith, The Beatles, Patsy Cline, The Strokes, Devendra Banhart. There were others of course but those stick out in my mind. I remember from a young age being really affected by music and thinking it was strange that the rest of my family didn't seem to be as affected. I would sit in my room and just listen to the same song or album over and over again. The first concert I went to was Paul McCartney when I was in 8th grade and it blew my mind.
Aaron: Hearing Nirvana for the first time really impacted me. I was really depressed in high school and I listened to music constantly as a way to escape.
Are you formally trained musicians? Either way, can you talk a bit about how you learned your instruments and song writing?
Jenni: I've written songs since I was a kid but don't have formal training. I taught myself chords in high school so that I could write songs.
Aaron: I had formal training in middle school and highschool. I started playing electric guitar in 7th grade learning Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana among others. In high school I was really influenced by The Beatles, Radiohead, and classical music. That's when I started learning songs on the piano like Sexy Sadie, Karma Police, as well as classical pieces by Chopin and Beethoven. I was a piano major in college--studying mostly classical music.
Your music has a bit of a throwback quality to it. Was that vibe planned from the outset or did you grow into it?
Aaron: Some of that was always inherently there. Jenni's voice naturally has a throwback sound, and one day we started playing around with soul and RnB drum beats. Jenni is good at adapting her songwriting to different styles. There's something about classic soul music that is timeless. You can live in it forever. We're also big fans of contemporary bands that have a throwback sound like Durand Jones and The Indications, Brittney Howard, Brainstory and Thee Sacred Souls.
How did Silver Cord come about? What inspired the actual song? What was the process of producing it?
Jenni: When I write songs I like to be totally alone so I booked an airbnb for a month in 2021 and wrote the songs for this record. For Silver Cord I was thinking about a friend's bad breakup and loosely wrote about that. Everyone knows a couple (or maybe have been this couple themselves) that for some reason keeps getting back together even though they are terrible for each other. It's like there is some karmic link that keeps pulling them together. I wanted to write from the perspective of the person who finally cuts the "silver cord". Whenever I start with lyrics that I'm excited about I tend to write the song faster. This song had some momentum because I really liked the first few lines: "baby fever got you wild eyed, call the cops it was a crazy summer night." Then when I have a batch of songs I play them for Aaron and he starts tracking them and makes them sound cool :)
Aaron: We recorded it live and then I overdubbed some keys parts. This song came together pretty quickly. Our friend Nick Roeder helped us with the mixing.
What is the chorusey instrument in the background at around the 2:19 mark? It's beautiful and (a little) scary at the same time.
Aaron: It's the Prophet-6 analogue synthesizer. I turned the Mod wheel up which gave it that wobbly chorus effect.
What's coming up next for you all and where can people keep up with you?
Jenni: I finished writing the songs for the next record and we've laid down the base tracks for all the songs. Now comes the fun part - filling out the songs, finding cool sounds and such. Aaron is really good at finding sounds and coming up with instrumental hooks. We record and mix at home so it definitely feels like we enter our own little world. You can find us on all social media sites at @genevvamusic. Thanks!