Gal Musette is the artist name used by Grace Freeman, who began writing piano and guitar based lyrical compositions and performing at open mics in her home city of San Clemente, CA at the age of 10. Her graceful approach to melody-driven indie-folk has captured audiences all over Southern California.
At age 14, inspired by The Magnetic Fields’ triple album 69 Love Songs, Gal recorded her own collection titled 70 Love Songs, which caught the attention of the band, and won her an opening slot on a few of their Midwestern U.S. tour dates. In more recent years, Gal has opened for several renowned artists such as Macy Gray, Suzanne Vega, Todd Snyder, and Donavon Frankenreiter. While her artist name is taken from bal-musette, the accordion-based, waltz-style French instrumental music, Gal’s primary inspiration is drawn from songwriters including Joni Mitchell, Regina Spektor, Björk, Cocteau Twins, Burt Bacharach, Big Thief and The Cure.
In October 2021, Gal released her debut album, Backwards Lullaby, featuring a vocal duet with one of her biggest musical inspirations, Rufus Wainwright. The record explores the pangs of hopeless romances and unrequited love, what it’s like to move beyond idealized love into the acceptance of what is real and constant, as well as the cyclical nature of life and love in relationships.
The breezy, euphoric song immerses the listener into a free-flowing and dreamlike aura of kaleidoscopic sounds and hopeful narratives. Featuring glistening vocals, softly shimmering landscapes and Gal’s signature melodic allure, the song is a must add to any summer playlist.
Gal confides, “Into The Blue” is “about letting go of all the expectations I clung on so tightly to, and attempting to break the delusional patterns of my mind, self-loathing and narrow minded thinking. The catharsis of realizing the lack of control I have even over my own mind.”
What made you name your upcoming album Pendulum?
There are moments of peace v.s. turbulence, acceptance vs. hopelessness, and bravery v.s. weakness in this record. The intention was to put these songs side by side, in opposition to each other, to explore the ever fluctuating state of the mind like a swinging pendulum.
What was your experience growing up facing a classical musical education rather than pop or contemporary?
I actually never studied classical music, although sometimes I wish I had! My grandpa was a ragtime pianist, and my father was a contemporary pianist, and they collaboratively taught me to play.
What’s the artist or record that made you want to start making music yourself?
Regina Spektor was the artist that inspired me to write my first song, which poured out of me immediately after seeing her music video “Fidelity” for the first time. The Magnetic Fields were a huge inspiration as well!
What’s the most representative track on your upcoming album and why?
The opening track “Into the Blue” very much summarizes the feeling of the record for me… the struggle to let go, a peace in accepting the chaos of life.
What was it like to collaborate with such a great artist as Rufus?
Just wild, it’s the kind of experience that makes me think that maybe anything really is possible. I’ve grown up adoring his voice and songwriting with all my heart…
What are some of your favorite lyrical themes?
Speaking of Rufus, he is one of my favorite lyricists. He has a way of being vague, comical, intellectual, self-deprecating and heart-crushing all at once.
What are some other forms of art that inspire your storytelling?
It varies, sometimes it’s a great book or movie, but a lot of the time I observe the people around me and find inspiration there.