About LOUVE

Etoile Marley

Below is an in depth look into what inspired the LOUVE album as a whole followed by explanations of each song and how they tie into the she-wolf theme. Personal experiences, quotes, imagery and several novels were used as inspiration for the songs.

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What inspired the album?

  • Born in the year of the dog according to Chinese astrology, (I like to call it the year of the wolf) therefore I've always identified with traits of the wolfian family: playfulness, loyalty, bravery, protective instincts, female alpha traits, hunting (for success and knowledge).

  • I used to dream a lot about white wolves as a child, and since then always felt that wolves are my spirit animal, guiding and protecting me.

  • Louve means she-wolf in French, which is a nod to my French heritage.

  • Several quotes felt important when I was conceptualising the album:

  • "Wolves don't lose sleep over opinions of sheep"  (Originally "Lions do not concern themselves with the opinion of sheep - Aesops fables, C.S Lewis and biblical references)

  • "Throw me to the wolves I belong with them anyway" (Origin unknown)

  • "Well behaved women seldom make history" - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich (American historian)

  • The album themes are all viewed through the lens of a she-wolf archetype: womanhood, feminism, protecting the pack (family), hunting for knowledge of self and success, motherhood, confidence and owning your power, love, sex & heartbreak, acceptance, the moon and nature.

  • Wolves relationship to the moon is a topic of discussion in Wolfian circles and is much debated as to whether its a spiritual type of connection or purely practical. It was believed that wolves 'howl at the full moon' but in fact wolf biologists discovered that the full moon simply enabled clearer communication between wolves. Regardless, the moon is an integral part of wolf night life and therefore this connection is present throughout my album.

  • There are 17 songs because I am born on the 17th of the month.

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WOMAN WITH THE WOLF TATTOO

  • This was the 3rd track recorded for the album and loosely inspired by the film title 'Girl with a dragon tattoo', nothing to do with the story though!

  • It's a reference to the wolf tattoos I have and the sense of protection they represent for me. It defines who I am at my core, my values and my strong sense of self.

  • The song is about being too intense for some people or "un-fuck-with-able". Staying true to your own personal values, the opening line "I love, honour, protect all my family ties" is a nod to the commitments I've made and choosing to fight for family and those close you.

Track 1

LOUVE

  • The title track is a playful tune with funk and hiphop elements, spoken word and vocal instrumentation.

  • It has a couple of hints in the backing vocals, one is to Michael Jackson ("eehee moonwalker") and the other to the BeeGees "ah ah I'm stayin' alive").

  • The pre-chorus uses the quote "throw me to the wolves, I belong with them anyway", expressing fearlessness in the face of confrontation.

  • The hook "je suis la-la-la-la-la-louve" meaning "I am the she-wolf" is obviously the message of the album: I am strong, confident, brave and unafraid.

Track 2

ALPHA

  • Though the term 'alpha' for leader of a wolf pack is outdated in research circles, the term remains in our consciousness as such. It implies a certain dominance that is related to leadership, and in this sense I find it relatable to being a confident go-getter.

  • This song therefore embodies confident, leadership qualities, being dominant without dominating, loyalty and safeguarding 'the pack' at all costs whilst maintaining a playful air. It encapsulates the idea that mothers are strong, protective yet sentimental and faithful.

  • A funky take on spoken word with double bass, drums, oriental synth lines and clavinet.

Track 3

FALLIN'

  • 4th single. I wrote this song 20 years ago! It's the only song on the album that I didn't write in the last year. Originally it was called 'Down n Dirty'.

  • As you can probably guess, it's a tune about having the hots for someone and daydreaming about them, questioning if it's turning into love.

  • My friend Porteous played a lot of the instruments live on this, that we then turned into loops. It's spoken word meets funk, meets pop.

  • It's been through at least 5 re-drafts but finally found it's home and new name.

Track 4

POWER 2 THE MOTHER

  • Motherhood is the most difficult job I've ever had! Something I have no regrets about whatsoever, but I acknowledge and am honest about how challenging it is at times.

  • I have often felt that mothers aren't supported enough, especially by many health care systems and by societies at large. It can be harrowingly lonely at times and is so common for mothers to experience PND.

  • Mothers are essential to the survival of 'The Pack' and therefore it was essential for me to include a song that empowers mothers.

  • The title says it all really, power 2 mothers who are holding it down: their children, their family, their careers, their studies, the house, their mental health, their bodies the chores, etc etc etc!

Track 5

WOLF DEN

  • First inspired by a book of the same name about a brothel set in ancient Greece. Originally I wanted to make the song about the relationship between a pimp and a prostitute but as time went on, Wolf Den became a metaphor for being trapped by societal limitations.

  • Wolf Den is both representative of having a safe space you can hide out in as well as being a metaphor for a mindset that hide behinds a facade. All whilst questioning the powers at be and the need for positive change.

  • The track is a sold groove in a 90s Massive Attack style.

Track 6

WILDERWOOD

  • Perhaps the most autobiographical song on the album, Wilderwood is about appreciating and honouring other cultures, loving languages and my own multi-cultural upbringing in a French/Australian household.

  • Feeling like the world is a little lost and therefore we are "lost in the wilderwood" which make me want to scream out against all the hate by "howlin' at the moon". 

  • Raising my kids in a foreign country, them having a different accent to mine and trying to teach them to be accepting of others whilst honouring their own heritage.

Track 7

THE HUNT

  • The 1st single. As the name suggests, The Hunt is about hunting. As wolves hunt for their food, so do we humans hunt for knowledge, success, meaning and connection.

  • The pre-chorus revisits my use of creating "vocal instruments" (random noises that really just start out as me playing about but then 99% of the time I decide to keep them because I love'em!).

  • The real message of the song is hunting for what is going to really fulfil you the most, making use of your individual talents  and questioning what one is capable of.

Track 8

MY PACK

  • Another song that in my mind is an essential part to a wolf album, of course the pack is instrumental in the lives of most wolves. 

  • Something that resonates with me deeply about wolves is their loyalty to their pack and the way in which they are fiercely protective of their own.

  • The verses are in French, with the hooks in English which is a flip on how I have usually composed and arranged songs thus far.

  • With a four-to-the-floor beat I wanted to create a sense of foreboding if one threatens the 'pack'. (The idea that 'if you threaten one, you threaten all'.)

  • The message is that you should expect retaliation if you threaten a member of the pack and that the pack sticks together.

Track 9

HOWL

  • I knew I wanted a song called 'Howl' on the album and knew the word would be in the hook. When I began writing, it quickly became about women banding together and fighting violence against women. Coming together to 'howl' at the injustice of it. Which of course feels particularly relevant with what is happening still in the world today.

  • I was deeply moved by a documentary I watched about violence against women in Honduras, the shocking murders of women there make it the most dangerous place in the world for females to live.

  • The dark narrative of the lyrics lent itself to creating a haunting soundscape, created with lots of Korg synth sounds, bass line and tribal-esque drums.

Track 10

CLOSE 2 STARS

  • The heartbreak song. Having an overwhelming sense that your relationship or bond with someone is falling to pieces. 

  • Feeling that perhaps you're not the right choice for your love, blaming oneself and feeling blamed by others that choosing you is a bad choice for them.

  • The title 'Close 2 stars' is a nod to my name Etoile (means star in French) and therefore the hook 'that's what happens when you get too close 2 stars', is saying this is what happens when you get too close to me, ie. you get burnt.

Track 11

LONE WOLF

  • 5th single. This was the very first tune I wrote and recorded for LOUVE. It set the bar high and set the tone for what was to be created next.

  • Reggae and trip-hop heavily influence this song and it has live drums and hammond on it. You have to wait for the bomb outro-chorus, my fave part!

  • It ponders that feeling of enjoying one's own space, being good at 'being lonely' but not wanting to be alone through life. The need to have company and love and connection.

  • It's one of my favourite songs I've ever written and I'm very proud of this one!

Track 12

RED & THE WOLF

  • Inspired by the book 'For the Wolf' by Hannah Whitten. A tale of 2 sisters, one destined for the throne, the 2nd destined to be sacrificed to the Wolf. Loosely influenced by Little Red Riding hood also.

  • This song stands out on it's own really, because so many fables that exist of the "big bad wolf" who lives in the forest, it needed to be part of my wolf story.

  • Lots of layered vocal harmonies and vocoder to create an enchanted song that depicts the story of Red and The Wolf. 

  • My hope is that the author will hear this one!

Track 13

FUR (COAT)

  • 2nd single. Of course wolves have fur, therefore I wanted a song called FUR on the album. That was my starting point, which quickly became a metaphor for being wrapped up in someone's fur/love.

  • It morphed into fur coat because, you can be wrapped up warm in a coat, so that feeling of being warm and basking in the attention of a love interest all started to make sense for me. 

  • I put the "coat" in brackets because I battled with just wanting the song to be "FUR", but I felt that on it's own, it didn't fully encompass the song, plus I think it looks cool because it's different.

Track 14

8 PHASES

  • The moon goes through 8 phases from new, to full, to new again over roughly 1 month. In this regard women often feel connected to the moon as our cycles often coincide with the cycle of the moon.
  • This song is a love song to the moon and its transformative powers. A sense of renewal under the light of full moon and an opportunity to begin again. Acceptance of the different phases we go through in life, and feeling supported through connection to the moon.
  • 8 is also my lucky number (my birth date 17=1+7=8) which just adds an extra layer of significance for me personally.
Track 15

WILDLING

  • 3rd single. The 'wild woman' trope is the driving force behind this song. I reinterpreted a famous quote into "well behaved women rarely make history" which sums up the message of both verses.

  • It's about how women have fought so long to be heard and respected without being labelled as 'neurotic', 'witch', 'crazy' or 'wild' simply for being ourselves.

  • As a young woman I was often called 'too wild', a label I lent into more and more and inevitably became part of my personality as I embraced it!

Track 16

LITTLE FANG

  • The last song written for the album is an ode to children and their innocence. Becoming a mother is one of the most transformative experiences I've experienced and it changed me forever.

  • To witness a child experience everything for the very first time is truly an exceptional privilege and one that I believe should be honoured and cherished. 

  • My aim with 'Little Fang' is to encapsulate that child like innocence and belief in magic. The way children marvel at the tiniest of things. Therefore I created a soundscape using lullaby type instrumentation to create 

Track 17