Free as a Bird

Gabrielle Louise
Gabrielle Louise

For her latest project, The Bird in My Chest, singer-songwriter Gabrielle Louise wanted to do something different.

“I had my heart set on releasing a book of short stories and poems alongside a collection of music,” Louise says. “So I took everything I had composed in the same time frame — songs, poems and short stories — and I published a booklet to accompany the CD.”

Bird is an intimate collection of songs that features forays into soulful blues (“Use Your Teeth”), laid-back folk (“Colours”) and splashes of jazz (“Nature’s Not a Fool”), all while Louise focuses her energies on a simultaneously personal and universal narrative. Even if a song is not hers — like her stripped-down cover of Silvio Rodríguez’s “Te Amare” — she still finds a way to make it meaningful to her.

“I learned the song to perform for a friend who was getting married, and I ended up loving it,” she says. “My father passed during the making of the record, and there’s a lyric in that song that says, ‘I will love you the day that I die/ And I will love you the day after I am dead.’ That really moved me. I performed it for this wedding, but also I did it for my father’s funeral.”

Gabrielle Louise plays with Beth Wood & Tyler Fortier 8 pm Saturday, June 14, at Cozmic; $8 adv., $10 door.

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