Catching up with Gigi Love, it’s the new extreme sport. The object? Just to keep up with her. On the phone from San Francisco, our much-beloved local singer-songwriter rattles off a laundry list of her current events as if she’s chugged a partyball of Amp Energy Drink. Incidentally, one of the things Love is jazzed about is her inclusion on an Amp 6pack. So, it’d make sense if she was buzzed on spaz-juice.
From AmpEnergy.com, the skinny on the 6packs: “Amp 6packs are six-minute audio segments that feature one band’s music and dialogue. Designed for college radio, the 6packs are used for on-air play and to promote bands’ local shows across the nation.”
These devices aren’t exactly new to Salt Lake City musicians—another local artist, Clay, dished about his own association with the program in Scene & Heard a couple of years ago. It’s a nice little program and it seems to be propelling the Gigi Love machine at a comfy pace. Love lays out the benefits in rapid-fire mode:
“It’s a compilation CD,” she percolates. “It was sent out in the fall to over 300 college radio stations. And they provide tour support! If a DJ announces our show or plays a radio spot, Mountain Dew [parent company of Amp] gives us money to tour. Debi Graham, Cosm, Purdymouth—they’re all on it. And we don’t have to wear Mountain Dew shirts or promote Amp—we just share our music and go to radio stations. It’s an amazing shift; we can get some corporate support but not feel like part of the corporate beast. I feel like I’m a little guy they’re helping out.”
Although she has been somewhat inconspicuous the last couple of years, Love has been a fixture on the Salt Lake City music scene since 1994 when she moved here from Texas. Her two albums, 1995’s Scorpio Rising and 1999’s Coyote Bones, are classics in the Salt Lake singer-songwriter canon—exquisite doses of addictive, honeyed roots-pop. Then she sort of disappeared. “You can saturate the Salt Lake market so fast,” she explains.
She’s played virtually everywhere around town, not to mention all over the state and the region. But for a serious artist, wearing out your welcome at home, that’s death. And sometimes in taking a break, you find gold.
Love was able to realize Turning to Gold (GigiLove.com), an album she began in 2003—although she says you can trace some of the songs back to 1998—as part of an artist-development deal with Blair Sutherland of Counterpoint Studios. Sutherland offered to produce the album and give Love free studio time (off-peak hours in piecemeal—one of the reasons the album took so long to complete) in exchange for a relatively small piece of the CD sales. According to Love, it’s a sweet deal and very much worth the wait. “It took forever,” she says, “but I’m really happy with it.”
As City Weekly opined two issues back, Love’s hook is her impossibly mellifluous voice, which is at once conversational and ethereal. She deals in introspection and storytelling that applies to the listener as much as herself—the songs on the album are consummate examples of this. It’s a great album to be promoting—especially with all the love Love is getting from Amp/Mountain Dew, and an upcoming European tour.
But lest her enthusiasm lead you to believe Gigi Love is comeback-drunk, she reminds us she’s as grounded as when she realized she might be overexposing herself to Salt Lake City.
“The most important thing,” she says almost to herself, “is to stay grateful for things that come your way.”
GIGI LOVE With Eric McFadden. Egos, 668 S. State, Monday 14, 9:30 p.m. 521-5255