Artist Spotlight: Eugene Marie

Eugene Marie is an electro-pop duo from Brooklyn.

Their self-titled debut album features many special guests, including but not limited to; a subway, a screeching chair, and a vacuum cleaner. To clear up your confusion read our interview with half of Eugene Marie, Spencer Stewart.


Has Brooklyn influenced your music? 

Lucy (the other half of Eugene Marie) and I moved to Brooklyn two years ago. It’s very much a Brooklyn record because a lot of the sounds were collected there, and a lot of the lyrics are just direct quotes of conversations Lucy has had with strangers in the street. 

Eugene Marie performing in Harlem, August 15th. Photo by Nina Coleman.

Eugene Marie performing in Harlem, August 15th. Photo by Nina Coleman.

Conversations about what? 

We have a song called "They Scared," where the lyrics are a conversation Lucy had with a woman in our neighborhood. The woman was muttering in disbelief that her daughter had just had triplets. Lucy was walking by and the two of them had an interaction that is reenacted in the song. Another one of our songs, "Nice Smell," is composed entirely of cat calls that Lucy has heard in the city. My favorite is: “Hey what do you say princess, wanna take those lips and turn this frog into a prince?” She puts a nice melody over that one. 

How do you turn a vacuum cleaner into a musical instrument?

You can record any sound and put it into your computer and mess with it to make music. People have been doing that since the late 70’s at least. Stevie Wonder was one of the first to play so-called ‘found-sounds’ on a keyboard, on the album Journey Through The Secret Life of Plants. I think he uses insect noises and the sound of water dropping, and then plays them like a piano. We do that a bunch on our record. The woman living above us was vacuuming and it made a really resonant hum, which we recorded and turned into a song. It's a cool thing because you start to see the entire world as your instrument. 

So, will you have a vacuum cleaner on stage at Bear Music Fest, then? 

Haha. Yah, you can’t perform this music in the traditional way. You need a computer to play the sounds. It’s really tempting to just press play and sing along to a karaoke track. That’s what a lot of artists do. We tried that and it was really dissatisfying. The way we do it now is much more ‘live’ feeling. There is a lot of improvisation. I think our set is similar to a jazz set, because you can see us searching for something on stage.


Excited yet?

Us too! We can’t wait to see Eugene Marie–and you–at the festival!