Margaux Sauvé’s long-awaited debut album as Ghostly Kisses, ‘Heaven, Wait’, validates her as one of music’s most engrossing and spellbinding artists, who has delivered a bit of escapism and beauty into our lives.

“What’s in a name?”, Shakespeare wrote in Romeo and Juliet to describe how names are irrelevant. In some cases, however, a name can be revealing, succinctly describing a project, a work of art, or even a person. For Margaux Sauvé, Ghostly Kisses perfectly captures the music she’s been creating for seven years. 

Sauvé chose the name after reading William Faulkner’s Une ballade des dames perdues, as it illustrates both intimacy and mystery. Throughout her career, the Quebec City-based singer-songwriter has long captivated with the haunting yet ethereal nature of her songs, which have made her a sought-after artists on the international scene. Sauvé has achieved acclaim without releasing a full-length album, but that all changed last week when Heaven, Wait arrived.

Sauvé’s debut LP is a thing of wondrous and astounding beauty. Each of its eleven songs possesses the intimacy of a bedroom, yet they should be heard in the world’s great opera houses and orchestral halls. Even in some cases, they should be placed on a movie soundtrack. Such is Sauvé’s artistry, which comes to the forefront immediately on “Heartbelt”. Taut beats and immersive synths envelop Sauvé’s hushed but gorgeous vocal. At first, the song sounds like one of seduction, but it is not with another person with whom Sauvé seeks to bound. “You’re my only one / Moon and sun, we’ve just begun to belong”, she soothingly sings. Sauvé, however, offers a surprise with the track. Instead of staying within intimate confines, the tempo gradually accelerates and a dizzying urgency develops.

A similar radiance glimmers on “Carry Me” and closer “Your Heart Is Gold”, which are made for slow dancing under the disco ball. “Heaven, Wait”, too, is uplifting, and it’s guided by a beautiful piano arrangement and folktronica effects. Sauvé’s light and haunting voice, too, brims with the quiet excitement of a woman falling in love all over again. Doubt does linger in her heart, but deep down she knows the other person feels the same. She knows it to be true.

“In every way
You’re in my heart
You make me feel like
We were never apart
Never apart”

Sauvé, however, has made a career of making intimacy sound exotic, which she does on “Don’t Know Why” and “A Different Kind of Love”. On the former, a finger-plucked guitar, a longing piano, and a few strings create the beautiful soundscape for Sauvé to sing about moving on because the hurt and pain will return. “Because deep inside / I don’t want to make it all right”, she calmly yet emotionally sings. A darker, enchanting tone, meanwhile, consumes the latter. The piano mournfully plays in the background while Sauvé narrates how one person is slowly fading away. “You’ve built the walls around you / Cause you’re so afraid to fail”

For all the stunning qualities of her haunting approach, Sauvé introduces new methods to her sound. A lingering guitar adds a Latin flair and a grand mystery to “Blackbirds”. The atmosphere is fitting for a James Bond film where 007 meets an alluring woman in a mysterious place. Is she friend or foe and to where could this rendez-vous eventually lead? “I see your world through my window / I dream of lives that I can’t know”, Sauvé lustfully sings. She then poignantly adds, “Is there a place where I won’t feel alone? / Where love or death is no more?”

On “Clay”, Sauvé’s artistry reaches a whole new level. The album’s centerpiece is mysterious, immersive, and intoxicating. Trip-hop beats and synths shallowly percolate while Sauvé’s voice feels distant and lost. As the song progresses, a magnetic intensity forms until it reaches its dramatic climax. At this point, the song reaches cinematic heights, and Sauvé’s desperation becomes accentuated. She seeks answers, she seeks stability, and, more importantly, she seeks to reclaim what was.

“What if I’m bound to your world now
Bound to stay
What if you were swallowed down deep underground
And hidden away
I wish I could bring you back now all for you”

If this song represents Ghostly Kisses’ next chapter, then Sauvé’s star as an indie sensation should only grow. In the meantime, Heaven, Wait validates her as one of music’s most engrossing and spellbinding artists, who has released a debut album to remember. One that can be spun to provide a bit of escapism and even beauty in our lives.

Stream or purchase Heaven, Wait at these links or go directly to Bandcamp. It is out on Akira Records.

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