Over tea in Williamsburg, Savoir Adore songstress Deidre Muro hands me a twine-bound EP titled Curious Parcel. It's the debut collection of songs under her pop-noir solo project simply known as DEIDRE, though—not to ruin the surprise—there's a lot more to it than meets the eye.
The L Magazine: The press release mentions this mysterious package that arrived at your doorstep being the inspiration behind the project. How'd it evolve from there?
Deidre Muro: I had been writing this catalog of songs over the past two or three years and was like, "Ok, I'm going to do a limited-edition pressing of [an EP]." I wanted to do it in a cardboard sleeve, something DIY-ish, and I was like, "Oh, it'd be really cool if I put twine around it, so it would actually look like a parcel." Then my mind went one step further, and I came up with this whole thing about what if there were all these forwarding addresses, as if this parcel was chasing me through time.
The L: So the backstory is all your creation?
DM: This is all my crazy. It's a tall tale. I designed all these stamps [on the album sleeve] in Photoshop and had them custom-made, and all the places and dates relate to direct influences on the music. The origin [of the package] is still unknown. I left that a mystery. There's a lot of fantasy involved here. It asks you to suspend your disbelief. Most people will probably look at it and not exactly get what I'm telling you, but I love when art, music, anything has layers to it; you don't have to know them all to enjoy it.
The L: At first I was trying to listen to the EP as a linear story with you as the same character throughout. But the more I listen, the more I'm thinking that's not the case.
DM: It's not a linear story; however, there is definitely a narrative strain. I'm fascinated by female archetypes, predominantly the femme fatale from film noir, but ranging from the muse, the 50s housewife, the liberated 60s love child. For some reason—well, not for some reason, I'm a woman—so I write from a very female perspective.
The L: There does seem to be a lot of gender politics tangled up in the songs. It's all pretty playful and seems to be done with a wink, but at the same time you're trying to say some serious things.
DM: It is a conscious thing, and it also isn't. I mean, I do intentionally put myself in a character, most of the time female, so it just happens. However, I don't think men can't enjoy it or anything. I'm not against men. And a lot of the males I've given it to, they just react to the music; they enjoy the sounds of the recording—and that's all I want. I'm not really trying to make that much of a female statement, but when I go back and listen, I do see this connection at work. It's interesting to me too.
The L: Savoir Adore is very character-driven too. I don't want to call the songs "fairy tale-like"…
DM: Oh, you can (laughs).
The L: What is it about fictional songwriting that resonates with you more than typical confessional stuff?
DM: Well, I did the singer-songwriter thing from when I was 15 up until when I was around 20. It was perfect for when I was a teenager. But at a certain point, the function of music changed for me. I no longer felt like I needed it to vent my angst, anxiety, frustration, sadness, whatever, and it became more of a creation tool—to create something new, versus channeling something old. I felt like I was getting whiny. With Savoir Adore, that was one of the first times I tried experimenting with putting myself in other places, people, situations. Then I can be a little more objective about the quality of what I'm making, too. It was a very conscious choice.
The L: Do you find it more challenging to write solo or as part of a band?
DM: I find it more challenging to collaborate. Part of the origin of Savoir Adore was to challenge ourselves to get outside our singer-songwriter boxes and do something totally different. The give-and-take is difficult for me, but, in the end, you create things you wouldn't have otherwise come up with. At the same time, I like to see a lot of my own ideas through.
The L: Are you going to continue with Savoir Adore even with this new project underway?
DM: Yup, we're finishing up our next record in August.
Photo by Shervin Lainez