The remnants of a relationship will lay shattered until someone chooses to sweep it away or examine each shard for closure. Each one is a prism, refracting its history into distinct stories. On her new single, premiering on Grimy Goods today, G.Smith tries to make sense of a breakup, riding her feelings into an ocean swell until her wails of frustration become cathartic. “Mona Lisa” is the first track the local songwriter and producer has revealed ahead of her new EP, People Wake Up Laughing, which comes out later this year.
“I write breakup songs a lot because it feels like the most direct and accessible way to articulate loss. But there are many forms of loss that can be inserted into the words I write, like the loss of a friend, a death, the feeling of home, the loss of your youth, the loss of a dream. Writing about bigger forms of loss is difficult to describe, difficult to put into words. I think the majority of people walk around with some kind of loss on their shoulders and I hope to, if not just for myself, to feel through these things with songs like ‘Mona Lisa,’ and turn that feeling into a positive by making it into music.” – G.Smith
As a cultural symbol, the Mona Lisa is iconic. But the painting itself is nearly all intrigue, from her devious smile to the hidden symbols in the background. Mona Lisa is a figment of society’s imagination. Citing respect for the work itself, G.Smith borrows its objectification to represent what she felt in a past relationship. “I didn’t want to sit idly on a wall as decoration, only to be appreciated when someone decides to walk up to it, or not walk up to it at all,” the artist told Grimy Goods.
“With the music video, I wanted to make something visceral. The idea of drowning, the splashing, the fighting of the waves, felt like such a parallel feeling to losing someone or something that you love, and you can’t really stop it or change it, the ocean is going to move how it moves, so you just have to learn to swim.”
And the surf does swell, divided into chapters on the track. Her rhythmic chanting ruminates on the present, until a heartbeat draws attention to passing time. The verses bounce with vigor, eventually accompanied by a cathartic wail. G.Smith lets the waves take away her burden.
Words: Zoë Elaine