The Sound of Healing: Ghostly Kisses’ “Darkroom”

Ghostly Kisses by Fred Gervais

We spoke to Ghostly Kisses about “Darkroom”, their highly anticipated sophomore album out now on Akira Records. The French Canadian duo, Margaux Sauvé and Louis-Étienne Santais blend intimate fan-submitted stories with dark electronic pop across 12 tracks, further deepened by their “Box of Secrets” project. Building on the success of their debut album Heaven, Wait, which reached 150 million streams, “Darkroom” has already made strides with hits like “On & Off,” winner of the Biiblii International Track of The Year. Aside from their recording achievements, Ghostly Kisses enhances their global rapport through extensive touring, now prepping for their largest UK/EU tour to date, which includes multiple sold-out venues among its 22 stops.

KALTBLUT: Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind your sophomore album, “Darkroom”?

The inspiration behind “Darkroom” stems from an exploration of the human psyche through different stories and confessions shared by our fan community. 

The album title itself evokes the idea of a space where we develop our innermost thoughts and feelings, much like a darkroom in photography. Each track is a snapshot of a different emotional landscape, revealing themes expressed by our fanbase.

KALTBLUT: The “Box of Secrets” project sounds like a truly unique and collaborative endeavour. How did the anonymous stories shared by your global fanbase influence the direction and themes of the album?

I wanted to learn more about them, to create a sort of a conversation through the music and the lyrics of “Darkroom”. Their anonymous stories served as both inspiration and validation, reaffirming the universality of certain struggles lived by many people, in the themes of unrequited love, loss, life path, resilience, etc. Each song evokes themes expressed on the “Box of Secrets”.

KALTBLUT: Your upcoming album touches on a wide range of emotions and personal experiences, how do you navigate these complex topics through your music, and what message do you hope listeners take away from the album?
Navigating complex topics through music is both a challenge and a privilege. I strive to approach each song with honesty and empathy, drawing from my own experiences as well as those shared with me through the “Box of Secrets”. My hope is that listeners will find solace and connection in the music, realizing that they are not alone in their struggles. Ultimately, I aim to inspire a sense of hope and empowerment, reminding listeners of their own strength and resilience.

KALTBLUT: Could you walk us through the creative process behind some of the tracks on “Darkroom,” such as “Keep It Real” and “Golden Eyes”?

“Keep It Real” stands out as one of the most impactful tracks on the album. Its tone is steeped in melancholy, articulating the profound pain and disillusionment that accompanies being in a relationship where the other person lacks sincerity. It conveys a sense of confusion and frustration about the other person’s true feelings and intentions. It was inspired by the narratives shared in the “Box of Secrets”, where individuals wrestled with deciphering the thoughts of others and sought to shed light on complex situations. I wanted to transmit a feeling of strength affirming your limit in a situation like that, knowing that people don’t have the ability to change the other, but have control over their view on the situation and their own self-respect. One could almost hear “Keep It Real” as a dialog between a strong character that drives everything forward, demanding clarity (vocals, drums) and this troubled, doubled-faced, and ever-changing character that can act deceitfully (synths, bends, samples, etc.).

In “Golden Eyes”, I talk about being in love with my best friend and how gauche I felt when I finally admitted it to him. I also wrote these lyrics in reaction to the “Box of Secrets” testimonies; about how hard and vertiginous it can be to express our true feelings to someone that we really love. The verses are intimate, almost like I’m revealing a secret, and then the music opens in the choruses, uplifting the song with light and affirmative melodies.

KALTBLUT: The announcement of your biggest UK/EU tour to date is incredibly exciting. How do you envision translating the intimate and introspective nature of your music into captivating live performances on such a large scale?

Throughout much of 2024, our efforts have been concentrated on crafting an immersive live experience. This endeavor will showcase a fresh stage design, drawing thematic inspiration from “Darkroom,” and will feature numerous tracks from our forthcoming album. Our emphasis on infusing our creations with greater contrast has been pivotal over the past year, and we’ve diligently explored methods to seamlessly integrate this philosophy into our live shows.

Yet, another focus is to approach each show with vulnerability and authenticity, inviting the audience into our world and inviting them to experience the music in a deeper, more visceral way. Through evocative lighting, and dynamic arrangements, I think that it remains a deep introspective experience that resonates long after the final notes.

KALTBLUT: With your music resonating so deeply with fans from countries around the world, how do you see the role of music in providing solace and connection for individuals in challenging circumstances?

Music has a unique ability to transcend boundaries and unite people from all walks of life. In times of hardship and uncertainty, it serves as a source of solace, comfort, and connection. Whether through shared experiences or simply the power of a melody, music has the potential to uplift spirits, heal wounds, and foster a sense of community. As an artist, I am grateful for the opportunity to play a small part in this larger tapestry of human experience.

KALTBLUT: Given the success of your previous album and the anticipation surrounding “Darkroom,” how do you balance the pressure of expectations with staying true to your artistic vision and maintaining authenticity in your music?

I strive to approach each new project with a sense of curiosity and experimentation, allowing myself the freedom to explore new sounds and ideas while remaining grounded in my core values as an artist. Ultimately, my goal is to create music that resonates authentically with both me and my audience, trusting that sincerity will always shine through.
KALTBLUT: Looking ahead, what do you hope to achieve with the release of “Darkroom” and the upcoming tour, and what new horizons do you see Ghostly Kisses exploring in the future? 

I hope to reach new audiences and deepen my connection with existing fans. I see this album as a stepping stone towards new horizons creatively. Moving forward, I am excited to continue pushing boundaries, exploring new sonic landscapes, and challenging myself as an artist. Whether through music, visuals, or other creative endeavors, I look forward to the journey ahead.


Darkroom is out now: