“I was driving by one of those neighborhoods where every house looks exactly the same,” Geoffroy tells American Songwriter. “These places have always made me feel a little uneasy, so right then, I thought I’d use that image in a music video someday, backdropped amongst wider examples of absurdities humans have managed to accomplish and establish as ‘normal’ in our societies. All to say: a shift in our values—in the way we think and conceive the world—is our only way out.”
For the 33-year-old Canadian singer-songwriter, this level of thought is standard fare for arriving at the moving, indie-folk masterpieces he’s become known for. Since the mid-2010s, he’s explored his world-view and philosophy in songs and records that have garnered millions of streams and endeared him as one of Quebec’s rising voices. Now, on June 24, he’s released “Cold World,” the result of his aforementioned rumination on the ticky-tacky neighborhood he once found himself in.
“As I started putting my thoughts on paper during the confinement of 2020, the lyrics for ‘Cold World’ took shape,” Geoffroy said. “The song puts forward a reflection on the state of the world today and the faulty belief systems anchored at the core of our society. I wanted to deliver a criticism of a society based on individualism and egoism, driven by greed and an endless pursuit for growth, innovation and profit.”
Inspired by songwriters like Nick Drake, Paul Simon, Ry Cooder and more, there’s a pensive eloquence to Geoffroy’s sound. While the thematic meat of “Cold World” is fairly heavy and existential, its floating melodies and ethereal arrangement make for the grand sum to be something touchingly beautiful, something inspiring. Paired with a poignant music video—featuring some visual depictions of the phenomena the song tackles—“Cold World” is an exciting, declarative moment for Geoffroy. Coming ahead of his third full-length—Live Slow Die Wise, due in 2022—it’s the first offering from an equally potent body of work, proving his belief in the power of music.
“I’d like ‘Cold World’ to be a reminder for acceptance, respect, empathy and love,” Geoffroy said. “A reminder that if we go on like this forever, then ‘forever’ might be shorter than we expect. We need to realign our values and priorities and act in accordance with those altruistic values. We need to move away from our individualistic mindset and rather work together for the collective good. As Alan Watts paraphrased it: ‘When the wrong man uses the right means, the right means work in the wrong way. In other words—there’s something wrong with the way we think, and while that is there, everything we do will be a mess.’”
Geoffroy’s new album Live Slow Die Wise is due in 2022—watch the music video for its first single, “Cold World” below: