“Maybe the music is the saving grace”: Still Woozy’s Sven Gamsky Gets Comfortable with ‘Loveseat’

Still Woozy 'Loveseat' © Alex Kennedy
Still Woozy 'Loveseat' © Alex Kennedy
Still Woozy’s Sven Gamsky connects with Atwood Magazine to discuss his second record ‘Loveseat,’ a warmhearted collection of tracks about those who mean the most to him.
Stream: ‘Loveseat’ – Still Woozy

On his debut album, Still Woozy had two speeds: The glaringly obvious and the complex riddle.

His magic was found in his production, exciting and familiar all at once, infecting well-known and well-loved bedroom pop with fidgety guitar riffs and sleepy vocals.

From the first record, one can tell that Portland-based singer/songwriter and producer Sven Gamsky’s talent is undeniable: He not only created art, but also an artist that lives in a world of his own. Still Woozy’s sound is singular, and each track invites the listener into the realm of daydreams and delusions. Now, Still Woozy returns with his second record Loveseat (out June 28, 2024 via Interscope Records), which marries his signature fantastical sound with the mundane magic of human relationships. In Gamsky’s own words, “Every song on the record is about someone I love.”

Loveseat - Still Woozy
Loveseat – Still Woozy

Cooks” fans will sink their teeth into the gooey instrumentation of “Lemon,” and “Goodie Bag” enthusiasts will relish the spooky distortion of “Run it Back.” “Big Fish” may be the most surprising track on the record: Possessed by the hammered-dulcimer wielding spirit of George Harrison, Gamsky dedicates a cradle song to his father.

Rid of Me” closes the record, a bittersweet ballad that is a perfect contrast to not only the other songs on the record, but all other Still Woozy songs. Gamsky strips naked with only a guitar and a piano to accompany him. He takes his time, taking care to breathe and pause to pack this punch: “You can’t get rid of me so easily.”

Still Woozy 'Loveseat' © Alex Kennedy
Still Woozy ‘Loveseat’ © Alex Kennedy

On Still Woozy’s sophomore album, Sven Gamsky returns with his feet planted more firmly in his artistry, offering a sweet and thoughtful record dedicated to the people who have made him.

Atwood Magazine recently sat down with Gamsky to discuss who Still Woozy is and what Loveseat means to him. Read more in our interview below!

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:: stream/purchase Loveseat here ::
:: connect with Still Woozy here ::
Stream: “Run It Back” – Still Woozy


Loveseat - Still Woozy

Atwood Magazine: I am loving Loveseat! I can’t believe it’s only your second record, I feel like I have been listening to you for ages.

Gamsky: Thanks so much!

Every interview I read asks something along the lines of, “How did being in The Bay inspire you?” But The Bay is mostly tech bros and fog, it’s not necessarily the most musically inspiring atmosphere.

Gamsky: I know! What’s inspiring about that? I always have the same answer: it wasn’t about the place it was about the internet. That’s how I was exposed to what was happening. I would go on SoundCloud or YouTube and see what people were creating.

Still Woozy 'Loveseat' © Alex Kennedy
Still Woozy ‘Loveseat’ © Alex Kennedy

The music you tend to talk about is heavy singer/songwriter, like Hank Williams or Robert Johnson. But, your music is not necessarily described as singer-songwriter. What is it about that realm that resonates with you?

Gamsky: Music has to meet a threshold of this feeling. It has to feel like a place you want to live in. It’s good for your soul. What’s great about music is that there is so much of it. You don’t have to compete and there is lots of variety. Some music is more intense but I am more drawn to the music that brings you back to the present moment.

Those artists and that time period tend to deal with heavy subject matter. That is not comfortable for a lot of people, but the sound is still nostalgic. Do you feel that separation between lyricism and instrumentation?

Gamsky: Definitely. The things I write about are always more intense than they seem. A couple years ago I played a show in Oakland, and someone said to me “It’s so happy!” I was so confused by that. I never sit down to write music when I’m happy. Lyrics always end up being darker than the music to me. Maybe the music is the saving grace in that way, so you can digest some of those darker things.

Still Woozy has a very distinct sound. It’s a constant, and what listeners associate “a vibe” with you, for lack of a better term. How did you find this sound?

Gamsky: When you make everything yourself, you notice your natural tendencies. When you layer over yourself, the similarities become obvious. This works to my advantage because I can experiment with different styles, but it still feels like me. When I collaborate with people, my vision gets diluted and I feel less like myself. There are classic “Woozy” sounds. There are degrees within that, but it comes pretty naturally to me.

Still Woozy 'Loveseat' © Alex Kennedy
Still Woozy ‘Loveseat’ © Alex Kennedy

This record is full of love songs! Can you touch on that?

Gamsky: I would actually say that only half of them are. The other half are about friends and other relationships.

Right, not necessarily romantic love. Just that you are writing with someone specific in mind.

Gamsky: Yeah, that’s why I wanted to call it Loveseat. The album cover is these two creatures sitting, crying, and supporting each other. That’s what the record feels like. It’s about storytelling for me.

I loved “Frida Kahlo.” It sounds a bit different from your other tracks.

Gamsky: Yeah, with that one I tried out this fantasy world. It was pouring rain when I started writing it, and that’s where the first line came from: “The rain is knocking on my window.” It wasn’t necessarily an experience I had.

Still Woozy 'Loveseat' © Alex Kennedy
Still Woozy ‘Loveseat’ © Alex Kennedy

You’ve described yourself as “nitpicky” when it comes to collaboration. Do you prefer working alone?

Gamsky: I think it depends. A lot of times you listen to songs with features on them, and you can hear that it didn’t make the song better. Collaboration is essential to music and to the culture, but when it’s done right. If it’s done with mutual respect and love for the art, then it’s amazing.

Do you ever find yourself needing help or backup?

Gamsky: I will ask for help and source opinions, but it has to pass my test at the end of the day.

What is your test?

Gamsky: It’s the most annoying test ever. You know how your moods and emotions change? I think of it as this kaleidoscopic journey. When you ask yourself if something is working, you have to look through that kaleidoscope. It’s really hard to know. I do the same thing with music. I have to leave it alone for a bit and come back to that kaleidoscope.

So when is a Still Woozy song finished?

Gamsky: When I can’t do anything else to it. This whole “Still Woozy” project is about trusting my intuition.

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:: stream/purchase Loveseat here ::
:: connect with Still Woozy here ::
Stream: “Again” – Still Woozy

— — — —

Loveseat - Still Woozy

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an album by Still Woozy

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