SONG PREMIERE: Louise Goffin Crafts Infectious and Orchestral Power Pop Anthem with “Oh My God”

For Louise Goffin, being a musician isn’t a linear job. It’s a circular and collaborative career. The daughter of songwriting legends Carole King and Gerry Goffin, she has been making her own contributions to the family legacy throughout her multi-decade career, releasing ten solo albums along the way. She turns a new page with 2020’s Two Different Movies (out June 12th), a cinematic record that finds its creator nodding to multiple influences — including classic pop, rootsy rock & roll, jazzy piano ballads, strutting glam, and the California folk-pop that’s emanated from her Laurel Canyon stomping grounds for decades — throughout a ten-song track list that highlights not only her sharp songwriting, but also her ability to breathe new life into familiar sounds. The album doesn’t pay much attention to the boundaries between genres. Instead, it draws up its own sort of musical map, focusing upon the timeless combination of a live band and a songwriter at the top of her game.

Two Different Movies nods to the entrepreneurial spirit that has run throughout Goffin’s long career, from her days as a major-label act to her current status as an independent, business-savvy self-starter. Raised by creative parents whose passion for songwriting proved to be contagious, Goffin became a dedicated musician at an early age, opening for Jackson Browne at the world-famous Troubadour at 17 years old and releasing her debut, Kid Blue, while still a teenager. Since then, she’s played multiple roles within the music industry, both onstage and off. Her multi-instrumentalist skills have found her sharing the stage with other artists, including a worldwide tour with Tears For Fears as lead guitarist and harmony vocalist. Meanwhile, her familiarity with the recording studio — recently sharpened by a six-month course at The Blackbird Academy in Nashville — has received similar recognition, with Goffin serving as the producer of Carole King’s Grammy-nominated A Holiday Carole (an album for which she also wrote much-needed new seasonal songs, such as “Christmas Paradise” and “New Year’s Day”). A natural historian who remains dedicated to exploring, preserving, and demystifying the iconic songs that have become part of our lives, she’s also the woman behind the new Song Chronicles podcast, the successor to the acclaimed podcast she co-hosted with Paul Zollo, The Great Song Adventure.

With Two Different Movies, though, she teams up with a cast of likeminded musicians who are similarly driven, including orchestral arranger Van Dyke Parks, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers’ Benmont Tench, world-renowned pedal steel player Greg Leisz, legendary drummer Charley Drayton, and four-time Grammy winning co-producer Dave Way, and many others. The same collaborators also appeared on her 2018 release, All These Hellos. As a result, Two Different Movies feels warm and inviting — an album of love songs, breakup ballads, and self-reflective tracks that are somehow both intimately personal and universal.

Today Glide is premiering “Oh My God,” one of the standout singles on the new album. With melancholy vocals complemented by an even sadder organ and a truly affecting string section, the song brings to mind artists like John Lennon as Goffin stretches out her verses and builds the emotion alongside rich orchestration. Between the catchy chorus and the bittersweet lyrics, she constructs a commanding piece of folk-infused power pop. There is a gentle swelling to the instrumentation that builds up into an enchanting finale that is at once ominous and uplifting in the way that is sounds like the end of a dramatic film score. 

Goffin shares the inspiration and process behind the song:

“In a weird way, the lyrics to this song were almost prophetic, because it’s about something big happening. I had made a demo of this song in my home studio, with me singing phonetic dummy lyrics and occasionally putting in a keeper line, but it wasn’t anywhere close to a finished song.

When the opportunity came to make a record with [co-producer] Dave Way, he wanted us to cut this song even though it wasn’t finished. I struggled for months to write a lyric for ‘Oh My God’ and still didn’t have anything to sing by the time Van Dyke Parks booked a twenty-five piece orchestra in The Village to record the spectacular arrangement he’d written for it.

I don’t think I’ve ever gone so far down the line in a recording as with this song and written the lyrics so late in the process. It amazes me to have the lines “with songs drifting over the rooftops between the stars and the lights” that were written several years before the pandemic, where constantly people are posting pictures of people on rooftops playing music together while they shelter at home.”

LISTEN:

Photo Credit: Amanda Bjorn

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