Savannah Gates, left, and Melissa Collins hope their music heals listeners
Local lesbian duo MCSVG brings distinct feels to its music
RICH LOPEZ | Staff writer
This week marks the release of the new single “Let It Burn” from MCSVG, and the single has had quite a build-up. Melissa Collins (The MC in the name) and Savannah Gates (the SVG side) have dropped music before, but this new single feels like a significant moment for the Fort Worth-based duo, who are partners in life as well as in music. It highlights their approach to music as complex and thoughtful while also speaking to both queer audiences and real-life experiences.
Initially, the two were planning to release MCSVG’s debut EP this month. “Then life happened, so we closed that gap to move on,” Gates said.
But real life didn’t hold them up from creativity. If anything, that inspired the two to perfect their newest single and create more music.
“The production, writing and trying to get all the things working, and doing all the stuff that we do — it’s a lot to take on,” Collins said. “All of the emotion that comes with it, and sort of the mission that we have, we really end up putting a lot more care into the whole of it really.”
Which almost sums up MCSVG perfectly.
The two do have a mission with their music — or at least specific intention. What MCSVG wants to underline in their songs is healing. And however their music can speak to people, they are striving to do it in a way that’s meditative and maybe even cathartic for some.
But they aren’t doing this with just instinct and feeling. The two fuse a number of styles into their music, and they also talk about hearing music differently. But with that, they got some math in there, too.
“She spent a lot of time with rock bands and I’m more classical-music based,” Gates said of Collins. “With those interpretations together, it doesn’t fit a typical box. But also, we’ve spent a lot of time with different shamans and got into the research of ancient human frequencies and the power of singing bowls that are woven into our music.”
TikTok and Instagrammers might have scrolled across posts that say to listen to a tone for good luck or to fulfill a desire. This would be that. For the uninitiated, tones — or solfeggio frequencies rather — offer benefits to the human body and brain. With that mixed into their music, MCSVG is flipping the script on music with a message.
If you’re in a shitty mood, listen to a particular song. Usually that’s what most of us do. Depending on our feelings, some songs make us feel better. MCSVG takes that to a different level — or maybe sublevel.
“Let It Burn” has a tone of 741 hz which “helps with problem-solving, cleansing the body and self-expression.” So add that to the feel-good playlist.
“It’s like the best of both worlds: a song you might hear on the radio with that underneath, right,” Gates said. “You can reach people in different ways. People listen for different things, but then they are getting these micro-doses of good feelings for, say, four minutes.”
In their research, Collins and Gates explored the frequencies of love and healing to incorporate into their music. But in their approach to songs, they don’t think of writing a love song and then putting in that frequency.
They each communicate what’s going on and get it down on paper. Then they ricochet between each other to interpret it and create a song. But sometimes music is intended for certain audiences. They wanted to reach out to military veterans who’ve suffered trauma, and MCSVG’s research was specific to creating music.
“I wanted to reach out to those who served recently, so I determined what they were listening to while serving. It was a lot of ’90s rock, and so we took those sounds and instrumentation to fit in with a healing frequency that also meshed with those sounds,” Gates said.
Collins added, it’s like the universe gave us this key to do the thing we wanted.
The two came together primarily through their musical connection. Gates was managing a wine bar in Granbury, and Collins, originally from Kentucky, had been to Los Angeles before landing in Texas. Their connection blossomed after prior relationships didn’t work out for them both.
Who hasn’t been there, especially as queer people?
“I think there’s a huge part of our music that will resonate with queer listeners. We’re honest in our music about what life feels like sometimes,” Collins said. “Plus, we are in the community, so there’s that baseline to relate with.”
But MCSVG isn’t limited to just songwriting. The two are in the middle of creating a musical.
“I don’t know the timeline on it, but we started a musical targeting the queer community. I was watching Book of Mormon and how they addressed brutal subjects with humor, so that’s what we have in the pipeline.”
Learn more about MCSVG at MCSVG.com.