If you’ve ever eaten a crêpe, chances are you still recall what it tastes like, no matter how much time has elapsed. A staple of French cuisine, crêpes are always light, soft and crispy. The real excitement comes with breaking one apart and discovering the filling: usually jam, chocolate or cheese.
French-American artist Eliza Grégoire’s solo music project, crêpe girl, and the audio bliss she cooks up with it. If it were on a menu, her music would be described as “catchy, crisp and cheerful.” In scientific terms, Grégoire’s combining of sweet smells and whimsical sounds is called olfactory-auditory synesthesia.
Just as cooking crêpes requires a great deal of care and patience, so does Grégoire while crafting her delectable, sumptuous music. Equally impressive is how crêpe girl carefully and successfully walks the balance beam to ensure her authentic songs don’t fall into the pit of preciousness.
All of which is to say that crêpe girl bucks clichés, knowing even at age 22 that such manufactured music usually comes with a built-in, short-term expiration date. If she and her growing legion of fans get their druthers, Grégoire’s uplifting, barebones pop music will stand a much longer test of time.
Born to French parents living in an Indiana household where only that language was spoken, Grégoire spent much of her youth racing bikes, rock climbing — activities that distracted her from self-reflection and self-expression. Grégoire went to college in Colorado on a bike racing scholarship. It was an apt ambition, given that she grew up among family members who raced cars.
But more than anything else, “I wanted to get out of Indiana,” she admits.
Ironically, Grégoire quickly lost interest in bike racing once she arrived at college. It was then that she realized her true passion.
“I had always had the music in me, but I’d never been able to fully express that because I was in such a different mindset,” she reminisces. “I was more like, ‘I need to win and I need to be better. My body needs to be better.’ Then I was able to first create the crêpe stand, which was actually very much an art and creative project.”
With her ability for self-expression finally unleashed, and her crêpe stand flourishing, the multi-tasking master beelined for an even more artistic pursuit: music. While Grégoire finally realized what she wanted to do with her life, she started selling her homemade crêpes outside concerts. Call it killing two birds with one … crêpe.
“I always wanted to make pop songs,” she says. “A chef and a bartender back in Grand Junction … brought up to me that food and music are actually extremely similar. That’s why I think I feel so at home with both of them in a similar way. And they bring comfort and happiness to people.”
While she is undeniably a multi-hyphenate, it is crêpe girl’s songs that are sating the appetites of music fans hungering for delicious, enlivening pop tunes. Currently based in Los Angeles after a four-year stint in Colorado, crêpe girl is now quickly developing an avid fanbase, and she already counts Mac DeMarco and Del Water Gap among her supporters.
“Both of them are, I would confidently say, idols and mentors of mine,” Grégoire says, adding that she and DeMarco share a common bond in taking a lighthearted approach to making music. “They are probably the biggest driving forces that I’ve had when it comes to inspiration. It was magical to meet them.”
Grégoire’s run-in with DeMarco is, in keeping with both their personalities, an amusing – and serendipitous – anecdote that she enjoys recounting. The chance encounter also involved another one of Grégoire’s heroes, Internet sensation-turned-singer/songwriter Clairo; the encounter happened while crêpe girl did her thing at a Clairo concert.
“I was making crêpes backstage for Clairo’s band and crew before her show, and Mac happened to show up at my stand,” the starry-eyed Grégoire’s recalls. “That’s how I met him! Red Rocks was the next day, and Mac invited me to the show.”
“I had a dream weekend, really, the best weekend of my life at that point,” the young artist reminisces. “I had a four-hour drive home and thought to myself, ‘I could do something that combines crêpes with music.’ I became motivated to pursue this crazy new approach to the experience of music.”
Grégoire started slipping out songs on Bandcamp, beginning with “Loverboy” in September 2020. She then put out “I Try,” “You” and “Found” over the ensuing months. She collected those four songs and added one more (“Stick Around”) to make Le Début, her romance-theme debut EP that landed in June 2021. A six-song follow-up EP, Deux, followed in November 2022. The bulk of the tracks featured on it are ones that Grégoire previously posted on SoundCloud.
Grégoire, who is currently enrolled at the prestigious Berklee College of Music online, says releasing songs individually allows her to exhibit her musical dexterity.
“I can go from a more rock-sounding song straight into a really poppy song and then somewhere in the middle,” she notes.
While Grégoire’s debut album doesn’t have a release date yet, expect it revolve at least partially around her anxiety living in L.A. as a still-recent transplant. Don’t anticipate her rushing to release a proper debut; crêpe girl is so wedded to the artistic value of her music, instead of its financial potential, that she has already turned down multiple offers with various music industry executives.
Irrefutably, Grégoire doesn’t sound like a crêpe-maker-turned-musician who’s in it just for the dough.
Likewise, crêpe girl isn’t prioritizing trendy, corporate-inspired frivolities such as working on her “brand” or gaining millions of followers through social media alone. Grégoire would rather continue honing her craft instead of spending untold hours on marketing and promotional efforts — not to mention they would potentially clash with the intimate approach she takes with her art.
crêpe girl cracking the music industry sounds like something out of American Idol, given her illustrious background. But her music is anything but banal. Grégoire maintains a low volume with her vocals throughout her songs. Her recipe is so undeniably strong that she need not resort to over-emoting, spectacle, gimmicks or plain old bluster to win over new fans. crêpe girl’s glimmering music and soul-baring lyrics are so moving and powerful that she doesn’t need to lean on any crutches. She’s the real deal.
Grégoire is still in the habit of dropping new songs one by one on TikTok. But on the horizon is a new EP she will release on Boy Pablo’s record label, 777 Music, and a bright bouquet of a future as a musician, songwriter and, yes, crafter of crêpes.