“Well… everything has a beginning.”

These were the encouraging words of a beloved grandfather in a hospital bed who would not live to see the end of the year. He was speaking to his grandson over a video call. The young man had just played him fragments of an unfinished song, knowing it would be the last time his grandfather would ever hear him sing. Insecure and awkward, the grandson’s fingers stumbled over the frets of his guitar, his voice cracking while he fought back tears.

“It’s not much,” he murmured when he’d stopped playing. Through a ventilator, Grandpa Lavoie replied, “Well… everything has a beginning.”

That beginning would become Marquis Lavoie, a new indie/folk project by Boston based singer-songwriter Greg Marquis. Those delicate song fragments, formed out of grief for the loss of both grandparents that year and the impact of their love, would become “Perennial”, the first track off the debut album by Marquis Lavoie, Something Like This, But Not This, due out April 2nd, 2021.

The inception of Marquis Lavoie, a moniker formed to identify more with both of his family names, was born out of Marquis’ need to find stable ground during a mental crisis. He was grieving both adored grandparents, struggling with a troubled family relationship, and attempting to recover from multiple bouts of romantic turmoil, all while coming to terms with his spiraling mental health. In the midst of it all, he could not wrap his head around who or what he was supposed to be.

Picking up the acoustic guitar he had abandoned years ago for reasons he couldn’t remember, Marquis allowed grief, confusion and desperation to ring in the notes. As he continued to play idly for nothing more than the sake of playing, he began to soothe his own heartache and, in the process, rediscover what he’d loved about playing all along – the ability to express what can’t otherwise be expressed.

The journey to create the first album gradually became a vehicle for both personal and professional growth. Much of it had to be DIY due to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The whole process not only demanded Marquis improve his skills as a musician, but develop himself as a composer, arranger, producer, audio engineer and art director, even creating an ad-hoc recording studio with his roommates during lockdown in the basement of their apartment, where the tracking was ultimately finished. Through much determination, and with the help and collaboration of numerous talented friends, the album bloomed into a full and rich experience.

The resulting sound of Something Like This is a consoling blend of effortless fingerpicking and wilting vocals tinged with bluesy heartache and accented by the harmonic tenderness of a cello-driven ensemble. Altogether, the entire record is a soul-satisfying musical representation of love, loss, and reluctant acceptance giving way to a deeper appreciation for life’s rare and fleeting moments of genuine human connection.