Adrienne LaVey Debuts Absinthe-Inspired Single “Goddess in a Glass”

Adrienne LaVey "Goddess in a Glass"
Singer and absinthe connoisseur Adrienne LaVey
Singer and absinthe connoisseur Adrienne LaVey (Photo credit: Rowan & Elle Studio)

Opera vocalist and absinthe enthusiast Adrienne LaVey is unveiling her first solo track titled “Goddess in a Glass” on National Absinthe Day, which is celebrated annually on March 5th. The song pays homage to the legendary and oft-misunderstood spirit, honoring the creative inspiration it incited in artists during the 19th century and beyond. It’s a beautiful ode that exquisitely captures the drink’s essence and true nature.

For those who aren’t aware, Adrienne LaVey is an aficionada when it comes to absinthe. Her YouTube channel is dedicated to educating people about the spirit, and she’s reviewed more than 50 brands. She’s also been training as a classical vocalist for over a decade. Her debut single unites her passion for both absinthe and opera.

The piano opens the track as other instrumentation joins in to deliver an enchanting neoclassical sound. Then, LaVey’s rich mezzo-soprano vocals add a layer of mysticism as she assumes the role of her song’s subject, the green goddess. She sings from the perspective of this deity in each verse, who beckons all artists to accept her offering of divine insight, calling out, “Drink my jade beauty/ Taste inspiration.” The chorus appears to take an omniscient stance, announcing and reinforcing the bounties the green goddess has to offer.

Drink my jade beauty
Taste inspiration

“Goddess in a Glass” by Adrienne LaVey

LaVey wrote the lyrics and does an excellent job conveying absinthe’s ability to open up the artistic senses and positively influence creativity and innovation. The vocalist has expressed her disappointment with how mainstream music and media depict the libation in a negative light and distort its effects. “Goddess in a Glass,” however, lays those misconceptions to rest and restores the spirit’s integrity.

For the orchestration, the singer collaborated with composer Tim Janssens who produced the neoclassical feel. The instrumentation along with LaVey’s voice meld together seamlessly, and at one point, the song builds to a magnificent crescendo full of haunting emotion and power. The way the performer sounds as she vocalizes a spellbinding melody before the final verse of the piece gave me goosebumps listening to it. There’s also a coldwave remix of the track created by dark-electro pop duo Male Tears, which is a tribute to LaVey’s connection to the goth subculture. It’s ethereal and danceable, and I thoroughly enjoyed this alternative version.

I also want to mention the album artwork. Artist Ambrus Andy Diossy, who created the labels for the prestigious absinthe brand Jade Liqueurs, created the illustration for the track. It features the green goddess lightly clad in a sheer cloth as she serenely floats in the liquid contained within the glass. The idea for the drinkware was actually inspired by a unique antique glass from Adrienne LaVey’s personal collection. The design is stunning and embodies the magic of the song.

I really wanted to get Adrienne LaVey’s input regarding her experience working on “Goddess in a Glass” and bringing this piece of music to life. In the following interview, we talk about her creative process and thoughts about the music.

Photo credit: Rowan & Elle Studio
Photo credit: Rowan & Elle Studio

Q: It’s wonderful to have you back, Adrienne, on Vamp Jenn’s Corner to talk about your debut single! The lyrics to “Goddess in a Glass” are absolutely beautiful. What was it like trying to capture all you wanted to express about the spirit through the lyrics? How did the words come together?

A: Thank you so much for having me back! And thank you for your kind words about my first single!

The words came to me in the same way that many artists have been struck after having a glass of absinthe. One night, I was thinking of how frustrated I was by how many songs were out there depicting absinthe in a negative light while I was drinking a glass of my favorite absinthe, which is Jade Terminus Oxygénée, and it hit me as if the Green Goddess herself was speaking to me through that glass I was imbibing. It’s only within the last 30 years that songs about absinthe have depicted it as drug-like, addictive, toxic, poisonous, yet songs made from the dawn of the 20th century through 1970 have described absinthe as everything from a lovely, cool, refreshing drink to a link between the doomed lovers Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud – no mention of tripping balls, being poisoned, or getting addicted. I find that funny.

I decided to break the cycle by letting the words come to me organically while I was still under the influence of that glass of absinthe that night. I imagined The Green Goddess speaking to the listener, who in this case is a frustrated artist turning to The Green Goddess for inspiration in their next great work, and that’s how the lyrics came together to become what you eventually hear in “Goddess in a Glass.” My favorite line of the entire song is the last one, which translates to “drink me, your destiny;” to me, that symbolizes how true absinthe lovers fall so in love with absinthe that it will become a significant part of their lives. Everyone, from forensic chemists turned master distillers like my friend Ted Breaux to stage performers who create an entire burlesque/cabaret show inspired by absinthe like my friend Mark Siano in Seattle to someone like me—a goth girl who is in love with the 19th century that started reviewing absinthe on her YouTube channel as part of that adoration—has had part of their life, in a sense, taken over by absinthe. Absinthe is a symbol of creativity, inspiration, and following your dreams, and that’s how The Green Goddess becomes your destiny.

It was rather difficult to put into words how absinthe makes me feel into a song that is less than four minutes, but I’m really happy with the final result that the producer and I came out with to fit the rhythm, feel, melody, and the time constraint.

Q: Let’s talk about your impressive voice. You’ve been classically training in voice for more than a decade. How did preparing your vocals for this song compare to how you prepare for your operatic pieces?

A: You’re so kind! First of all, singing in English is a challenge for me. It may not seem like it because it’s my first language, but after training to sing in Italian, French, Latin, German, and others for over a decade, English doesn’t come as naturally to the tongue and teeth for annunciating and articulating with operatic technique. However, I knew that I could reach a wider audience if the song was released in English. I am still considering releasing a French version of it in the distant future. I did have to sing a bit more conscientiously in the studio because I was singing in English, but I definitely think it worked out for the best.

Q: You collaborated with producer Tim Janssens on the music. How did you two decide on the instrumentation style and sound you wanted to create?

A: Tim was incredible. I was put into contact with him by fellow singer/songwriter Whitney Tai because he and I both had a background in classical music, and he is known for his full-blown cinematic orchestral producing, so it was a perfect fit. Both of us being classically trained, we could speak the same language and stay on the same page about creating the song. I definitely wanted the song to be in 6/8 time signature, because not only is it my favorite time signature, but it’s the most intoxicating time signature to work in. Most waltzes you hear in classical music are written in 6/8 time signature, and that fluidity translates so well into this song about absinthe by subconsciously making you want to dance and sway to it. I originally wanted piano, cello, and voice to be the focus with some darkwave elements thrown into it, but ultimately, I love the strictly orchestral approach that Tim took; it sounds like Gabriel Faure or Jules Massenet rose from the dead to dedicate a song to absinthe, and I’m very happy with the result. 

Photo credit: Rowan & Elle Studio
Photo credit: Rowan & Elle Studio

Q: I really enjoy the remix. How did the coldwave version come together?  

A: I’m so glad you enjoyed it! My husband actually enjoys the coldwave remix more than the original, but chacun à son goût! I got into contact and a lovely friendship with Edward from the band Male Tears. I found their work to be highly impressive as a new goth band making a splash in the LA goth scene. They at one point said they were interested in using samples of my vocals in an upcoming song, and I said I would also love for them to make a dance remix of my song, and thus the coldwave remix was born. It was a wonderful contrast between the warm, orchestral feel of the original and the cold, sonorous, dancy remix.

Q: What brand of absinthe or absinthe cocktail would you recommend drinking while listening to “Goddess in a Glass?”

A: I definitely recommend drinking a high-quality glass of absinthe while listening to “Goddess in a Glass”—preferably one that closely follows pre-ban standards like what Jade Liqueurs, La Clandestine, and Gron Opal produces. Or, if you’re fortunate enough to get your paws on pre-ban absinthe, I’m sure it’s a lovely experience to combine drinking absinthe as it was meant to be while listening to a truthful song about absinthe. Whatever you do, just don’t set it on fire or take it in shots. 

Q: Do you plan to write and create more songs about absinthe? If so, what sort of ideas do you have for those tracks? Any plans to record your new single in other languages?

A: For the moment, with my incredibly full schedule working full time as a healthcare worker, working on my YouTube content, working on my classical voice pursuits, it may not happen for a long while, but there is still a chance that absinthe might strike me as inspiration again for another song. There aren’t any plans to write any more songs as of now, but that might change! As for the language that the song might take, I think it will depend on the song in question.

I would also like to make recordings and singles of operatic repertoire in the future, not just my own music. One of the biggest compliments I’ve ever gotten on my YouTube channel is that people come to my channel convinced that they hate opera but walk away discovering new repertoire that they hadn’t heard before and enjoying hearing my voice singing that repertoire, ending up loving it! I plan to continue to do that with releases of singles.

Q: Finally, what’s on the horizon regarding your operatic training and other music projects?

A: I’ve recently auditioned for a small classical music organization in Seattle called the Ladies’ Musical Club—still waiting to hear back on whether I actually made it at the time of me answering these questions for this interview. Within the next couple of months, I’m planning on auditioning for the Puget Sound Concert Opera in the Seattle area, which I hope will be a great stepping stone to the Seattle Opera in the near future. I have a collaboration coming up with the new project Black Grimoire, which will be released at the end of March. If other collaborations come my way, I’ll be thrilled to get involved while I continue to chase my dream of being an opera singer.

Where to Stalk

Adrienne LaVey YouTube Channel





8 thoughts on “Adrienne LaVey Debuts Absinthe-Inspired Single “Goddess in a Glass”

  1. That was an interesting interview. I have to admit I did not know anything about absinthe until now. I looked it up and it seems to be an anise-flavored spirit with some additional herbs. I like Swedish punsh and Greek ouzo which are anise flavored spirits.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I didn’t know much about absinthe either until I watched her videos. I definitely recommend checking out her YouTube channel. She puts to rest many of the myths that surround it and her absinthe reviews are so informative.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The interview reminded me of my own prejudices (ignorance) about Absinthe. A friend of mine bought one on her honeymoon in Paris. On the flight home, her bottle broke. She raved about its taste. When I went to Paris, she asked me to bring her a bottle, which I did. I was a beer and wine woman and passed up the chance to taste any when at the store. She celebrated her first-year anniversary with that bottle of Absinthe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, absinthe from Paris! It’s definitely a misunderstood spirit, but it’s great that people like Adrienne are helping to dispel misconceptions. I’ve learned a lot. Thank you for checking out the feature.


  3. Absolutely lush and sensual, Jenn! In many expressions.

    At the most direct level, the terms warm absinthe itself. Doubly so they describe the artist and her mystique. True too of both LaVey’s poetry and even of her prose.

    This isn’t the first time we’ve discussed A, Jenn. You may recall licorice and I don’t deign, even, to acknowledge each other. This fills me with the most intense curiosity which, nonetheless, I never will answer.


    Liked by 1 person

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