Translations prior to Fall 2013 are currently unavailable. 

Après une ascension spectaculaire dans le paysage de la chanson pop avec un premier album remarqué (Victoire de la chanson de l’année pour « Comme des enfants », deux Félix – Révélation de l’année et Artiste s’étantl le plus illustrée hors Québec, nommée dansla longue liste des Prix Polaris et aux Juno), Coeur de pirate est de retour avec sous le bras Blonde, enregistré à l’été 2011 à l’Hotel2Tango à Montréal avec le réputé Howard Bilerman (The Dears, Arcade Fire), coréalisateur avec elle.

Béatrice Martin avait mis tout un pan de son adolescence en chansons sur son premier album homonyme, et ce faisant, c’est comme si elle avait ouvert son journal intime. « Coeur de pirate a pris de l’ampleur assez rapidement, convient-elle. Au début je ne savais pas comment gérer tout ça. J’avais toujours été la fille invisible. Tout d’un coup, j’ai été projetée dans un monde qui m’a forcée à grandir très vite, un monde où j’avais perdu mes repères… Mes premières années en tant que Coeur de pirate m’ont fait vivre des sensations fortes et ça, ça me donne toujours envie d’écrire des chansons. »

Aujourd’hui son adolescence est derrière elle,mais ses chansons témoignent d’une intériorité toujours aussi mouvementée : « À momentdonné, j’ai réalisé que je projetais l’image d’une fille au-dessus de ses affaires, mais quand les gens venaient me parler dans la rue, je ne savais pas quoi leur dire, je n’arrivais pas à gérer ce qui se passait. J’ai donc écrit, dans cet état-là, des chansons qui parlent de relations interpersonnelles compliquées et autodestructrices. » Les siennes, mais aussi celles de personnages en orbite autour d’elle comme « Ava », l’histoire d’une prostituée croisée dans un bar qui lui a confié être amoureuse de son proxénète.

Blonde pour la couleur de sa chevelure, mais aussi au sens d’amoureuse. « C’est l’album d’une co-dépendante, d’une fille qui a vécu pour l’autre et qui veut faire la paix avec son passé amoureux. Les filles vont s’y retrouver, » croit la Montréalaise. Musicalement, on sent l’influence de la pop des années 60, on pense Françoise Hardy ou Nancy Sinatra et l’on remarque que le piano est moins présent que par le passé. Les arrangements étoffés (signés Michel Rault) sont à souligner. Le premier extrait, « Adieu », rapproche Coeur de pirate de la pop raffinée et oblique de la Suédoise Lykke Li.

Entre ses débuts comme phénomène MySpace et la star adulée se produisant devant des auditoires de plus en plus vastes qu’elle est devenue tant en France qu’au Québec, Béatrice Martin a porté la flame olympique, chanté pour Coke, twitté frénétiquement, prêté sa voix au personnage de la Schtroumphette lors de la sortie française du film Les Schtroumphs, reçu la benediction des Inrockuptibles, et partagé le micro avec Robert Charlebois, Francis Cabrel, Julien Doré, Les Trois Accords, Nicolas

Sirkis (Indochine), David Usher et Jay Malinowski de Bedouin Soundclash, avec qui elle a fondé le groupe Armistice et lancé un maxi en février 2011.

La romantique aux bras tatoués en a fait du chemin en trois ans. Face à la « hype » et aux détracteurs, est-elle mieux armée qu’à ses débuts? « Apparemment, le statut de personnalité publique implique que les gens puissant te dire leur façon de penser sans crier gare, dans la rue, sur Internet. J’ai beau dire que j’ai changé, je pense que je ne serai jamais à l’abri de mes insécurités… Ça fait mal des fois, mais on finit par passer au travers. »

Et Béatrice en convient : tout l’amour que lui renvoie le public au centuple est un baume puissant pour réparer les coeurs écorchés.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Perspective.
It’s something we all want. It’s something we all think we have. Yet it’s something few truly understand, and many misunderstand. Lack of perspective keeps some from getting the most out of life and others remaining bitter, angry, and out-of-touch to the world’s realities. Still others view the world from too narrow a perspective that closes their eyes to what matters most. One definition, according to the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, is “a mental view of the relative importance of things.”

Perspective is something Dan Mangan sings about a lot on his latest album Oh, Fortune, released in September. It’s one of many themes and metaphors he mines from the recesses of his mind. The Vancouver singer-songwriter’s last disc Nice, Nice, Very Nice (2009) certainly exceeded his expectations; it helped him put his music career into perspective while opening many doors. The record was his coming-out party, if you will. It was shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize, it won iTunes Album of the Year in the singer-songwriter category, and he was named XM The Verge Artist of the Year, an honour that came with a $25,000 prize..

“What I’ve learned is that it’s okay to not have the right answer… I don’t need to suffer because I haven’t figured it out.”

Words + Music caught up with Mangan in the musician’s perennial home away from home – the tour van – following the white line and passing the time talking about the 11 choice cuts on Oh, Fortune, which debuted at No. 9 on the Soundscan charts.

One of the songs that speaks directly about perspective is “Leaves, Trees, Forest.” “That song is about isolation, and it’s also about perspective,” says Mangan. “The idea is that when you are focused on the leaves, then all you see are the leaves. When you focus on the tree, you forget the leaf, and all you see is the tree. Then, when you look at a great distance, you see the forest in its entirety. You are now so disconnected from how incredibly intricate and marvellous that leaf was in the first place.

“That’s a metaphor for a lot of things,” he adds. “The world is very chaotic with a lot going on… Trying to give yourself as much perspective as you can is really all you can do. What I’ve learned is that it’s okay to not have the right answer. It’s okay to say, it’s bigger than me and I don’t need to suffer because I haven’t figured it out.”

Like Grammy-award winner Daniel Lanois, Mangan is also fascinated by sonic textures. He appreciates both the sounds and the emotional places where they take him. “I love how different sounds make me feel,” he says.

On Oh, Fortune, those sounds lead down some roads less taken. The literate songsmith opens listeners’ eyes and ears to many issues without preaching or teaching. Through metaphor and music, Mangan sends a message; but, when asked about it, he says he’s not trying to enlighten anybody.
“I don’t give myself enough credit to do that,” he says. “It’s just my own mental process to take the thoughts in my head and put them to music… I’ve written a lot of songs in my life. I’ve changed perspective of the songwriter and that voice. My last record, a lot of it was stream-of-consciousness and my perspective.

“With this record, there are more narratives – fictional or non-fictional characters,” Mangan continues. “We [me and my band] spend a lot of time on the road, and we meet a ton of people – gas station attendants in the middle of nowhere, for example. You stop, top up the tank, buy a cup of coffee, and you look at someone and you think, ‘What is your life like?’ It’s got to be very different from mine. Having spent the last few years travelling around the world, it’s inspiring. It reminds you how different everyone is.”

While Mangan feels the new record is the “most honest representation of my thoughts and the noises in my head,” the cut he’s most proud of is “Jeopardy.” The song starts off very personally and then branches into broader territory.

“It’s a very healthy thing to get vulnerable sometimes,” Mangan explains. “One of the lines in that song I am most proud of is: ‘What happens if all flags burn together?’ It’s this idea that everybody has this age-old one-up on each other, looking at each other and seeing where they stand in the structure. If I burn my flag and you don’t burn yours, it’s sort of like I’ve gotten vulnerable and you haven’t.

“You don’t want to get vulnerable,” he adds. “But what if we all burn the flags at the same time and just go back to zero? Maybe that’s unity… Maybe that’s letting go and all being vulnerable together.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


He’s known for his amazing country ballad “Trail In Life,” but British Columbia’s Dean Brody truly knows what it means to have trials in life.

In the past three years alone, the 36-year-old singer and songwriter – a recent hat trick winner at the 2011 Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) Awards for Album (Trail In Life), and for Single and Songwriter of the Year (both for “Trail In Life”) – has survived both life-threatening and career-threatening episodes and come out smiling on the other side.

When he was promoting his first album, the self-titled Dean Brody, in the U.S. in 2009, a waterskiing adventure on the Potomac almost killed his career before its momentum began.

“I hit my face with a waterski and had to get reconstructive facial surgery,” recalls the former sawmill worker. “They put in three titanium plates and 12 screws to elevate my face back to where it was. It had kind of caved in a bit.”

The painfully slow recovery took a few months and Brody admits there were concerns as to whether he’d be back to his old self.

“There were some scary moments,” Brody concedes. “When they’re (surgically) reconstructing, they were actually boring out and rebuilding the sinuses, so it was a pretty freaky thing. I was wondering whether I was going to have the same tone or whether my voice would change. But it didn’t. Everything worked out in the end.”

“My most inspired moments are usually when I’m not even thinking about music.”

Brody admits he was initially a little jumpy when he entered the studio for his first post-surgery session with producer Matt Rovey.

“It was funny because when I first started singing again, I could hear a rattle in my head, and it felt like maybe there was something loose, so I’m freaking out,” Brody chuckles. “I’m looking at my producer Matt and he’s saying, ‘No – there’s nothing coming through on the mic, anyways. You’re safe!’”

Brody has also shown the same resilience when it comes to his recording career. Relocating to Nashville and signed to Broken Bow Records (home of U.S. indie chart-topper Jason Aldean), Brody found his first single, 2009’s “Brothers,” breaking into the Top 30 of Billboard’s U.S. country singles charts. It was also named 2009 Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) Single of the Year. For a while, the future looked rosy.

According to Brody, however, Broken Bow then issued an ultimatum that made it impossible for him to continue with them.

“The reason I ended up leaving the U.S. was because Broken Bow wanted me to go with their management,” Brody explains. “I said, ‘No, I can’t do that,’ and they said, ‘Well, if you don’t, we will pull funding from your singles.’ Then they said, ‘We’re going to take away your ability to work legally in the U.S.’ I told them, ‘If you do that, I have to go back to Canada,’ and they said, ‘Yeah, it’s just business, Dean.’”

After negotiating his release from the label and having his work visa cancelled, Brody, his wife Iris, and their two children relocated to Chester, Nova Scotia. He signed with Open Road Recordings, issuing the sophomore Trail In Life in late summer 2010, and is feeling re-energized.
“I have creative freedom,” states Brody. “I’m allowed to put the songs I want on my records. That means a lot to me, man. The guy at my first record label wouldn’t let me put ‘Trail In Life’ on the first album.

“I feel like I’m in a really great spot creatively, and there’s something about the U.S. market and the U.S. machine – at least the one that I was involved in – that took away that joy and that fire of creating and loving music – it kind of doused that. Whereas here, I feel like I’m alive again and ready to go.”

Broken Bow’s loss is Open Road’s gain. The title track “Trail In Life” – a tender and poetic take on reconnection that cleverly spans generations – deservedly won the aforementioned CCMA 2011 Song of the Year honour and reveals Brody’s depth as a writer.

“I think a lot of my songs are a melding of my own personal experiences and also me trying to put myself in someone else’s shoes,’ he says. “The first two verses [of ‘Trail in Life’] are a part of me. I was thinking one night of the people that have been in my life and just started feeling nostalgic.
“When it comes to the turn at the end of the song, I thought, this is about the hope of seeing those people again, wishing somehow that their life turns out well. What’s the ultimate hope? A mom who has given up her child for adoption reuniting with that child years down the road.”

What’s also unusual, yet endearing, about “Trail In Life” is its chronology. “It kind of works backwards,” Brody admits. “I think most songs go through the stages of life, and the timeline usually goes forward. This one goes backward: First love, college buddies, college friends, and then the last part, where the twist occurs, it’s going back to birth…and yet it’s still in the future. I didn’t really know it would work.”

Brody, the writer of such other hits as “Dirt Road Scholar,” “Wildflower,” and “Roll That Barrel Out,” is something of an anomaly when it comes to country songwriters: he prefers working solo rather than partnering up, although he’s perfectly capable of co-writing. “I wrote my first song when I was 15, and I had no real opportunities to co-write, so I did it all by myself, just because I had to,” he recalls. “My first song was obviously my first girlfriend. Then I just kind of messed around with it, and it was just for fun. It was always just for fun until Nashville, and then it became like a job.”

Brody was working at a B.C. sawmill camp when he received the initial invitation to Music City, U.S.A.

“I’d gotten some interest from a publisher but I didn’t have a large enough repertoire,” he recalls. “He said just keep sending me songs. So I’d record them on CD and send them down. All we had for communication at the forestry camp was a CB radio, and I’d check for messages. And eventually, one message said, ‘Send your song ‘Brothers’ down. A week later, I got a call and the message on the CB radio was, ‘Yeah, I’m in. Let’s do this. C’mon down and let’s talk terms. That was it – I spent six years in Nashville.”

Brody started out in Nashville like everyone else – writing as often and with whomever he could. “It’s quite expected, when you work with a publisher, that you co-write,” he says. “For two years, I really did try. I wrote every day and I forced myself in an office to write every day for at least six hours. And that burned me out.

“But I write a lot differently than most people do when it comes to writing. It’s a real personal thing for me – something that I can’t really plan. It just kind of happens. So to have a structured songwriting regimen was probably one of the worst things I could have done for myself. After those first two years writing, I had to take a year off. I just couldn’t stand it. I was so burnt out.”

Usually, extended time away from your craft can prove to be frustrating. For Dean Brody, it was just the opposite. “Actually, it was a real relief,” Brody chuckles. “It sounds crazy, but because I had kind of been forced to write every day for two years, I needed some space. I find that for me to write a song, it’s always been a formula: there has to be space and time, and my most inspired moments are usually when I’m not even thinking about music.

“I don’t have a guitar in my hand. I’m out by the ocean or in the mountains or somewhere quiet. For having that year off – I dabbled a bit, I wrote, but I didn’t force any regimen – it really helped me get my feet back under me as a songwriter.”

Today, Brody says his inspiration is chiefly triggered by something visual.
“I do write a lot from imagery,” he admits. “When I sit down and write a song, usually it’s not a feeling at first. I usually see a picture and I try to paint it so that other people can see it.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *