At the bar of hopes, | The hopes of Émile Bilodeau

The very active Émile Bilodeau is back with At the bar of hopes, an intimate fifth album, but focused on others, which celebrates love and human relationships. We took a look at it with the 27-year-old singer-songwriter who believes that to change the world, you have to enjoy life.


There is something almost immodest in this new album by Émile Bilodeau, which speaks bluntly about very intimate things, in particular about heartbreaks which we do not doubt for a second that he experienced. “We all have flaws,” he explains. When I write a song, I dare to believe that people can recognize themselves in it. Artists who put into words the sorrows we experience, when we hear their music, we feel less alone. » If he titled his album At the bar of hopes, is that he wanted to cross the thin line between despair and “hopes”. Maintain hope even if the planet is in bad shape, “even though we can’t see the end of it”. But also “hope in relationships, friendships, loves, family”. “That’s what I say in Love at the end of time : what will remain is always love. And there are a lot of them on this album. »

The atmosphere

On the production, Émile Bilodeau worked with the jack-of-all-trades singer-songwriter from Quebec Simon Kearney. He likes how he was able to create atmospheres and bring out the right emotions for each song. “For example in Misunderstandingat the end when I say that I won’t be able to sing anymore, suddenly there is a very melancholy trumpet…” Simon Kearney gave him depth and color, in particular by making him do back vocals and by joining a choir. “That’s what blows my mind the most, the vocal aspect that I had never really explored. »

The commitment

We know that Émile Bilodeau is a committed citizen and artist who is actively involved in society and takes a stand on many issues. This is reflected in his songs, but less so in this new album, as if he had lowered his tone a little. “People needed to find a guy who wasn’t just an activist robot. » We thus find a certain optimism and lightness – in The Daisyshe even wonders with his friends who was eliminated at Double occupation. “To protect life, you have to take the time to live it, to establish your relationships well. We can get involved while having fun like that. » But if we look at it song by song, he adds, his commitment is evident everywhere. “I’m talking about people who have difficulty arriving, about war, about the performance society or about columnists who write to sow controversy. »



Émile Bilodeau

The artist was never afraid that his activism would take over the music. “Pantout. For me it goes so hand in hand. But here, I have gone further, more nuanced. My words are targeted, so it hits. That makes people say: “I don’t like him because he doesn’t play on my team.” » This is what he experienced this year, when the Parti Québécois questioned his role as host during the National Day show in Quebec. The storm was powerful, but he came out “stronger” and has no regrets. “What pride to show young people who are interested in politics that there is a counterbalance. » Émile Bilodeau knows that he has become a symbol that people like (or not!) to listen to and “stir up the patent”. But when he looks at the activists who invest full time in a cause, he sees above all that his commitment is “minimal” compared to theirs. “I listen a lot. I never said I knew everything. I know, however, that we have a problem… and we could talk about it for a long time! »


Between a demonstration in Rouyn-Noranda with the Mothers at the Front, a successful tour in France – “We drove 50 hours in two and a half weeks! » – and his annual stay in Maliotenam on the North Shore, what is the thread? “The desire to live and see things. I have met countless people over the past two years, whether because of my activism, or in indigenous communities, or in a bar after a show. » Émile Bilodeau loves the world and although he has made a more introspective album, he continues to tell us stories, whether those of Jacynthe and Réjean in At the bar of hopesthose of a group of friends in The Daisys or those of a couple from different social classes in Not so different.


Émile Bilodeau made his first public appearances at the Saint-Ambroise Song Festival 10 years ago. “On the YouTube video of the audition, the skullcap from behind, you can really see that it’s still at the project stage! »

Three years later, he released the first album that propelled him, Rites of passage, and it is now on its fifth. Impressive productivity… but not for him, who considers that it is a very normal rhythm. Especially since he never feels better than when he’s shaping songs. The impulse of the initial idea, the direction to give, a verse to move, a refrain to change: the whole “administrative” aspect of the composition stimulates him. “It’s something that I find calming, which allows me to be one with my creativity. It’s really when I write songs that I feel complete. I’m happy to be a tune maker! »

The following

In the song River, Émile Bilodeau speaks of his love of the territory, but also of his desire to travel far and for a long time. We feel him torn when we broach the subject, between his aspiration to have “a good knowledge of humanity” and his ties with his family and friends which hold him back. “And hockey too. I have to play, otherwise I’ll go crazy! » Anyway, with the tour starting, it would be difficult for him to leave. “I can’t wait to get back on the road. I’ve been touring with the same musicians for seven years, we have fun. I want it to continue and I haven’t finished making albums. I hope I don’t get canceled with this one! » He laughed loudly. “Well no, it’s a joke, everything’s fine. »

At the bar of hopes


At the bar of hopes

Émile Bilodeau

Bravo Music

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