Four calendars have been used on Évelyne Brochu’s fridge since her first attempt at music, the friendly, but shy album Lost objects, concocted with his musical ally Félix Dyotte. If the friendship and artistic complicity that unites them remain the same, the new fruit of their labor shows how far they have come. The album The dangerwhich appears on Friday, further shines the pen of the actress and singer, who places her voice differently on much richer music.
Sitting in the morning around a small table in an empty bar in the metropolis, Évelyne Brochu first reaches out to the journalist. “How would you describe this change? » The danger, we answer, breathe more and seem more assertive to us. “Yeah,” she says in approval. (Fiou!) “Yeah, we’re in the same province, but we’re not in the same city! »
These eleven new titles from the TV and film star remain in a certain tradition of French song, but we move from Jane Birkin to France Gall, so to speak. There are strings – six violins and two violas –, brass and synths, and the touch is more pop, and the voice fuller.
With Félix Dyotte (Chinatown, Pierre Lapointe), “we wanted to dare, we wanted this to be the album of audacity, and also the album where we dive deeper,” explains Brochu. If only in terms of writing. On Lost objects, the singer had signed “one and a half songs”; here she is with seven texts to her name, which don’t pale in comparison and which are all set to music by her sidekick.
“For me, courage is not my primary quality, it is something that comes slowly. I need to feel very secure so that the courageous side comes out, so that that part of abandonment which is necessary for my work flourishes, confides Évelyne Brochu. I had the courage to make the first record because I was well surrounded. And because it went well and I was proud of it, I had the courage to do the second one with a little more daring. I wanted to push further, and engage even more in the process. »
If Lost objects sort of took place in the park at aperitif time, The danger, he is “at the heart of the party”, summarizes Brochu. “It seems like, in my head, when I saw the album before we wrote it, I saw a nightclub with very high ceilings. » And the night, according to her, “opens channels that are not necessarily open during the day”.
I need to feel very secure so that the courageous side comes out, so that that part of abandonment which is necessary for my work flourishes.
It is obvious on When I dance, almost disco with its sliding bass line. “I crossed the room / To get to him / A sea of bodies / Who were fighting boredom / I smelled the perfumes / Of each one as they passed / I touched my hands / This pretty landscape”, writes Brochu. The desires are retained in the opening piece of the disc, Another life. On Endless summersthe “eternal nights” are nostalgic and sensual.
But there is also The danger doubts, escapes, storms and hesitations. The record, she explains, was colored by her numerous trips to Europe for her work as an actress – notably for the series Paris police 1900. The beautiful and simple song Our garden comes from it, very Keren Ann in the genre. But it is also a post-pandemic album, recalls Évelyne Brochu.
“I think we’ve all experienced this kind of setback. The curfews then the family bubbles created an effect of strangeness where we were very much inside ourselves, then very far from others, she analyzes. After that, we returned to the world of others, but still with the feeling of being a little in our inner igloo, having to re-appropriate the codes with the new perception of the world that inhabited us. It was a kind of joy, a kind of life drive, but it wasn’t entirely light either. »
Évelyne Brochu has often said that her job as an actress had an impact on that of a singer, but the opposite is also true, she assures. “I don’t live my life in a silo,” she says. Everything is a kind of big garden where all the roots touch each other. Then if it rains somewhere, it rains everywhere. If there is sun, there is sun everywhere. »
Music, according to her, “broadens the game”, and a sung phrase is “dilated, it is larger than life. This space, of openness, of explosion of the meaning of the words carried by the notes and the rhythm, gives rights, it gives a kind of immodesty.” Saying “I love you” or singing it in four beats isn’t the same adventure.