Coeur de Pirate update

Mark Sullivan has been following Béatrice Martin’s growing confidence this year, as her third album is awaited.
When Béatrice Martin told us a year ago that she was making a new, bilingual album, it was likely that 2015 would be Coeur de Pirate’s year. And so it is proving, even though ‘Roses’ is not out until 28 August. She has already achieved a ‘double first’ – the first single to be issued contemporaneously in two language versions, and the first video in which the star performs a modern dance with a professional ballet dancer. It has been followed by revelation on stage of Béatrice’s new English-language songs. To come are festival appearances this summer, and a major tour both sides of the Atlantic running into 2016.

CdP’s video for ‘Oublie-moi’ / ‘Carry on’ , has reached 1 million hits in French, and over 360,000 in English. The Accès Illimité film of how the dance video was shot, in November 2014 at the atmospheric St Raphael’s Church Ruins, South Glengarry County, Ontario, 60 km west of Montreal, is here.
The choreographer Nico Archambault, and the principal ballet dancer Sam Colbey, are with Les Ballets Canadiens de Montréal. The film while short shows well how Béatrice has outdistanced the general run of pop performers’ videos by learning real modern dance herself, and doing it well. (The second half of the video shows her being taught in the Ballet Company’s studio).

The launch of the single on ‘La Voix’ on 5 April (with parts of ‘Place de la Republique’ and ‘Comme des Enfants’) is here. Béatrice dared to introduce her major new song by having the competitors sing it with her. You cannot imagine anyone else doing that, but it works.

See Beatrice on France’s RTL2 radio show, and then on Virgin Radio.
If you can cope with it, watch her talking for half-an-hour to RFM’s impossibly seductive interviewer Sophie Coste!

A live performance of ‘Carry on’ did not however take place for another 6 weeks. Béatrice cleverly chose the CBC Music Festival, at Echo Beach, Toronto on 23 May 2015, to reveal her new English-language songs. Her performance was broadcast live by CBC radio but not available outside Canada then, and we have had to wait (more expectation) until 3 July when good quality film of her and her band made it to the internet. Ron Skinner of CBC Radio 2’s blog about her set is here.

Six songs are now available via the CBC website,or on Youtube as follows:
‘Oceans Brawl’ (the first song)
‘Carry on’ (a new and great backing)
‘I don’t want to break your heart’
‘Our love’
and the one new song in French so far revealed, and the stand-out performance to my mind:

This isn’t all. Just posted is Béatrice’s Collective Arts Black Box Session, filmed in Toronto in June. It presents a different version of ‘Carry on’, and a song not filmed at Echo Beach, ‘The Way back Home’ – played on keyboard, with a single guitar and backing singer
The quality is excellent and the short interview is classic CdP in English – charming and succinct. As usual every word she says is worth listening to.

Meanwhile, Béatrice has kept her French audiences expectant for this summer’s festivals by turning in a new solo version now on-line of ‘Oublie-moi’ on 3 July at the studio of the newspaper ‘Le Parisien’ and a nice version of her 2010 Victoires de la Musique winner, ‘Comme des enfants’.
The rugby scrum of journalists watching her at RTL’s studio on 6 July, singing ‘Crier tout bas’ with her leading musician Renaud Bastien on acoustic guitar, shows (despite the poor sound) how the press interest in the world’s most talented 25-year-old is as great as ever.

And Béatrice has published a clear photo at last of her daughter Romy (now nearly 3), mimicking her mother with a microphone. It’s on her twitter here.

We may now have most of her new English-language songs. ‘Crier tout bas’ whets the appetite for as-yet-unrevealed ones in French.

Fils Sourire 2

World, meet Malik, ‘fils sourire 2’, held here by his proud big frère.


To celebrate, here’s Catherine Major:

Mira Choquette

Mira  Choquette ArtworkCool Jazz on a summer’s evening, anyone?

Singer-songwriter and bona fide Montréalaise Mira Choquette has been performing Jazz for as long as she can remember. She has sung with the renowned Montréal Jazz-enemble Claremont Jazz for the past 10 years, as well as lending her disarmingly smooth vocals to artists such as Patrick Watson and has recently released her debut album “Something Cool” that features a round dozen relaxing Jazz standards, including a rather sultry interpretation of Edith Piaf’s “Adieu mon coeur.”

Take a listen below…


20150705 Saratoga Artwork2It’s a well known fact that you can never – ever – own too many records that feature Chantal Archambault. Purveyor of some of the most thoughtful and intelligent – and yes – romantic – country-tinged folk tunes known to man, she has the knack of crafting such delicately constructed songs that you can’t help but get in touch with your feminine side…

Saratoga is the side project of Chantal and her partner Michel-Olivier Gasse (author, musician – the driving force behind Caloon Saloon – and contributor to Chantal’s albums). Named after the famous Spa resort in upstate New York where the pair first decided to form a duet, their eponymous EP consists of five intimate and seemingly effortless folk-tinged numbers that are full of timeless melodies, thoughtful, intelligent lyrics and the most note perfect vocal harmonies.

The tracks that top and tail this EP truly stand-out. “Saratoga”, clean and stripped-back, just acoustic guitar, double-bass and crystal clear yet heart-warming vocals matched to a honey-dripped melody and lilting refrain. “Oublie Pas” is probably the best example of the delicate vocal harmonies and complex lyrical arrangements that the pair create.

And while it is fair to say that at times the songs on this album are imprinted with Chantal’s DNA this EP is far more than a collection of Chantal Archambault songs. “Les bourgeons pis le gazon” – apparently the first song that someone ever wrote for Chantal – and “Madame Rosa”, a Saloon Caloon composition both lead with Michel’s vocals with Chantal’s vocals adding texture and depth to the sweet harmonies.