Been a while since we had a lengthy post on chère CdP, non? Mark reviews the three ways in which Béatrice Martin is staying at the top
Coeur de pirate Québec le 6 juillet 2013 (1)
When Coeur de pirate announced that she was returning to tour in Europe following the birth of her daughter, but would not have her band with her, not all of us were convinced that she could wow the world alone at the piano, without the excitement that her band shows create.

We need not have worried. In 12 sold-out concerts in April 2013 her extraordinary quality solo on stage was clear to all. See extended film of several songs at Mulhouse and, even better, at Hérouville St-Clair (Caen), in Normandy. And see this perfectly-framed performance of ‘Saint-Laurent’ there.

Béatrice also showed a new talent – solo guitar as at 11m10s at Hérouville St-Clair, where the instrument seems bigger than her, and at Paris’s Salle Gaveau, singing ‘Verseau’.

After this demonstration CdP returned to Canada, giving a ‘walking interview’ in her home district here,
and put on some great performances with her band at summer festivals. At Festivoix, Trois-Rivières, on 3 July, she had the prime evening slot : see here
and here.

A still larger crowd greeted her at the Festival d’Été at Québec City on 6 July. Official film covers the first three songs and an amateur film the rest, capturing audience reaction well.

CdP is always grasping new opportunities, as in her sunny, positive version of ‘Mon manège à moi’ at the Beacon Theatre in New York to mark 50 years since Edith Piaf’s death in 1963.

And now she has recorded an album in English. ‘Trauma’ is cover songs for the soundtrack to the Canadian television program of the same name. She sings including The Rolling Stones, Amy Winehouse, Bon Iver, The Libertines, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, and The National (‘Slow Show’). All 12 tracks can be heard here.

FS contributor SteveInSoCal offers a review of each song on his website blog: “An album of beautifully arranged interpretations – every song has been stripped back, adapted, moulded, indeed structured to Béatrice’s trademark vocal and compositional style – while all the time remaining faithful to the spirit of the original…”

To my ears the the arrangement on some tracks have too much backing, so that the pure voice is obscured. Fortunately Béatrice also offers us a live filmed set of three on Deezer performed solo: Amy Whitehouse’s ‘You know I’m no good’, Mick Jagger & Keith Richard’s ‘Dead Flowers’, and Bon Iver’s ‘Flume’.

Where is Coeur de pirate going next? Listen to her revealing interview on CBC’s ‘Q’ in March 2014. Béatrice tells us that she sounds different in English, and that she had to approach the task in different ways from how she creates songs in French. At the very end she tells us what’s next. Tantalising.

This just in: Cdp made music for a computer game:


Written by guuzbourg

French girls, singing. No, sighing. Making me sigh. Ah.

This article has 2 comments

  1. SteveinSoCal

    Thanks Mark, a really great article and I can’t emphasise how revealing and interesting the CBC interview is. Trauma is an excellent album – even if some of the song choices wouldn’t have been mine (Beatrice hints as much during the interview). As a Brit I was particular intrigued by her cover of Amy Winehouse’s “You know I’m no good”, but truthfully her version of “Music when the lights go out” is imho a song now owned by her.