Another slice of sweet Quebec Country-Folk… sigh…

“À présent le passé” (“Right now the past”) is Quebec singer-songwriter Laurence Hélie’s follow-up to her 2010 eponymous debut album.

Whereas her first album nailed its colours unashamedly to a Western-tinged Country mast, “À présent le passé” is a far more ambitious affair. To be sure there is still a country influence, but this time around there’s an encompassing feel of pop, folk, jazz and blues. The end result is a far more expansive and accessible affair. Indeed the title is very much a description of the musical road this album has taken. While the songs are very much of today (“Right now”) and mine that rich seam of contemporary French-Canadian folk, there’s a solid foundation (“the past”) in the rich heritage of Americana – country, and the aforementioned folk and blues – that is evident through-out.

it seems that every great record coming out of Quebec this year has at least one absolutely nailed-on haunting ballad and this album is no exception. In fact there are two on display here: The melancholic and semi-autobiographical “trente ans” and “La rivière” – all piano intertwined with snare and base (again), which has rapidly embedded itself into my subconscious. It really is a beautiful arranged and soulful song.

Released at the beginning of the month, “À présent le passé” is an accomplished album containing ten polished gems from an artist expanding her musical horizons with some panache…

(Yup, another guestpost by Steve. Read his blog too!)

Written by guuzbourg

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