No, Sophie Lemaire isn’t the sultry dj of Studio Brussel. Nor is she related to Belgian chanteuse Jo Lemaire (as far as I know). She’s a Quebecoise, from Montreal, who debuted last year with a gentile, traditional chanson album. Berceuse, with its eastern touches, is the best song. Turns out Sophie worked with Arthur H on his brilliant Adieu Tristesse album – she sings backup on one song and plays the flute in one of the many highlights of that album, the gorgeous duet with Feist (here). Diving into Sophie’s biography, got me thinking about Jo Lemaire. When regular guestposter asked me to track down her Concorde album (from 1983), I knew I had to write about this Lemaire as well. Because listening to a vinyl-rip Concorde (re-issued on cd in 1994, though I haven’t been able to find one) made me go back  to the late 80s, when me and my friends saw the so-cool-you-might-catch-a-cold chanteuse play a festival in our hometown. This was the first festival we ever attended, and with other 80s heroes like Comsat Angels and TC Matic, it was quite a thing. The dry ice, the loud music, the new wave fans, Jo’s deep voice, I can still remember scenes from way back when. Hard to believe her former status as ice queen when you see her jolly website nowadays. More on Jo later. Now listen to the still very moving La Mémoire en exil.

Jo Lemaire – La mémoire en exil
Sophie Lemaire – Berceuse