Émilie Janvier

June 7, 2017

What’s in a Name?

Listening Post 102. She was a reality show star on Québec TV at 13 and comes from a musical family, but on Émilie Janvier’s eponymous debut album and in the interviews she’s done to promote it, she reveals her core shyness, crafting lyrics and music to channel feelings and tell stories that might otherwise remain hidden. If her acoustic pop/folk songs (with some well-placed country string pulls) can be defined with a single word, it’s warmth. She finds it in romance, family, even snow and, above all, she delivers it in her voice. Trois ou quatre pas (Three or Four Steps) has a train-to-Nashville pace with a simple message: “How about trying to live with me/More than half-way, half-day, half-happy/It would only take three or four steps/To rest my head on your heart” (video 1). In Tes flocons (Your Snowflakes), she remembers her brother, who died of cancer on a February day, and evokes winter white as a comforting blanket, “So we can remember love and snow together/Find ourselves in every storm/Make winter last as long as you like” (video 2). Derniéres Pages (Last Pages) is a tribute to the artist’s grandmother: “If you ask one day what my name is/If your memories fly in a whirlwind/Let me remind you of the seasons,” she sings (video 3). Janvier takes a philosophical spin in La valse des continents (Waltz of the Continents) and weaves another tender love story in Aux Deux Marie (the title refers to a popular Montréal café). Across ten tracks, she traverses familiar territory in traditional styles, but combining prodigious talent with an intimacy and authenticity that make everything fresh. And who knew that January—in Québec, no less—could be so warm? (Musicor Disques)








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