Before FME | Laurence-Anne: Oniromancer

Entrevue réalisée par Stephan Boissonneault

renseignements supplémentaires

Photos by Anna Arrobas

Since her album debut in 2019 with Premi​è​re apparition—which made the Polaris long list—the Kamouraska-Montreal-based artist, Laurence-Anne, has been expanding her musical horizon with every release. She’s dabbled in dream pop, shoegaze, Franophone indie, art rock, and now, with her upcoming album Oniromancie (out Sept. 15 via Bonsound) a bit of dark pop or darkwave.

Oniromancie concerns the thematic glue of dreaming, or the experience of visions and landscapes when asleep, a big inspiration for Laurence-Anne’s songwriting style. She will present some of these new songs during her performance at the Festival Musique Emergente (FME) in Rouyn-Noranda. But before that, we had the opportunity to discuss some of the inspirations behind the upcoming album, her love of experimentation, and some teasers of what to expect at FME.

PAN M 360: The upcoming album is called Oniromancie. Where did the idea to dive into this theme come from? Are you a huge dreamer?

Laurence-Anne: Dreams have always been a big source of inspiration for my songwritting, among other themes such as nature, space, and the body. I just felt that these new songs were going deeper into the subject. I do dream a lot, and I often see a hidden signification through them. Dreams are a door to your subconcious, it really amazes me the way I can see so clearly in them, showing me the causes of my anxieties, my desires, my ideals.  

PAN M 360: Do you write down your dreams or hear music in them that you make for your songs?

Laurence-Anne: None of both. It’s more about the feeling that comes from them. I can remember the vibe and the landscapes of a dream for days. It’s there in my mind when it comes to writing music. 

PAN M 360: The song “Flores,” where did the Spanish vocals come from? Do you usually write in French or Spanish?

Laurence-Anne: Spanish feels so lyrical to me, with a whole new level of sensuality to it. Singing in another language is like discovering new tones in my vocal instrument. It feels different. “Flores” is my seocnd spanish song, after “Pajaros.” It helps to be able to switch languages when you are stuck on a melody. For both songs, I had previously tried everything in French, but it wasn’t a fit. Spanish was the solution. I’ll probably write more. 


PAN M 360: I know you practice automatic writing when writing lyrics sometimes, can you tell me about that process and how it works?

Laurence-Anne: It all happens when you play this new riff in a loop and then you go on trying to find the perfect melody to it. So I start humming, and then sometimes a few words pop. I go on looping it again and the lyrics appear without having to think about it too much, just as you would do some free style in hip-hop. Afterwards, I understand what I just wrote and it makes so much sense. I somehow feel that this content comes from the same connection to your subconcious that you have when you are dreaming.   

PAN M 360: Based on the first three singles, it seems you’re going for a darker take on dream pop, maybe even a bit darkwave. Was this an organic shift for you?


Laurence-Anne: From my experience so far with composing albums, I would say that every begining brings you somewhere different. In mean, in my case, I feel like each album is really different from the other, crossing some similar paths, but going in a complete other direction. My approach to music has always been about experimentation. I started playing guitar to compose, I don’t know anything theorical or technical. In the last years, I dived into the synth universe, and it’s infinite. Exploring multiple genres does feel organic to me, because it’s about discovering new things.   

PAN M 360: Did you have a completed musical vision when working on the music, or was there some jamming with the other musicians?

Laurence-Anne: The process behind this album is different from what I have done before. There was no big jam. I started alone, producing demos remotely. Then when I had all the songs, I went to my fellow musician friend François Zaidan. We’ve worked on this project as a team for about two years, which is the longest process for me so far. François helped me build this musical vision I had for Oniromancie. We would see each other almost every week, working bit by bit on finding the coolest tones, the perfect synths and bass lines, while keeping the essence and many tracks from the demos. When it felt ready, we went to the Wild Studio at Saint-Zénon with Pete Petelle (drums), David Marchand (guitar/bass), Ariel Comtois (Saxophone) and Rami Reno (Sound engineer) to complete the whole picture.  

PAN M 360: What is the live show like with this new album and what can we expect at FME? Some lights, crazy costumes?

Laurence-Anne: The thing is that the album launch is at the end of the month, (on Sept. 28th at La Sala Rossa for POP Montreal) and I don’t want to reveal everything at the FME, and want to keep some surprises for the big day. I see the FME as the occasion to present to new songs for the first time, since the album won’t be out yet, without too much crazy stuff, so you can really focus on the music, even close your eyes, to feel it deeper. 

PAN M 360: What is your relationship with the FME? I know you’ve played a few times and are playing a few more times with your project and La Securite?

Laurence-Anne: I’ve been attending the festival for a few years now, it’s always fun. There’s a special vibe at every concert and you always leave Rouyn-Noranda with good stories and anectodes. For some reason, it gets wilder than any other festival. Maybe cause it’s so far away, you got to make a great moment of it, to be worth the hours of drive.

PAN M 360: Do you feel pressure for this album to be “better” or more successful than the last two?

Laurence-Anne: Not really. I would say that the notion of success is getter more blurred in the last years, because of the social medias, the pressure is a more about the exposure. Anyways, success for me is to be proud of what I did in the end. Which I am! 

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