Country : Canada (Quebec) Label : Independant Genres and styles : Chanson francophone / Singer-Songwriter Year : 2024

Ambroise – La première caresse goûte toujours la neige (The first caress always tastes like snow)

· by Frédéric Cardin

Ambroise, aka Eugénie Jobin, is a Montreal musician whose La première caresse goûte toujours la neige (The First Caress Always Tastes Like Snow) is their 5th album of highly personal song making, at the crossroads of indie songwriting, folk, jazz, contemporary art music and avant-garde. 

5th, but perhaps the first of a new creative phase. Indeed, La première caresse goûte toujours la neige differs from previous albums (full discography is available on Bandcamp) in that its instrumental atmosphere is more gentle than ever. Ambroise wasn’t noisy, stylistically speaking, but the presence of guitars, very indie Montreal, was nevertheless regularly felt, quietly but assertively piercing Eugénie’s compositional veil. 

Not so here. As well as Eugénie’s voice, always beautiful and caressing, there’s a piano (played by Eugénie themselve) and sometimes an accordion (Frédérique Roy), always in ppp mode (very soft). And that’s all there is to it. 

Another transformation compared to the other albums : the harmonies appear pacified, less chromatic/contemporary. As a result, La première caresse goûte toujours la neige is less demanding than its older brothers, without being for a moment of lesser quality. On the contrary, we sense that the artist has firmly established a coherent, focused approach. It has to be said that this album is also the result of special circumstances : after suffering a concussion, Eugénie became ultra-sensitive to sound and light. As a result, they needed to be accompanied in a minimal and extremely calm way! 

In doing so, they moved away from experimentalism for the first time, towards an almost neoclassical/ambient approach.

The main thing I remember is that it works really well! La première caresse goûte toujours la neige has become an album (an EP, in fact) of magnificent, soothing contemplative songs, based on a poetry of introspection written by herself and Marie Uguay, a short-lived and genius Québécois poet.

Let Ambroise invite you to share a moment of slowly unfolding eternity, enveloped in an almost spiritual gentleness, like a gaze lost before the silent immensity of a natural panorama untouched by humans except through their wandering minds.

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