Country : Québec Label : Indépendant Genres and styles : Alt Folk / Chamber Folk / Experimental Dream Pop / Jazz / Progressive Folk Year : 2023

Anna Valsk – Morphologies

· by Théo Reinhardt

After having sprinkled the previous year with singles and EPs in order to promote her project, it is now time for Ariane Vaillancourt, aka Anna Valsk, to unveil the entirety of her musical proposal: Morphologies, an album whose purpose is to feel the profound effect of the passing of the seasons. The singer-songwriter, who has been active on the Quebec music scene for the past ten years, offers us eleven songs that testify to her compositional talent and creative curiosity.

The sound palette is beautifully varied: sparkling synthesizers, piano, strings, winds, vocal and choral harmonizations, real or synthetic percussions… A textured sound ecosystem is presented to us in all its harmony and crosses us like a breath of life, borrowing from song, folk, jazz, chamber music and electro. The artist herself is codirecting the production, with Philippe Lussier-Baillargeon and David Méliès as her acolytes.

The songs sail and transform, oscillate between their different parts, grow and bloom. For example, “Wash Your Soul”, the longest track on the album, is a true summer solstice evolving into a triumphant and liberating song, before closing gently as it opened from the start. Anna Valsk carries us through the seasons: we find ourselves in winter with the sparse and sentimental “On tient le monde à bout de bras”, then in spring with the fine reborn breeze of “Au temps des lilas”, in the midst of a humid summer twilight with Jamais, and finally in autumn in the nostalgic chill of “Rose des vents”. Success with flying colors!

At the heart of this progression, we have the song and the words of Anna which are the main threads. Soft and airy, this voice accompanies us and reassures us through this journey. The poetry is one of the great strengths of the project: exploratory, avid, sensory, obsessed with the human body and its every corner – morphology being, after all, the very configuration of the material. This tenderness and maturity reveal themselves permeable to the force of time. “It’s not a goodbye, it’s a see you soon”, sings the artist on his title song. Whatever one wants to do with it, the leaves are always replaced by new ones.

In this assumption of cyclic time, in the delicate wildness of letting go, between warm and cold current, this album reaches us, crosses us and transports us. And this, as long as we want it.

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