Tarot enthusiasts could tell us, in great detail, about the symbolism of the Tower (Maison-Dieu, in French). Is it, in this case, a scale, with one of the plates bearing the humility, and the other the ambition, of Lysandre Ménard? Perhaps so, for we can sense the young singer-songwriter is humble in her content and ambitious in her songs. Indeed, they’re based on harmonic and melodic structures, as well as textures, which augur a fruitful future for this young creator. A lover of symbols, Lysandre, and a fan of myths. In the first piece, “Persephone”, she evokes the Greek goddess who alternates between infernal underworld and verdant fields. Lysandre then takes us to a forest of love, where Artemis, Greek goddess of the wilderness, frolics with a deer companion. Then, “Kaïma” – the only piece in English – represents another self, a goddess of courage who intervenes when necessary. Finally, “Ulysses” is an ode to resilience.
We saw and heard Lysandre with The Loodies, a Montreal quintet led by Ludovic Alarie, as well as with the London trio Girl Ray, which she accompanied on tour. She also studied piano at the Royal Academy of Music in London and was seen in Léa Pool’s film La passion d’Augustine. On Maison-Dieu, Lysandre has joined forces with a number of strong collaborators: musician and composer Blaise Émard produced; Valentin Ignat and the ubiquitous Emmanuel Éthier mixed; Adèle Trottier-Rivard is on backing vocals; Simon Pagé and Nicolas Basque on bass guitar; the latter, along with Kerry Bursey and Valentin Ignat, on guitars, and Samuel Gougoux and Sasha Woodward on drums.
Beyond the British-American electro-pop references, one notes the more contiguous influence, in terms of dreamlike pop, of former colleague Alarie, and of Klô Pelgag. No need to be trained in the divinatory arts to foresee a happy sequel to Maison-Dieu.