Myriam Gendron – “Terres brûlées”

Myriam Gendron – “Terres brûlées”

Back in March, the brilliant Montréal balladeer Myriam Gendron released “Long Way Home,” the stirring lead single from her new album Mayday. This week she released another track from the album. “Terres brûlées” is spooky and enthralling, like an old maritime folk song that would sound phenomenal sung by Thom Yorke. Gendron herself, of course, delivers her own impeccably dreary performance of the French-language track.

She shared this statement:

This song represented one of the biggest writing challenges I’ve ever faced. Initially, I had a melody in my head. I came up with a chord progression that I played for days and days, humming my melody, unable to find the words. Obviously, I was dealing with a text in alexandrines. It’s a very intimidating form, associated in my mind with classical or romantic French poetry. I really couldn’t just say anything, I had to pull out all the stops, dare to be lyrical, pretend I was Baudelaire or Léo Ferré! And that’s what I did, letting the symbols take over. The additions of the guest musicians (Cédric Dind-Lavoie, Jim White, Marisa Anderson and Bill Nace) really enriched the song, which became a genuine soundscape. I’m not quite sure what the song’s about: I’d say there’s the idea of a ravaged landscape, a slightly post-apocalyptic atmosphere, but also a force of life that persists and seeks to express itself through the ruins of time. It is perhaps this force that has guided me over the past year. A few months after writing the song, the news of the fires ravaging Canada cast a different light on the lyrics. It seems that words always escape us.

Listen below.

Mayday is out 5/10 on Thrill Jockey/Feeding Tube.

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