INTERVIEW with LAURENCE-ANNE
whose new Bonsound album "Musivision" is just that dreamy, danceable, yet still Indie-Rock ready album you need.
Montreal's Laurence-Anne has created an album that combines Synth-Pop and Pop-Rock into its own fantasy world. While it may not reflect the bucolic Canadian town where she hails from, The Bonsound import release"Musivision" is a forward-looking album that creates a dream world that feels possible.
T-BONE'S RECORDS: Is it safe to say that your album is a concept album? The tracks seem to be unified by their existence in some kind of "dream world?
LAURENCE-ANNE: I didn't think of it as a concept album. But at the end of the recording process, it kinda felt like it with all the interludes linking one song to the other. It just happened this way. Then I started to think about the album cover, it had to be this ''dream world''. I like to imagine it as the soundtrack you would hear if you were walking through the tunnel of the album cover. It has a precise vibe.
T-BONE'S: What is the Electronic scene like in Montreal? Is it a place where artists commune and feed off of each other? The city has such a vibrant history of producing bands and art - how did you gravitate toward it there?
LAURENCE-ANNE: I'm not really part of the electronic scene. I know Grimes used to live here and that Marie Davidson switched to rock. I started exploring the synths world last year, have been listening to artists such as Saada Bonaire, Charlotte Adigery, Deux... I guess my mindset was more there when I wrote the album. Socially and musically, my band and I are more into the Montreal indie-punk-garage and experimental scene.
T-BONE'S: On "Strange Feeling" you sing in English, did that feel foreign to you? (Also, you sing beautifully in Spanish on "Pajaros")
LAURENCE-ANNE: To write/talk/sing in French feels obviously more natural to me. But you know, English is everywhere, the music I listen to and get inspired from is mostly in English, I wanted to give it a shot. I'm really fluid in Spanish, I lived in Mexico for about a year when I was seventeen. It's very different to write in another language. But I didn't feel like a foreigner that much. I'll probably do it again. I love how it makes my voice sound different, the colors it gives to it.
T-BONE'S: I understand this album came from a much quieter place than your debut, were you trying to catalog all of your ideas while in the beginning stages of writing? And did writing "Musivision" always involve the tracks fitting together with the interludes?
LAURENCE-ANNE: The writing process was quick. The album was composed in a week, in a tiny house far far in the countryside. Arrived with nothing but some synths, a guitar, and a bass, and left with all the song ideas. Interludes came after when I was at the studio with the band. It really was because we couldn't stop recording. They all are improvised in the moment, you know while throwing rocks outside the studio walls, or just sitting around the piano, or partying in the basement listening to 80s disco.
T-BONE'S: How did you bring together this band to back you on the record? Did their input occur naturally - like you gave them your demos and they practiced before coming in -- or were they in it to hear it and play it on the spot?
LAURENCE-ANNE: Most of them were also on my first records and on the EP in between. We tour together. We've been roommates. We hang out together a lot. I met them a few years ago, hanging out at concerts or parties. Every time I present them a new song, they totally get where I want to go. We float the same boat, we're always on the same waves.
T-BONE'S: A lot of your writing reflects you composing in pieces and parts, are you sifting through demos and putting pieces together or refining their composition over time?
LAURENCE-ANNE: Both. No rules and regulations with my writing. But usually, I keep the first ideas and the process is quick. When I write a song, I spend a day on it and I put all the ideas I have, then I feel it's complete. I put it aside and start a new one. When I have enough, I send them to the band and just tell them: Let's book the studio. But also, some songs have been through multiple versions to finally get back to V1. Some were a couple of verses here and there glued together by the magic of the music gods.
T-BONE'S: While "Musivision" does not sound like it has any direct antecedents, what music were you listening to as inspiration?
LAURENCE-ANNE: I always love this question, isn't it the best one? Let's say: Cocteau Twins, Hailu Mergia, Mulatu Astatke, Sneaks, Y la Bamba, Beach House, Julee Cruise, Vanishing twin, Juana Molina, John Foxx, Mamman Sani, Ziad Rahbani, Susumu Yokota, Okay Kaya, Sun Ra.....
T-BONE'S: Your voice has a soft but elastic quality to it. I get the feeling a lot of tracks on "Musivision" are actually about leaving your comfort zone and really finding another part of your range
LAURENCE-ANNE: You'd be surprised to hear me go in many different ranges, I'm quite surprised myself. I was never really trained. I guess I just learned to do what I want to do. Sometimes it takes longer to get there but in the end, so far, I got where I wanted to go.
T-BONE'S: When you play these songs, say online for a willing audience, will there be a visual interpretation with it?
LAURENCE-ANNE: YES! Costumes and decor. I really love this part, bringing the songs to life on stage. We might create a few different vibes through the process. I’ve done many things in the past, from simple projections to more complex conceptual concerts where the venue is totally revamped for the event.
T-BONE'S: What is next for Laurence-Anne? Hopefully a record deal in America? A third record that really establishes you as both an artist AND a chanteuse?
LAURENCE-ANNE: Next would be to hit the road. For 2 LPs and an EP, I haven't played enough cities. My label has now a deal with a booking agency in the states, it's called Anniversary. When this pandemic is over, I'm really looking into touring the USA. And what do you know, 3rd records might already be all written ;)
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