On MA, Ariane Moffatt embraces the bilingual nature of her Mile End surroundings
Already a staple of the franco scene thanks to Aquanaute (2002), Le Coeur dans la tête (2005) and Tous les sens (2008), which impressively all won the ADISQ’s Pop-Rock Album of the Year award, Ariane Moffatt returns with MA, a new LP which has her singing in English on more than half the songs. Already set to play at CMW and SXSW next month, the singer-songwriter seems intent on conquering the rest of Canada and the U.S. Or maybe it’s just the influence of her surroundings…
"My studio is in Mile End, I live nearby as well, the neighbourhood is bilingual and so is the music scene I’m attracted to, which is very palpable around here," she says, sitting in that very studio where she created MA. "I was looking for a space to compose, somewhere inspiring and luminous. I was on a kind of sabbatical, exploring and playing around, with no deadline to make an album. I was just composing and recording here in my little bubble, all by myself. I ended up with a bunch of songs, half of them in English, half in French. I went to see my friend Jean-Phi Goncalves to see if he wanted to work on them with me, but he said, ‘No no no, go back to your studio, do it yourself!’"
Moffatt did just that, handling producer duties and playing almost every instrument on MA. She did get some help from engineer Pierre Girard and she momentarily left her creative space to go record some more at Hotel2tango and Studio Planète, but this remains a project she did practically entirely on her own. She thought of maybe splitting her songs into two records, one in English, one in French, but ultimately decided not to. "It’s an album in the image of the reality we live in."
Fans of Moffatt know that her live shows tend to turn into big dance parties, since she performs remixed versions of her songs, but this time around, the album tracks are already very electro and beat-heavy. "There might have been a desire to break out of the mould, to make music like the one I enjoy," she says, mentioning that she was really into LCD Soundsystem at the time. "When I had friends listen to what I was doing, they kept telling me how electro it was, but I didn’t realize it. I was here with my Jupiter-6, my old analog synths, my programming… It just happened."
In a few days, Ariane will be joined on stage by Lisa Iwanycki (Creature), Pat Sayers (Winter Gloves), Serge Nakauchi Pelletier (Pawa Up First) and Jonathan Dauphinais (Beast) for her launch shows at the Rialto, in Mile End. Where else would she be?
At Théâtre Rialto
February 29 (sold out), March 1