MONTREAL’S Marie Davidson, veteran of that city’s DIY scene, musical polymath, fierce declaimer; like Grace Jones, you wouldn’t mess, frankly.
Have a watch of the lyric video for the latest track “Renegade Breakdown”, which she’s just dropped for Ninja Tune and see if you’d dare.
It’s a pulsing, dirty slice of electro-house over which Marie casts a steely eye and her fierce intelligence in the direction of a bête noire (I have to ask: is it you? Start runnin’, compadre) and let’s that dusky Montréalaise accent wrap you in the fury of her observations.
“And by the way, there are no money makers on this record / This time I’m exploring the loser’s point of view,” she drapes into your ears, cold and detached like sharp steel. An electro sequencer marches with a ruthless bpm; disco-funk bass punches through hard. “The uglier I feel, the better my lyrics get / And I feel disgraceful whenever you’re around”. Like I said: start runnin’.
It’s a reaction to the years on the road, navigating the club and festival circuit lifestyle: the airports, the late nights, the lost and damaged gear; dislocated, disorientated, chronically insomniac.
“I get in these states where I start to question everything, and I hate myself,” she has said: “Sometimes I feel like I don’t belong anywhere.”
“Renagade Breakdown” serves potent notice of her upcoming second album of the same name for British leftfield breaks supremos Ninja Tune, out on September 25th, for which she casts herself as member of power(ful) trio Marie Davidson & L’Œil Nu, old friends from Montreal: she’s walking towards you slowly, oh so calmly, in the company of Pierre Guerineau and Asaël R. Robitaille.
They’ve fashioned an album of striking pop with deep groove, casting nods to influences as diverse as Kraftwerk, Fleetwood Mac and Chet Baker along the way.
It’s a conscious departure from 2018’s Working Class Woman, the lifestyle into which she was catapulted by led her to the deep alienation, exhaustion and rebellion that feeds so strongly into the title track.
“We wanted to make songs like the music we’ve been enjoying altogether for more than a decade,” says Marie.
Elsewhere on the album she explores her love for Berlin cultural hub Kottbusser Tor on “Centre of the World (Kotti Blues)”; and blends baroque composition with potent and tragic subject matter on “Lead Sister”, about Karen Carpenter.
Come inside; but come aware of Marie’s absolute strength. Don’t mess.
Marie Davidson & L’Œil Nu’s Renegade Breakdown will be released by Ninja Tune on mp3, WAV, CD and double vinyl formats on September 25th. Place your order here.