AN ECLECTIC, alt.folk(ish) singer-songwriter with a lovely, raggedy edge to her song fashioning, French-born but London based Clémentine March is close to a perfect match for Johnny Lynch’s Lost Map imprint, homespun and vital, operating from the fastnesses of the Inner Hebridean island of Eigg (current pop: 47).
She debuted for Lost Map last year with Lost Continent, an album she described as “a personal account of a traveller who is trying to find her way everywhere in the world … melted with that strange spirit of the times we’re living,”
Her new album (and I’ll never, ever use sophomore adjectivally, rest assured) is now almost ready for us, and is aptly titled Songs of Resilience.
That’ll be out on February 5th, but she’s also just unveiled a twin-pronged come-hither from the album, “Into The Distance” and “Éternité”, which are out now via all good digital service providers – and which you can also hear herein.
“Into The Distance” is as hearthside as you like, or maybe that should be coin de feu: a thing of immense intimacy and loveliness, Clémentine’s faintly accented delivery drawing a line right back to Françoise Hardy and forward again to Lætitia Sadier; it’s at once playfully simple, like the Velvets in full flight, and an instant classic. Properly lovely. Unavoidably so.
…as is, it has to be said, “Éternité”, the album closer (we know these kinda things), in which Clémentine sallies forth upon a gossamer-brilliant Gallic folk tune that also has the perfume of her Brazilian training, lending a little Getz/Gilberto to the magic.
My, though: talented.
Songs of Resilience was recorded over two days last November last year and is a swift and gorgeous follow-up to the rightfully acclaimed Le Continent. It’s sung almost entirely in English and save for the occasional extra instrumental sprinkle, features just Clémentine’s voice and acoustic guitar. It’s raw and direct reaction to the times in which it was made.
“The year 2020 was very unpredictable,” she says, “and whilst I was working with my band to make songs for the second album, the new lockdown came in November.
“In order to stay sane and creative, I decided that the second album would be the third album, and I so wrote a set of 11 entirely new songs, to be recorded alone with my acoustic guitar.
“The songs are now mostly in English, and they reflect as much the atonement and losing friends and my grandparents, but also falling in love, seeing the seasons passing, living in the absolute present, because there is no choice.
“I consider this work as much as a parenthesis as a new step in my compositions. And now I can work again on the third album with the gang.”
Clémentine March’s Songs Of Resilience will be released by Lost Map on digital and limited edition CD-R with chord and lyric zine on February 5th, and is available for pre-order now over at the label shop.