In her new EP, “Être social,” New Brunswick artist Émilie Landry explores a very personal landscape: relationships with others, relationships with herself, and the intersections between those. This project, Landry’s first solo effort, provides a glimpse into a very promising talent. Landry has a lovely, clear voice, and she utilizes it to full effect on this album, mostly acoustic in sound with just enough of a rock touch to accent the thoughtful lyrics without drowning them out.
The six-song album opens with “Dans l’Nord,” a tale of departing on a road trip – that universal expression of independence, taking risks, finding oneself. “J’existe,” the next song, is a thoughtful song about existing – which is not necessarily the same thing as living. “J’fais ma petite vie, j’dérange personne…” (I live my little life, I bother no one…)
It is the third song and title track that has most grabbed my attention, and with which I’ve most resonated. The person described in the song – who may or may not be Émilie herself – is thought by many to be a social being, but struggles inside. Émilie has perfectly captured the internal wrestling that so many of us introverts feel – that weary work of presenting a façade on the outside of being gregarious and communicative, that is definitely not who we are inside.
“Embrasse un miroir” is a meditation on loving someone who primarily loves themselves (and haven’t we all been there?), while “À quoi tu penses?” muses on the internal life of someone who perhaps thinks far too little of themselves, preferring to disappear.
The album closes with “Monsieur l’étranger,” the most uptempo song of the project. This tale of a love who has abandoned ship (figuratively speaking) provides a strong ending to a truly enjoyable album.
As I’ve said elsewhere on this blog, even if you know no French, I encourage you not to be dissuaded from listening to this terrific project. Émilie Landry’s voice is a delight to the ears (and if you’re trying to learn French, her enunciation is excellent and you should be able to pick up the words with minimal effort). Recommended.
Photo credit: Louis-Philippe Chiasson