“Elior”, the solo album by singer Roxane Arnal, in folk, country and blues mode

We discovered Roxane Arnal in 2017 in the duo Beauty and The Beast she formed with Michel Ghuzel. At the height of her then 22 years, she already demonstrated a great command of guitar, bass and vocals, both solo and in vocal harmonies. And to top it off, she was also an actress.

Her meeting with Baptiste Baily in 2018 prompted her to go solo. a p doors was released in October 2020. It felt even more elaborate to write and compose, escaping Beauty and The Beast’s country-western-swing style. Mixtures of influences ranging from folk to jazz, through atmospheres bordering on progressive rock, with changing musical atmospheres within the same piece.

During a meeting in June 2021, when concerts resumed after confinement, the young singer-songwriter entrusted us with the preparation of an album “in the continuity of the EP”.

In fact, this EP had made us hungry. Listening to the main dish, which will be released on October 7th, we confirm: Elior is the perfect extension of doors. Of the twelve tracks on the album, three are from the EP: hastened to fly, Nobody knows my name and give everything away. The pieces have been rearranged and re-recorded, but we find the same sensations, the same thrills, listening to the soft voices of Roxane and Baptiste that go beautifully together, the orchestrations subdued, but at times “hard to send” without warning, such as in the middle passage hastened to fly. As for the new songs, they breathe an airy and intoxicating folk like the very beautiful ones little birdthe first single from the album released in early June.

“September Without Rain” sings a song in jazz-blues mode with dobro in slide while another addresses the theme of wandering “on road” in a very rural atmosphere on a ballad with catchy acoustic arpeggios everyone talks The themes often appeal to daydreaming, to the imagination. paint my song for example is “An invitation to the listener to paint my song, to determine the words of the song and the meaning the music has for them”, explains Roxane.

I have a relationship of conflict and love for words because I’m always afraid of misusing them.

Roxan Arnal

Words in English because “The music that has always rocked me is American music”, recognizes Roxane. “I have melodies that have American rebounds in the phonemes”. She adds: “But sometimes I fall back on styles that belong to the waltz or French romanticism, for example. And in this case I write lyrics in my mother tongue. At the moment I keep them in drawers for other occasions…”

And as on the EP, the musical colors are not limited to the formula voice-piano-guitar-acoustics. Although the first title i will fly away (which we had already heard in a first version on the singer’s YouTube channel) seems to open in a borderline bluegrass atmosphere, the rest of the piece takes us into jazz territories, and its finale at times almost mixes dissonant piano and roaring electric guitar .

Even if the album appears labeled blues on the Dixie Frog label, the overall coloration very often dips into an acoustic folk sweetness like the second single Come back to me, released last week. A piano ritornello that you can’t get out of your head and a ballad that gives the impression of floating in the wind.

This expertly balanced cocktail between Baptiste Baily’s inventions with jazz-rock accents and Roxane Arnal’s more folk-blues touch brings both the feeling of familiar territory and surprises to the ears in almost every piece. The harmonic progressions always end up where you don’t expect them, but remain extremely pleasant to listen to. The sign of great musical mastery. And it works perfectly live. At the start of the summer, New Morning audiences were privileged to hear songs from the album ahead of its release, such as: be who you are and his superb bluesy guitar:

Roxane was first drawn to music, then to dance. Comedy came about almost by accident. “It was out of necessity to work on my expression, my memory, my shyness, release emotions … and chance led me to filming” . Several roles in cinema and television since 2014, most recently the actress was on the list Strange but true by Quentin Dupieux, where she plays the character of the young Léa Drucker.

This duality inspires bridges between the two arts. “Yes, there are connections between the two”, she trusts. “In both cases we express emotions, but not from the same place”. She specifies: “Music comes from outside for me, is a bit like something divine and doesn’t require a lot of energy. In the theater we simply have our bodies. It is an instrument that we must contemplate, treat, listen to, manipulate and process from nothing we will draw emotions, we will summon them. It’s something quite powerful, it makes us the engine of our expression. And everything that enriches the music, of course.”

The album cover

The album Elior will be available October 7th through Dixie Frog. The release party will take place on January 19th at L’ermitage (Paris). A tour will follow in early 2023. All dates can be found on the official website or Facebook page.

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