Editors’ Notes Sometimes it takes a minute for an artist to truly come out of their shell. “I really took the time to do this one for me, and not to meet the expectations of a record label,” Quebec singer-songwriter Rosie Valland tells Apple Music of her second album—and newfound sense of freedom and self-assertion. “To be able to compose these songs, I had to work really hard on myself so I could find inner peace. And because I’m okay now, the tracks are no longer just about me. I’ve opened up to the world around me for the first time, and I see things from a more luminous and empathetic perspective.” This openness is reflected not only in the themes addressed on BLUE, but also in the broader range of sounds: “I stopped turning my back on my influences, and I also felt like giving a little nod to my childhood, growing up listening to ’90s pop music. I’ve therefore diverged somewhat from rock and alternative and aimed for something that’s more uplifting. I needed something that was gentle and soothing.” Here, Valland reveals how each of the tracks on BLUE came into being.

Blue
“This song exemplifies my state of mind when I created the album, and that’s why it’s also the title of the album. When I wrote it, I pictured myself comforting a friend I felt was on a downward spiral. I realized that it’s not easy to avoid the clichés when trying to console somebody, that we always end up saying the same thing: It’ll be okay. Because at the end of the day, they may be clichés, but they are also often right.”

Chaos
“‘Chaos’ is a critical look at my creative process. I went through a difficult period, but I’m doing better now; I live in the country and I’m in love. Seeing as I’m not used to creating when everything is going fine, I was worried I’d lack inspiration. For the music, I went for organic and highly charged pop, a bit like the Smashing Pumpkins.”

Forçons les tiges
“It’s an ode to our times, which I don’t find particularly coherent. We criticize a lot, but take very little action. One morning, I read that our generation is the most socially conscious yet it’s also the one that consumes the most. I was annoyed by this contradiction and I recorded the song very quickly, at home. I even kept the vocals from that demo, because my intentions had been very pure and spontaneous, and I’ve never been able to recapture that.

La plage
“I realize with hindsight that this song is a tribute to Céline Dion, which I had never planned. The song actually only really came together when we started recording it in the studio. With producer Jesse Mac Cormack, we went all out with the vocals, arrangements, and instrumental transitions.”

Du même sang
“I think this is the most personal song I’ve even written. I was very hesitant to include it, because my goal has always been to make songs for people to listen to, but I wrote this one for myself. The lyrics are sad and intimate, but I decided to embark on a divergent musical path, one featuring huge choruses reminiscent of the pop music of the ’90s.”

Sinon
“For this particular song, we used the original recording, because the emotion was raw and genuine. It’s the kind of song you only manage to write once in a lifetime: It’s clear, concise, and heartrending. It talks about a breakup I went through back when I was living in Montreal. On the original track, we experimented with all kinds of different arrangements to finally end up with something very close to the initial version.”

Loin
“This track is about my relationship with my body. I think that unfortunately, like many women, I have a difficult connection with my appearance. Even though I know full well it’s all in my head, it’s something that can drive you crazy. I’ve therefore tried to put my feelings about this current discourse and all its contradictions into music.”

Comme si
“Sometimes I write songs without really knowing what they’re about. The end result sounds good, but the meaning only becomes clear a bit later on. I realized that this one was a sort of extension of ‘Loin.’ Once again, I share my thoughts on my relationship with my appearance, but this time seen through other people’s eyes. The two songs therefore answer one another, even though, in terms of the music, they are worlds apart: Here, it’s much more luminous and serene.”

MS
“I figured ‘MS’ was a good track to wrap up the album, because it represents the common quest I’ve pursued throughout each song. It’s like a comforting lullaby, in which I keep repeating to myself that everything will be okay. The lyrics are quite simple, but the melody is complex. The thought of performing this one live onstage actually scares me a bit, because of the different vocal ranges.”

SONG
Blue
1
3:08
 
Chaos
2
2:58
 
Forçons les tiges
3
3:24
 
La plage
4
3:08
 
Du même sang
5
3:02
 
Sinon
6
1:49
 
Loin
7
2:56
 
Comme si
8
4:04
 
MS
9
3:55