12 Songs, 34 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

After crafting the grand ballads of 2017’s La science du cœur and, with Les Beaux Sans-Coeur, the explosive garage rock of 2018’s Ton corps est déjà froid, Quebec crooner Pierre Lapointe wanted to change it up. "I felt like doing something a bit softer, with no piano, just string instruments, some percussion—but not that much,” he tells Apple Music. "I wanted to recreate the concept of a campfire." His 10th album Pour déjouer l’ennui (translation: “To thwart boredom") is the final LP in a trilogy, a stripped-back set of songs that’s a world away from the orchestral exuberance Lapointe has become known for. “This is my collection of lullabies for kids who have grown up,” he says. "Songwriters always talk about the same stuff all their lives: love and death. Those are my two key topics.” He goes a little deeper on the former as he talks us through each of the album’s songs.

Tatouage
“It’s like I’m singing a nursery rhyme to a child. Basically, it says, even if one day I’m no longer around, I’m going to love you so much that all you have to do is remember [my love] and it’ll comfort you—like it’s tattooed, etched on the skin. The song’s also about the way I approach friendship.”

La plus belle des maisons
“I’d already recorded a piano-and-vocal version of this song on [2015’s] Paris tristesse. It was great, but when I wrote it, what I’d heard playing through my head was this version here. So I figured I’d re-record it with fuller, richer arrangements. It’s a genuine and beautifully sad love song—a love that obviously didn’t work out. It’s a song that’s always made me feel really good, because funnily enough, even though it depicts a very painful experience, I find it soothing. It’s an important song in my repertoire, so I was happy to rerelease it. And it was the kick-starter for the entire project.”

Pour déjouer l’ennui
“I made this song with Julien Chiasson and Hubert Lenoir. Those lyrics they wrote became the title of the album. It’s like a melancholic wistfulness, but one that does you good. They came up with the theme; I tinkered around with everything, added some words and restructured it slightly. We reworked it, and I tied up the ending. But it’s really a collaboration between the three of us.”

Un cœur qui saigne
“This song came from lyrics I first sent to Félix Dyotte, but he didn’t respond, so I sent them to David François Moreau. The [first] result was ‘Un cœur,’ a song that ended up on La science du cœur. Then Félix got back to me saying, ‘I’ve got it, I’ve got the music for your text.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, but it’s too late!’ But I listened to it and I thought, ‘This is just too good.’ The funny thing is, when I sent the text to David, it was a lot longer; he cut out a third of it, and Félix cut it in half. The two songs are totally different, but I think they’re both equally as good. This one’s the collaboration with Félix Dyotte. He composed that beautiful melody.”

Le monarque des Indes
“It’s about a very brief love affair I had with someone. I was on a plane to Paris; we’d just spent a short time together and it’d been really fun, but we didn’t know what was going to happen. I started jotting it all down in my phone, and when I got to [producer] Albin de la Simone's place, we decided to make a song. I got out the handful of lines I’d written down and then we did the music really quickly. For me, it’s the track on the album. It’s the one that grabs everybody from the first listen. There’s also a bit about nail polish, because yes, I do wear nail polish once in a while, and with that guy, loads of times!”

Amour bohême
“I wrote this with Amélie Mandeville. It’s like an emblem of the tour we did together.”

Amour ou songe
“I wrote the lyrics and music on this one, but I created it for David Marino, my participant on the last year I did La Voix, who’d made it to the finals. He’s an incredible singer with an amazing voice, and he’s drop-dead good-looking, too. It’s like a very childish kind of romanticism, super naive, a romantic perception of love. I’ve always had this fascination with Disney songs, those from the '40s, '50s, and '60s, as well as with some songs by Michel Legrand. The melody is a sort of pastiche of that period, and we arranged it for guitar. ”

Dis-moi je ne sais pas
“This is a song I wrote long-distance with Albin. It talks about the jealousy you sometimes feel, because for some people life seems so easy and effortless. It makes me laugh because it’s something I can project myself, even if it’s not the case. Albin’s arrangements have a bit of a Caribbean feel to them, but it’s also very similar to classic French songs.”

Je connais le chemin
“It sort of ties in with what I say in ‘Tous les visages,’ from [2006’s] La forêt des mal-aimés. When you just click with someone, you quickly come to understand them, their hang-ups, and the places you can or cannot go. It’s something I have lots of fun with, in friendship, love, and work. It says, ‘Listen, just let down your guard and be yourself, with all your faults and qualities, and if you’re game, we can walk side by side and have loads of fun.' It’s that willingness to stand in front of someone, with no barriers, no masks.”

Vivre ma peine
“This is from lyrics I sent to Daniel Bélanger, who did the music. It says that it’s better to be up-front about our feelings than start playing a game, because at the end of the day, it always pays off to be honest with ourselves.”

Qu’est-ce qu’on y peut?
“I met Clara [Luciani] just over a year ago, and we clicked almost right away. I told her, ‘I’d like to work with you.’ We never discussed what we actually meant by this; we just started writing down lines, throwing around melodies. It’s funny because we both instinctively hit on a singing key without even thinking about it; she sings in a very low key, mine’s much higher. It’s a story about the passion between two people who meet and surrender themselves to each other, and you can feel this sense of letting go in both the music and the lyrics.”

Vendredi 13
“It’s a song written and composed by Philippe B. He’s someone I really admire, and I said to him, ‘Write me a song. For once in my life, I’m going to perform something by someone else.’ I asked him to describe an intimate moment in my life that he thought I’d never dare reveal. Seeing as he knows me pretty well, I can easily identify myself in the song. It talks of my first teen loves. We decided to wrap up the album with this song, because it kind of leaves things open-ended.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

After crafting the grand ballads of 2017’s La science du cœur and, with Les Beaux Sans-Coeur, the explosive garage rock of 2018’s Ton corps est déjà froid, Quebec crooner Pierre Lapointe wanted to change it up. "I felt like doing something a bit softer, with no piano, just string instruments, some percussion—but not that much,” he tells Apple Music. "I wanted to recreate the concept of a campfire." His 10th album Pour déjouer l’ennui (translation: “To thwart boredom") is the final LP in a trilogy, a stripped-back set of songs that’s a world away from the orchestral exuberance Lapointe has become known for. “This is my collection of lullabies for kids who have grown up,” he says. "Songwriters always talk about the same stuff all their lives: love and death. Those are my two key topics.” He goes a little deeper on the former as he talks us through each of the album’s songs.

Tatouage
“It’s like I’m singing a nursery rhyme to a child. Basically, it says, even if one day I’m no longer around, I’m going to love you so much that all you have to do is remember [my love] and it’ll comfort you—like it’s tattooed, etched on the skin. The song’s also about the way I approach friendship.”

La plus belle des maisons
“I’d already recorded a piano-and-vocal version of this song on [2015’s] Paris tristesse. It was great, but when I wrote it, what I’d heard playing through my head was this version here. So I figured I’d re-record it with fuller, richer arrangements. It’s a genuine and beautifully sad love song—a love that obviously didn’t work out. It’s a song that’s always made me feel really good, because funnily enough, even though it depicts a very painful experience, I find it soothing. It’s an important song in my repertoire, so I was happy to rerelease it. And it was the kick-starter for the entire project.”

Pour déjouer l’ennui
“I made this song with Julien Chiasson and Hubert Lenoir. Those lyrics they wrote became the title of the album. It’s like a melancholic wistfulness, but one that does you good. They came up with the theme; I tinkered around with everything, added some words and restructured it slightly. We reworked it, and I tied up the ending. But it’s really a collaboration between the three of us.”

Un cœur qui saigne
“This song came from lyrics I first sent to Félix Dyotte, but he didn’t respond, so I sent them to David François Moreau. The [first] result was ‘Un cœur,’ a song that ended up on La science du cœur. Then Félix got back to me saying, ‘I’ve got it, I’ve got the music for your text.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, but it’s too late!’ But I listened to it and I thought, ‘This is just too good.’ The funny thing is, when I sent the text to David, it was a lot longer; he cut out a third of it, and Félix cut it in half. The two songs are totally different, but I think they’re both equally as good. This one’s the collaboration with Félix Dyotte. He composed that beautiful melody.”

Le monarque des Indes
“It’s about a very brief love affair I had with someone. I was on a plane to Paris; we’d just spent a short time together and it’d been really fun, but we didn’t know what was going to happen. I started jotting it all down in my phone, and when I got to [producer] Albin de la Simone's place, we decided to make a song. I got out the handful of lines I’d written down and then we did the music really quickly. For me, it’s the track on the album. It’s the one that grabs everybody from the first listen. There’s also a bit about nail polish, because yes, I do wear nail polish once in a while, and with that guy, loads of times!”

Amour bohême
“I wrote this with Amélie Mandeville. It’s like an emblem of the tour we did together.”

Amour ou songe
“I wrote the lyrics and music on this one, but I created it for David Marino, my participant on the last year I did La Voix, who’d made it to the finals. He’s an incredible singer with an amazing voice, and he’s drop-dead good-looking, too. It’s like a very childish kind of romanticism, super naive, a romantic perception of love. I’ve always had this fascination with Disney songs, those from the '40s, '50s, and '60s, as well as with some songs by Michel Legrand. The melody is a sort of pastiche of that period, and we arranged it for guitar. ”

Dis-moi je ne sais pas
“This is a song I wrote long-distance with Albin. It talks about the jealousy you sometimes feel, because for some people life seems so easy and effortless. It makes me laugh because it’s something I can project myself, even if it’s not the case. Albin’s arrangements have a bit of a Caribbean feel to them, but it’s also very similar to classic French songs.”

Je connais le chemin
“It sort of ties in with what I say in ‘Tous les visages,’ from [2006’s] La forêt des mal-aimés. When you just click with someone, you quickly come to understand them, their hang-ups, and the places you can or cannot go. It’s something I have lots of fun with, in friendship, love, and work. It says, ‘Listen, just let down your guard and be yourself, with all your faults and qualities, and if you’re game, we can walk side by side and have loads of fun.' It’s that willingness to stand in front of someone, with no barriers, no masks.”

Vivre ma peine
“This is from lyrics I sent to Daniel Bélanger, who did the music. It says that it’s better to be up-front about our feelings than start playing a game, because at the end of the day, it always pays off to be honest with ourselves.”

Qu’est-ce qu’on y peut?
“I met Clara [Luciani] just over a year ago, and we clicked almost right away. I told her, ‘I’d like to work with you.’ We never discussed what we actually meant by this; we just started writing down lines, throwing around melodies. It’s funny because we both instinctively hit on a singing key without even thinking about it; she sings in a very low key, mine’s much higher. It’s a story about the passion between two people who meet and surrender themselves to each other, and you can feel this sense of letting go in both the music and the lyrics.”

Vendredi 13
“It’s a song written and composed by Philippe B. He’s someone I really admire, and I said to him, ‘Write me a song. For once in my life, I’m going to perform something by someone else.’ I asked him to describe an intimate moment in my life that he thought I’d never dare reveal. Seeing as he knows me pretty well, I can easily identify myself in the song. It talks of my first teen loves. We decided to wrap up the album with this song, because it kind of leaves things open-ended.”

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