On the mini-album SEUM, Safia Nolin explores two different sides of four compositions to emphasize their emotional charge. “I’m a huge fan of Sufjan Stevens,” the Montreal-via-Quebec City singer-songwriter tells Apple Music. “A few years ago, he released two versions of ‘Tonya Harding.’ While talking with some of my friends, I realized that, for different reasons, they each had their favorite. So, I felt like giving people the possibility of choosing, too, depending on their preference or mood.” Nolin began experimenting with alternate versions of her songs earlier in the year, when she was “going through a period of reflection in terms of my music and who I am as a person and an artist,” she says. The results, which she coproduced with Félix Petit, switch between the fuller, more rock-oriented “sunset” versions and her trademark minimalist guitar-vocal style “sunrise” takes. Here, Nolin talks through the sun’s phases on all of SEUM’s tracks. “Mourir au large” (sunset version) “It’s one of the first tracks I wrote after my second album came out. The first time I performed it live was the winter before the pandemic, while on tour in France. It’s also the first one we did using the ‘full band’ formula in the studio, and it sort of set the tone for the whole ‘sunset’ concept. Certain tracks were more complicated to do, but not this one. This one came about quite naturally.” “PLS” (sunset version) “This one’s very special because it was the first time I’d experienced such an intense moment in the studio. My songs are usually very deep and introspective, but this time, we completely distanced ourselves from that type of ambiance. It’s a track you feel like singing at the top of your lungs, with a huge smile, on a road trip. Even though the subject is super dark, the melody line and guitar riffs give it an atmosphere that feels a bit like Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit.’” “1000” (sunset version) “This ‘full band’ version is a far cry from the acoustic version, with its drum loops that remind me of stuff by Thom Yorke. It was created as a team, with the musicians, while we were in the studio.” “Personne” (sunset version) “This version has such a different vibe from its ‘sister.’ It’s one I find really difficult to perform. I shout, and it’s hard vocally, as well as making me feel uncomfortable. Even though I like this side of myself, I still haven’t fully come to terms with it. But I think that, given time, I’m going to enjoy singing it more and more.” “Mourir au large” (sunrise version) “One day in the spring, Félix, my drummer Jean-Philippe [Levac], and I went out for a drive, and we stopped at a few places in Montreal so we could record this version outdoors. We recorded in a skatepark, by the river, in alleyways. So, you can hear the sounds of the city, like children playing.” “PLS” (sunrise version) “The atmosphere of this one contrasts so sharply with the ‘sunset’ version. I wrote it while I was staying on the Île d’Orléans with my girlfriend who, when it came to composing songs, was much more productive than me. She’s the one who motivated me to get started. That’s where I wrote the basis for this tune, which is a lot more pop than what I usually do.” “1000” (sunrise version) “Here again, it’s fascinating to see just how different the acoustic version is from the other one. It’s really deep. I talk about what I’ve gone through these last few years, a period that has been particularly intense, complicated, and full of self-questioning.” “Personne” (sunrise version) “The two versions are extremely different, and I prefer playing this one. I composed it in summer 2020, a dark period of my life, so once again, it’s really sad. It talks about great suffering.”

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