Clare Louise — Balloons
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Album release: 2014
Record Label: Caramel Beurre Salé
01. Both Moods 4:22
02. My Heart 3:28
03. I Don't Know This Place 3:21
04. I Don't Sleep Anymore 4:31
05. You'll Always Be My Love 3:14
06. Where I Come From 3:19
07. Balloons 2:40
08. Impossible Road 3:16
09. Sweet Blue 2:58
10. Somewhere Else 4:26
♠ Clare Louise : guitar, vocals, songwriting
♠ Cédric Van Caillie/Simon Bériaux : guitar
♠ Charlotte Danhier : cello
♠ Franck Baya : drums, bass
•• Certain artists make you want to follow them the moment you cross their path. Perhaps because we can feel that, soon, it will be them who accompany us. In this sense, the songs of Clare Louise are authentic “ballads” but her ethereal, dreamy and enchanting folk knows how to walk paths less trodden and take aerial ways.
•• We first heard the singular timbre of this young adopted Bruxelloise swing with ease on the six chords of her lone guitar (Bare Tales, a solo EP released in 2012), or alongside musical arabesques orchestrated by her long standing companions: Cédric Van Caillie on guitar, Charlotte Danhier on cello and more recently Franck Baya on percussion. It’s with their help that in 2011 the plans for Castles in the air were sketched out.
•• This noted first opus brought up mentions of Karen Dalton, Alela Diane and Jesse Sykes. Balloons marks the awaited return of this quartet.
•• “Castles in the sky” certainly, but with an ingenious and simple architecture one you’d associate with children’s tree houses where stories are found, like the “balloons” Clare Louise tells us about in this new album. Despite more intricate arrangements, sometimes with a sheen of electronics, these new compositions appear like so many multi coloured helium bubbles around which Boris Gronemberger (V.O, Girls In Hawaii) blows dymanics and ambiances: an atmosphere, lighter than air, that allows them to take flight. “I’ll have to learn this new geometry” sings Clare Louise on I don’t know this place, tracing new lines to give perspective to the space thus opened.
•• From these melodic lines, her trusted acolytes have also drawn new ones before mixing them back with the lady’s solitary song writing. If for this album Clare’s entourage is well and truly of a variable geometry (as the tracks play we come across the violin of Jean–François Durdu as well as the horns of Jean–Paul Estiévenart and Jean–Pol Danhier), she, as always, proceeds from an enlarged circle. It was in fact behind the closed doors of a house and studio, located in the middle of the parc de Woluwé, that Balloons was recorded by Géraldine Capart (Miossec, Nosfell and Dominique A) after two weeks of working and living together.
•• Balloons is at once light and melancholic. The album deals with themes of separation with the same resolute renunciation that drives a child to slowly loosen their fingers so they can feel the cord sliding against their palm for as long as possible. A feeling of letting go that isn’t quite abandonment: certain things can’t be held forever, sometimes you have to accept to let them go.
♠ Distancing ourselves gives us a last glimpse of their beauty. In this, helium is surely descended from the Greek Helios (the sun) before returning to it. “I touch the sun, I hit the ground, I touch the sun”. Both Moods: when the heart falters, the body is rocked by doubt. Tempest inside a head that makes balloons dance with spectres. Therefore, no longer able to sleep alone and faced with unrecognisable dreams, Clare Louise constructs her own tree house under the covers, so she can be here but also elsewhere.
•• Where I come from? Somewhere else. A few of the songs remember those places that haunt us as soon as we no longer live in them. And the balloons, left to drift in the wind, are like messengers who we hope will know how to find this “impossible route”, and that from over there, maybe, someone will reply to us. It’s what resonates in us when the voice of Clare Louise rises: the call of Sweet blue. An escape route that, however, only brings us back to ourselves.
♠ Certains artistes donnent l’envie de les suivre dès l’instant où on les croise. Car on devine que ce sont eux qui, bientôt, nous accompagneront. En ce sens, les chansons de Clare Louise sont d’authentiques « ballades ». Mais son folk éthéré, rêveur et envoutant sait pourtant s’écarter des sentiers battus pour arpenter les voi(es/x) aériennes. On a pu entendre, en effet, le timbre si singulier de cette jeune bruxelloise d’adoption virevolter, avec une aisance égale, sur les six cordes de sa seule guitare (Bare Tales, EP solo sorti en 2012) ou au fil d’arabesques musicales orchestrées par ses compagnons de toujours : le guitariste Cédric Van Caillie et la violoncelliste Charlotte Danhier, récemment rejoints par le batteur Franck Baya. C’est avec leur aide que furent ainsi tracés, en 2011, les plans de Castles in the air. Un premier opus remarqué, à propos duquel on mentionna les noms de Karen Dalton et d’Alela Diane. Balloons marque le retour attendu de cette formation en quatuor.
♠ 12.02.2015 | Conservatoire | Verviers
Press: Olivier Biron : email@example.com