|Gabrielle Papillon||Keep The Fire (Oct. 13, 2017)|
Gabrielle Papillon — Keep The Fire (Oct. 13, 2017) ★λ★• “The first step isn’t building your audience — it’s finding a team.” — Gabrielle Papillion
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Album release: Oct. 13, 2017
Record Label: The State 51 Conspiracy
01. Overture for the Fire Keeper 1:39
02. Three Years 4:17
03. The Damage 3:07
04. Deep in the Earth 4:05
05. Hold On, I Will 3:44
06. When the Heart Attacks 3:28
07. Keep the Fire 4:09
08. Heart Beat 3:47
09. Some Rise Up 3:28
10. What to Keep 4:12
11. No Paradise 4:23
℗ 2017 The state51 Conspiracy
→ Gabrielle Papillon: Vocals on all tracks. Electric guitar and acoustic guitar on all tracks except 11.
→ Dan Ledwell: Acoustic guitar on track 11; Horns, piano, keyboards and all kinds of crazy sounds on tracks 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.
→ Nicholas Maclean: Electric guitars and lap steel on tracks 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.
→ Jordi Comstock: Drums and percussion on all tracks except 1 and 6.
→ Sean MacGillivray: Upright and electric bass on all tracks except 6; Backing and gang vocals on tracks 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.
→ Corey LeRue: Synth, drum samples on track 6.
→ Alana Yorke: Backing vocals on tracks 2, and 5.
→ Ian Bent: Backing vocals on tracks 2, and 5; Piano on track 5.
→ Jenn Grant: Gang vocals on tracks 3, 4, 7, 9.
→ Jessie Brown: Gang vocals on tracks 3, 4, 7, 9.
→ Kim Harris: Gang vocals 3, 4, 7, 9.
→ Kinley Dowling: Violin and Viola on tracks 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11.
→ John Spearns: Cello on tracks 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11.
Gabrielle Papillon Album Credits ‘Keep the Fire’:
★ All songs written by Gabrielle Papillon. ‘Overture for the Fire Keeper’ co~written with Ian Bent. ‘Hold On, I Will’ co-written with Ian Bent and Alana Yorke. ‘No Paradise’ co~written with John WD Mullane.
★ Produced and engineered at Echo Lake by Daniel Ledwell except track 6, produced by Corey LeRue.
★ Mixed by Corey LeRue at Dreaming Out Loud Studios except tracks 1, 5, and 10 mixed by Daniel Ledwell. Additional mixing by Daniel Ledwell on tracks 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9 and 11.
★ Mastered by J. Lapointe at Archive Mastering.
★ Photography by Lindsay Duncan.
★ Artwork and design by Louise Mason / Sawn Off.
By Jordan Blum | October 9, 2017 | 9:02am | Score: 9.1
★λ★• Having released five wonderful studio albums over the last 15 years, Gabrielle Papillon easily stands alongside artists like Greg Laswell, Tori Amos, Ben Folds and Joanna Newsom as one of today’s best singer~songwriters. Indeed, her mixture of sweetly cautious singing, graceful lyricism, and sophisticated folk~rock tapestries makes her a highly distinctive, moving, and consistent creator. In other words, hers is a sound of bittersweet, luscious empowerment, and her latest offering, Keep the Fire, is her greatest observation yet. Filled with both charming introspections and catchy outcries — all of which are delivered via engrossing, ambitious and dynamic arrangements — it’s a true gem in the genre.
★λ★• While Keep the Fire feels very much like a sibling to its predecessors, Papillon also sees it as a bold new step because it finds her exploring, in her words, a more “art~pop progression” (including “strings and drama, keys, and evocative percussion”). This new style is due in part to the influences of producer Daniel Ledwell — who also helmed her last record, 2015’s The Tempest of Old — and mixer Corey LeRue (Neon Dreams), both of whom also play on the record, alongside several other guest musicians (such as percussionist Jordi Comstock, bassist/backing vocalist Sean MacGillivray and violinist Kinley Dowling). The result is a ceaselessly captivating “life score” (as Papillon calls it) that exemplifies not only how much she has grown as an artist, but also how striving, multifaceted and rewarding the singer~songwriter landscape can be.
★λ★• As you might expect from its title, “Overture for the Fire Keeper” is a brief instrumental rooted in a rustic classical aesthetic. Truthfully, it’s not especially complex or varied, focusing entirely on a single string melody with delicate accompaniment, yet its hook is gripping enough to stay with you forever (as is the surrounding cacophony of emotive pastoral chaos). It subtly glides into “Three Years,” an initially gentle lament that intersperses the previous score (as well as other orchestration) in~between and behind shuffling percussion, period crunchy guitar riffs and Papillon’s resolute phrases. It evolves tastefully towards a dense middle passage before dying back down to somber stillness as it concludes. Together, this opening duo showcases precisely what makes Keep the Fire idiosyncratic, as well as why Papillon and company are such an invaluable and treasurable team.
★λ★• Of course, she hasn’t completely abandoned her lighter and sparser roots, either. “Deep in the Earth” exhales quaint romanticism, both in terms of its sunny, almost country~rock instrumentation and Papillon’s humble, matter~of~fact performance (that evokes the similar cadences of Suzanne Vega and Sarah McLachlan). In contrast, “Hold On, I Will” is a demoralized piano ballad whose blend of forlorn chords, angelic harmonies and reflective promises (“We will make it / I won’t break / I can take it”) are downright haunting, whereas “When the Heart Attacks” is relatively quiet aside from its askew rhythmic heart. Unsurprisingly, the anthemic and chameleonic title track is the standout of the whole LP, as its simultaneously an individual triumph of invigoration and the finest example of how Keep the Fire maintains her established persona while also venturing into the aforementioned fresh territories.
★λ★• The remaining third of the full~length maintains a dreamy, somewhat proletarian cohesion that reveals how strong Papillon is as a lone singer/songwriter with as few embellishments as possible. It’s a very understated yet powerful bulk of compositions with which to close the disc, and the final moments of orchestration give the sequence a grand sense of cyclical elegance. In addition, these selections provide a significant contrast to the more complex pieces that preceded them, further emphasizing how significant a work Keep the Fire is for Papillon and the genre in general.
|Gabrielle Papillon||Keep The Fire (Oct. 13, 2017)|