La Sécurité: Unraveling the Serpentine Layers of Punk and Multi-Instrumentalism

Introducing “Stay Safe” album: An Energizing Debut this past June 16th!

Courtesy of Aabid Youssef

On Friday, June 16th, art-punk collective La Sécurité released their anticipated debut album, "Stay Safe!". Comprising ten captivating tracks, including Serpent, Anyway, and Sleepy Rebellion, the album delves into themes of benevolence, empowerment, and self-acceptance.

Signed with the label Mothland, La Sécurité has garnered recognition for its unique fusion of punk, new wave, and krautrock genres. The collective, consisting of Félix Bélisle, Eliane Viens-Synnott, Laurence-Anne, Melissa Di Menna, and Kenny Smith, initially came together with a spontaneous "go with the flow" approach, effortlessly jamming and sharing a vision of aesthetics.

“Punk is about how things are no longer together in an organic way. It's like the organic decay of life events unfolding. Our music came from a place where I showed Félix a bit of my influences, and he showed me his, and the rest of the group as well. I think it's natural that when we jam, we incorporate our influences to nurture our own ideas, you know?” says Éliane Viens-Synnott, the main vocalist of the band. 

The name La Sécurité, chosen for its simplicity and crisp quality, originated as a solo project but was eventually embraced by the entire group. With Smith on drums, Viens-Synnott as the main vocalist and lyricist, Di Menna on guitar, Laurence-Anne on synth guitar, and Bélisle on bass, the collective's diverse talents contribute to their dynamic sound.

The roots of La Sécurité trace back to the summer of 2020, emerging amidst the backdrop of the pandemic. Félix, Eliane, and the rest of the band nurtured a relaxed studio experience, inviting friends to join their musical endeavors, including Laurence-Anne, Melissa Di Menna, and Kenny Smith.

"We weren't really brainstorming extensively, but when Félix mentioned it (La Sécurité), we decided to call the band by that name. We didn't even know exactly where we were headed with it. It started as a pandemic project between our respective musical paths”, says Viens-Synott, the band's main vocalist. “Both of us were already involved in music and we wanted to try things together".

Bélisle and Viens-Synnott's musical journey exemplifies the transformative power of artistic collaboration. Their shared passion for punk and post-punk genres has shaped a unique sonic landscape, fueled by their dedication and creative synergy. With influences ranging from Maximum Joy and Bootsy Collins to Le Tigre, Blondie, and ESG, the band effortlessly merges diverse musical backgrounds into their own, fostering a harmonious and distinctive sound.

Viens-Synott explains that when it comes to creating music, she draws on her background in contemporary dance and her bilingual upbringing. Choosing the language that best expresses the intended theme or emotion, she seamlessly incorporates both French and English lyrics into their songs. This linguistic diversity adds a fresh perspective and attracts diverse crowds to their performances, offering a unique experience. 

The main vocalist clarifies that they don't aim to replicate specific genres like Krautrock, but rather their influences serve as a catalyst for their own ideas. She emphasizes that they don't want to simply mimic their influences, but rather incorporate elements that resonate with them and make it their own. The focus is on taking something cool and putting their own unique spin on it, capturing the overall vibe of their creative process.

Viens-Synnott shares that after completing her bachelor's degree in contemporary dance during the pandemic, she was in a phase of self-discovery. She incorporates dance throughout her performances, especially during slower instrumental moments, and there are recurring choreographic elements. 

“We associate ourselves with the punk ethos sub-genre precisely because it represents: the artistic side, where a lot of aspects like videos, aesthetics, and visuals of the band are done by people in the collective, which is punk in itself”, adds Viens-Synnott. 

Félix adds that he handles technical aspects and contributes his opinion on bass and drums while emphasizing the collaborative nature of their work. He mentions his own affinity for bass and how it formed the foundation of their songs when the band started, with Éliane on drums

According to Bélisle, the team functions collaboratively, with each member proficient in multiple instruments. Laurence-Anne stands out for her knack for selecting the perfect elements and exhibiting both skill and creativity. Kenny is described as a brilliant individual, contributing significantly to the group. 

Regarding the lyrical arrangements of the song “Anyway” for instance, Éliane describes it as an instrumental jam that gradually developed a structure. While placing the lyrics, she aimed to convey the experience of being interrupted and struggling to articulate thoughts. The fragmented placement of syllables added to the overall effect. Towards the end, the lyrics become sparse, revealing the intended message.

“It's a young band, so we're still figuring out our working process”, says Bélisle. Currently, it's more like, 'Okay, we jam, everyone plays, and eventually things fall into place over time.' When it comes to lyrics, Éliane takes care of them mostly, and in French, Mélissa has contributed a bit. We usually focus on the music first, then leave space (we have drums) to create structures, and Éliane puts the lyrics over it."

"For me, it feels more natural to put my ideas together in English”, says Éliane. “Initially, I contemplated choosing between a French or English band, but we realized there was no need to pick sides. Being in Canada, a bilingual country, allows us to express ourselves in both languages. The choice of language depends on which one better conveys the intended themes and emotions."

La Sécurité's debut album "Stay Safe!" invites listeners into a realm where caution extends beyond physical well-being, encompassing benevolence and acceptance. Each track serves as a diary-like expression, capturing the essence of their journey and fostering a deep connection with the audience.

La Sécurité hopes their music brings joy and evokes emotions, aiming for resonance and a positive reaction from listeners. The album's release enhances the tangible experience of their songs, complementing their dynamic live performances. Show dates include an August 18 launch event at L'Escogriffe in Montreal, and at the Entrepot 77 at the Pop Montreal Festival 2023 on September 27th.In addition, festival appearances in Fredericton, Calgary, and Chicoutimi, promise an exciting summer for the band and their fans.