Samuele Blends Blues and Folk with Indie and Rock

A Review of the Album, Les filles sages vont au paradis, les autres vont où elles veulent

  • Album cover for Samuele’s Les filles sages vont au paradis, les autres vont où elles veulent Credit Julia Marois

Strumming a simple repetitive chord on a guitar is fine, but adding a few background instruments, some soft vocals and a few distortion pedals upgrades the melody to a different level altogether.

Montreal’s indie and rock musician Samuele aims to do that with her second album Les filles sages vont au paradis, les autres vont où elles veulent. Released April 2017, the album touches on several themes.

“There is no message behind the album, each song has a different meaning,” Samuele explained in French. “[But] the [main] message that I want to give to the people is to stop trying to please others and please yourself.”

Upon listening through it for the first time, it was difficult to grasp what kind of musical genre the album fell into. She stuck with the traditional indie and rock genre, but also managed to incorporate some layers of folk and blues.

Her album opens with a poetic reading entitled “Égalité de papier,” where she recites the rules and necessities of what it is like to be a “wise and respectful girl.”

Press photo of Samuele. Photo Julia Marois

“Watch your weight, watch your language, reply politely to your parents, [and] remember to stay wise,” Samuele recited in French. She explained the problems women tend to go through, but in the end she asserts that in face of this, they tend to remain strong and wise.

The poetic beginning could have used a raw acoustic guitar strum to add a ballad component to the song. This would could started the album on a better note. Her plain voice tone lacked emphasis.

No matter the style she presents in each of her tracks, Samuele finds a way to seamlessly blend her voice with each one. Her soft and relaxed voice tone synergizes with the distortion effect pedal to help variate each possible sound combination.

Her ability to do this really shines through in her ballad “Tous les blues,” where she shows off her blues and rock skills. The track focuses on themes of unrequited love, beginning with a laid back shuffling drum beat paired with a fuzz tone from the electric guitar, which added a touch of rock to the melody.

Samuele sang with a clear voice to the rhythm of the background instruments which makes it easier to interpret each lyric. This made the message in the song more powerful and apparent.

Perhaps Samuele’s electric guitar solo shouldn’t have been paralleled with one of the background guitarist’s chord progressions. Both played their instruments loudly with a fuzz tone, making it difficult to follow the melody.

Les filles sages vont au paradis, les autres vont où elles veulent concluded with a sorrowful melody called “La couleur de l’orage.” The track begins with her soft vocals and the raw sounds coming from the acoustic guitar.

Out of nowhere, the song enters a period of absolute silence for a solid eight minutes, until finally a laid back shuffling drum beat kicks in. Here, Samuele sings her love for the Montreal borough, Hochelaga. Although it’s true that lots of artists have moments of silence in their songs, eight minutes is perhaps a bit too long.

Samuele could have ended her album with her electrifying song, “Cours toujours.” Her muted and clean guitar tone accompanied by her soft vocals blends wonderfully with the drum’s laid back shuffling beat, leaving out any prolonged silences.

Despite all that,Les filles sages vont au paradis, les autres vont où elles veulent is a good album to discover on a rainy Sunday afternoon with a warm drink, and nothing else but the shifting melodic notes of blues, folk, indie and rock music all at once.

Samuele // Les filles sages vont au paradis, les autres vont où elles veulent //

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