donderdag 12 november 2009

Daniel Bélanger

In January, I posted a lot songs by Canadian artists. Because I was struck by the number of great singers and great songs coming from that country. In the months that followed, more and more Canadians (from Quebec mostly, but also from other states provinces) came to my attention. And I loved that. Recently, the new album by veteran Daniel Bélanger was released. A very good cd, my introduction to this artist. My Canadian friend, dj-partner and musical conscience Natasha wrote this guestpost on Bélanger:

Born and raised in Montréal, Daniel Bélanger dropped like a bomb onto the Québec music scène in 1990, winning prizes and breaking records left and right. He writes eloquent songs that every guitarist plays at parties (guilty as charged) and on stage he seems shy, making him even more intriguing. The story goes that Bélanger had written tons of songs and had to be convinced by his brother Michel to finally pursue a musical career. Lucky for him, his brother owns Audiogram, Québec’s major French language label.
On Bélanger’s brand new album Nous, Filles Fragiles-favourites such as Amylie and Caracol have joined in, with the male end being held up by Damien Robitaille and Julien Mineau of rock band Malajube. Ariane Moffat toured with Bélanger in 2001 as a keyboardist for his fourth album Rêver mieux and other singers such as Luce Dufault and Isabelle Boulay sing songs by Bélanger, already considered Québécois standards.
Nous is more extroverted and funky, less ethereal and more of a collective affair. Bélanger has always loved funk, but has said he can’t imagine himself trying to imitate African-Americans. 'Funk is directly related to the body. It’s as if your ass is thinking, because your ass can’t think the way your brain does.' That’s probably a revelation coming from an artist who has been living inside his head for more than two decades.
One of my personal favourites is Sèche tes pleurs from the 1993 album Les insomniaques s’amusent, which in my books comes in second to Jacques Brel’s Ne me quitte pas in the pain and desperation felt when your ass gets dumped.

Daniel Bélanger - Sèche tes pleurs
Daniel Bélanger - L'équivalence des contraires

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