July 11, 2018. It seems so far away. Another time, another world. At the Quebec City Summer Festival, Patrice Michaud triumphed, filling with joy a party crowd and good-natured people, people of all ages, too happy to cheer their favorite good guy, prodigal son of Cap-Chat. “Eille! he had shouted to his parents from the scene. Your guy is on the Plains! A memory of an ecstatic evening, a royal gateway to the telephone conversation. It’s September 14, 2021. Great disorganized trip, Patrice Michaud’s fourth album, will be launched in a few days at the Jean-Brillant workshops, and broadcast in a few thousand cottages live from his YouTube channel. Another time, another world.
The singer adds more. Highlights. “Fifteen minutes before the shop shut up, I was doing my show symphonic with the OSQ, the quintessence of y’a-du-monde-à-mass, my biggest shows in life with a trail of humans on stage with me. I was experiencing a sort of personal height, and also a collective intoxication. I’m trying to get used to the idea, even though I’m pretty positive by nature, that it won’t be… like that anymore. “
He hastens to put things into perspective. It is not a constant preoccupation with him. Far from it. “At the same time, I play ostrich, knowing that I am playing ostrich. I think of the shows that are coming up, whose tickets are sold, and I am absolutely happy to present an album whose subject is not the pandemic. “
Write, write, write
There it is. The big fellow did rather well (and knows it), participation in Star Academy did not hurt (he also knows it). And above all, long before the hallali sounded, Patrice Michaud had undertaken to take his time for the rest of his beautiful frame. “Me, I always start from the writing, the words, the subject. But this time, I was more systematic in the process. I challenged myself. I called it my “365 days of night”. Between November 2018 and November 2019, I wrote daily. Not an album, not even songs. Simply: to write. In all of this, there was material for song, poetry, monologue, children’s stories. What came out, without a priori destination. “
In Origami, a song that talks about withdrawing into oneself, there are these lines more than speaking: “You, you see mountains on each hill / You are trying to return to your original box. There are many who will recognize their full-length portrait. Forcing themselves to a daily spawning session would seem to them like an endless Andes mountain range.
“It wasn’t that hard, I knew it was a good idea, that it would help me. It’s more like the guy who runs his little two-three kilometers a day. »Understand: it aerates the rhymes, it softens the verb. “And after that, with my loyal music friends, we went to Alex McMahon’s studio. We go in there, and I have no tunes. I have some licks guitar, bits of melodies, beats, hooks… and my year of writing notebooks. We’re here to explore. Without pressure. We’re not here to make a record. “
Me, I always start from the writing, the words, the subject. But this time, I was more systematic in the process. I challenged myself. I called it my “365 days of night”.
Together and separately
And it happened what he did not imagine and you can guess: in three days, the shoots of at least five songs, casually, sprouted. “The basis of what will become Golden Record, I love you when i lie, The great Escape, Who will have it, A pale blue dot… And two more that didn’t work out. There, it becomes clear that we must continue in the same way. “
Only here it is: overnight, confinement, curfew, we lock up separately calves, cows, pigs. And too bad for the broods. “I find myself in Gaspésie in a chalet, without Internet. I myself pimpe a maximum cellular plan. And then the work continues, remotely. Each home. Simon Pedneault makes guitars in Quebec, Marc Chartrain makes tom-tom in his basement in Stoneham, it looks like Phil Collins made them… ”
The observation is almost dismaying, after the miraculous session: yes, it could be. And it’s even good. Equally good. We even come to think that all this “great disorganized journey” was necessary to arrive at an album so coherent, so irresistibly pop-rock. Much like the hassle of Paul McCartney’s recording sessions in Lagos in 1973, punctuated with knife-edge assault, lost demos, terrible weather and health problems, gave birth to Band on the Run. “It forces us to deal with the situation, the effort to put everything together is perhaps greater: the fact is that we came out of our adventure with an album not bad to our taste. We itou.
Success and what to do next
Amplifions: this is Patrice Michaud’s best record. As much as the album is a suite of ideally pop-rock choruses (in the 1973-1979 sense of the term, very Elton John, Bill Withers and Bruce Springsteen), it unfolds like a story of human relationships, where we start from ‘a couple of lovers in the song called 1977 to get to the world of now in You are here (“I am the bronze age / The age of tanning / Not always had my head above my neck / Since the invention of the wheel”), and so on until the call of the ‘infinite in A pale blue dot, title inspired by astronomer Carl Sagan.
Great disorganized trip, without ever mentioning the pandemic, is the album that speaks about it the best, the album of before and after, a not boring inventory, lining up refrains that will be sung loudly in concerts when the moment is right. will come. For the multitudes?
We’ll see. Patrice Michaud believes in it. ” I am like this. I don’t want to undermine my happiness. “He is there, we are there, and the” pale blue point “is still visible from very, very far:” Still a long time, / live in the house. / The only one we have. / It’s a rare earth that feeds the machine, / a canary lost in the bottom of the mine. / But who still sings. “