Following her acclaimed debut album ‘Crave’, French singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist Léonie Pernet returns with ‘Le Cirque de Consolation’ : a world where borders dissolve and everyone makes their own unique and singular utopia. The record questions the links between pop music, African cultures and electronic music, neo- classical music, or the place of the voice, whether human or synthetic.
The sought after whirlwind of French Pop that exploded onto the scene with her debut ‘Crave’, Leonie Pernet, returns with her second album, ‘Le Cirque de Consolation’, a sort of double negative of her first. While the yearning that sat at the center of ‘Crave’ might not have been resolved, the young multi-instrumentalist and singer has found a new perspective – a more open and positive outlook on her own life and work. Perhaps telling, then, that the title was the first element of the album to exist: as it is and has always been a journey of personal (and collective) consolation first, a musical confrontation with the self.
“This record parallels my life’s journey,” confirms Leonie, “it reflects what has happened in my life since ‘Crave’ came out and how I feel today. There’s still a lot of melancholy, but a lot more sunshine and light.” “I’ve worked a lot on my voice, which is a part of a desire to speak, to address my audience more directly, and also a more pronounced pop desire.”
In line with her new-found ‘openness’, Leonie invites another musician into her creative process for the first time on ‘Le Cirque de Consolation“: Jean Sylvain le Gouic, who lended his coproduction and perspective to her, while Leonie still plays almost all instruments herself with an astounding prowess.
Leonie’s voice oozes with a new-found self-confidence and takes center stage amidst eclectic, distinctively fun and open-minded production. Sometimes she sings in English, mostly in French: “I worked a lot on my voice,” confirms Leonie, “I didn’t dare to sing before, neither live, nor on record, nor in the studio.“ Surrounding her astounding, intoxicating voice are forays into any direction imaginable: from harsh, experimental electronics to the more somber, organic and quiet moments — and everywhere, there is the vision of Africa, (also Middle East) it’s many sonic gifts and cultures.
Leonie has found a universal utopia that she craves for – a musical, cultural amalgamation that is decidedly non-western, political and poetic, rooted in self- discovery and the connection with other humans: African and oriental percussion, synthesizers, drum- machines; Léonie mixes genres and instruments with ease and precision. The French novelist and philosopher Édouard Glissant – whose work and writing had a big influence on Pernet – coined the term ‘Creolization’, the “bringing together of several cultures or at least several elements of distinct cultures, in one part of the world, resulting in new data, totally unpredictable in relation to the sum or the simple synthesis of these elements.
From “Hard Billy”, a techno-influenced rebellious anthem, to “Les Chants de Maldoror”, a club and dance song propelled forward by feverish derboukas, to the deeply moving “A rebours” and its Afro-electronic rock. Leonie Pernet inhabits a world where borders dissolve and everyone makes their own unique and singular utopia. Hereby, the record questions the links between pop music, African cultures and electronic music (“Intérieur Négro”), neo-classical music (Le Cirque de consolation, Dandelion), or the place of the voice, whether human or synthetic as in the atmospheric “Vowel”.