Artist picture of Keren Ann

Keren Ann

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Artist's Top Tracks

My Name Is Trouble Keren Ann 04:13
Jardin d'hiver Keren Ann 02:58
It's All a Lie Keren Ann 05:40
Strange Weather Keren Ann 05:26
Halleluja Keren Ann 04:22
L'onde amère Keren Ann 02:59
Lay Your Head Down Keren Ann 04:43
Manhà de Carnaval Keren Ann 01:59
Liberty Keren Ann 06:00
It Ain't No Crime Keren Ann 04:17

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“There are some encounters in life where truth and simplicity prove the best rides in the world,” wrote La Bruyère in The Characters. Such is the case with the encounter between Keren Ann and the Debussy Quartet, a balanced alliance born of a single concert at La Chapelle de La Trinité in Lyon in October 2017. The local classical quartet, known for its metamorphoses and its artful decompartmentalization, was invited to accompany several of Keren Ann’s most beautiful songs in a singular and magical setting. It was an exercise destined to please this particular singer-songwriter, a mercurial artist used to shifting gears, to traveling near and far, geographically and musically, between the United States and France, and even to Iceland. Her comfort zones encompass chanson, folk and rock; staging and music for the cinema, dance, and opera. That evening, after just a few rehearsals, was a moment of pure alchemy between Keren Ann’s electric guitar, at once raw and soft, and the Quartet’s fanciful, layered strings. The string arrangements by Maxim Moston and Gabriel Kahane, paired with the gentle harmony between Keren Ann and the Quartet, were too precious to be quickly shelved as memories, too wonderful not to grace the ears of more listeners. It was obvious to all that this magic should continue, and that it should travel to other stages in France, Europe and around the world. The resulting tour was luminous, though the unfortunate pandemic came to interrupt it, as it interrupted the rest of the world. As it became necessary to accept the ensuing changes, the idea of an album was born, to engrave, once and for all, this musical journey on a record, and to keep the creative momentum going. Inspired by that initial live experience, the idea was to maintain a certain visceral authenticity, the philosophy of the moment, its truth and simplicity. The album’s tracks were recorded in live conditions as an intimate concert for family only. Over two days in January 2021 at Labomatic Studios, and in very few takes, the musicians recorded ten tracks produced by Keren Ann, Christophe Collette of the Debussy Quartet, and Marc Cardonnel. Thanks to Bénédicte Schmitt’s sound engineering and Dominique Blanc-Francard’s mastering, the result is a sublimation; the music’s strength and fragility are smoothed out and enhanced. A 20-years career in 10 songs Symbolically, the record opens with a declaration of intent, a profession of faith, with Keren Ann’s 2002 hit, L’Illusionniste. It’s her way to set the tone for her records. As she says about the album, on it she “sows the memories that [she] loves.” This is the sleight of hand of this record, its “trick,” nestled in the arrangements of Moston, Kahane, Avner Kelmer, as well as Stéphane Gassot and Nicolas Guiraud. These ten tracks concentrate and revisit 20 years and eight albums of a versatile career, running from La Biographie de Luka Philipsen to Bleue. The songs include titles in English (By The Cathedral, arranged by Keren Ann herself, along with the hypnotic Lay Your Head Down andYou Have It All to Lose) as well as in French, from melancholic ballads (the acoustically rich Que n’ai-je ?) to pastoral songs (Faire des ronds dans l’eau, in chamber folk), including emblematic hits that became Hollywood score classics (Jardin d’hiver, which gave a second life to Henri Salvador), and the progression continues from dark days (Ton île prison) to Jours heureux. And as a grand finale, Strange Weather, also the album’s first single, brings the record to a close. A dark, glistening jewel, this song illuminated each concert of the tour with its guitar reverb and minimalist but vibrant garage-blues riff, along with Keren Ann’s celestial voice adorned by the transparent silk of the Quartet’s ascendant strings. Over the course of five minutes, the piece turns into a tornado that carries everything away, leaving a taste of eternity in one’s mouth, a trace of this remarkable record of truth and simplicity—a record like a carousel, turning endlessly, with you happily along for the ride.