• By: Katie Hartai

Coeur de Pirate Brings Treasured Performance to Ottawa

Photo by Etienne St. Denis.

Béatrice Martin, better known by her stage name Coeur de pirate, will set sail on her global tour beginning with a show in Ottawa at the Bronson Centre on February 5. After growing up in Montreal, the young singer-songwriter brought a new face to Canada’s francophone music industry with her self-titled debut album in 2008. She responded to the immediate national and international praise with her sophomore album, Blonde, in November 2011.

“I was blown away,” Martin says about the reaction to her music. “It was so quick I didn’t really see it happening, it just did, and started my career so I was very happy.” Last year Martin crossed the language barrier with her third record, Roses. The collection of songs boldly combines French and English lyrics, expanding her fanbase to English-speaking territories outside of Québec and France.

“Bilingualism is part of my heritage,” Martin explains. “I knew I could write music in French but I didn’t know if I was good at it in English, so it was kind of a challenge for me too. Just to see if I could do it.”

The song “Oceans Brawl” was one of the first Martin wrote in English. Featured on Roses, you can listen to the track here:

“I remember thinking it would be a shame if I didn’t record this and share it with people,” Martin explains. “I wrote more songs in English so there wasn’t just one, and there you have it.” At 26, she has already sold more than one million records. Her most recent album has been certified gold in Canada as well as in France with the acclaimed single “Oublie-moi” (Carry on), topping radio charts in Quebec for nine weeks in a row.

Martin explains that Roses reflects more deeply on her life than her past work. “The last albums were very indicative. I felt like I had to tail whip people and tell them how I felt making them pay for it,” Martin explains. “This one talks about my issues and probably issues that can speak to a lot of people. Like growing up in your early twenties and how confusing it can be to deal with certain subjects like motherhood and addiction.”

Photo by Etienne St. Denis.

Martin meticulously crafted not only the coming-of-age lyrics on Roses, but also the emotional instrumental arrangements. It is experimental with prickly spikes and raging thorns like the flowered album cover.

“It is kind of cinématographique,” Martin says comparing the album to a movie soundtrack. “I have always been a big movie music fan and wanted to integrate some of its qualities. There is still pop, it has some dashes of electric sampling and real instruments too.” For the next year, Coeur de pirate will present her album live to fans around the world. Some of her North American stops include Chicago, Saskatoon, Los Angeles and Victoria. She will also be performing across France in places like Paris and Cannes.

While on tour, Martin admits she misses fundamental, even mundane parts of everyday life, like doing laundry and cooking. These feelings however, are overcome by the thrill of adventure.

“My favourite part is visiting new cities, for sure,” she says. “You get to travel everywhere and I love doing it.”

While in Ottawa, Martin plans on visiting Victoire, a stylish boutique on Dalhousie focusing on Canadian designers and all things “supercute, gold and embroidered.”

Roses was produced by PJ Harvey’s drummer Rob Ellis, Swedish producer Björn Yttling, and Metronomy’s producer Ash Workman under the U.S. label Cherrytree/Interscope. For more information on Coeur de pirate, or to purchase concert tickets, visit coeurdepirate.com.