I’d ever heard of Cœur de pirate until she popped up on my radio a few weeks ago. She’s from Québéc and I think the name best translates as “Pirate’s Heart”, but she’s bilingual and at one point referred to herself as “Her Pirate Heart”, which is cool too. Anyhow, the singing is in French and is very beautiful, and also an oasis of peace in among all the loud male music I’ve been hosting here recently.

Cœur de pirate

I don’t know much more about this piratic performer than what you can read on her Web site or on Wikipedia. The songs are soft, sparsely arranged, and if I had to choose one adjective to describe them it’d be “feminine”. Also, the piano lines are caressingly lovely. But if you come here seeking guitar solos or a backbeat you will be disappointed.

Her voice is unique, conventionally beautiful and also unashamedly nasal; I love it. I’m no judge of the finer points of French accents but I thought I could recognize Québécois French, and that’s not what I think I’m hearing. Also, when she speaks English her accent is completely absent to my ear, which means Middle Canadian.

Somnambule means “sleepwalking”, and the lyrics here are lusciously, lyrically romantic:

Les doutes d'une incrédule se perdent dans la nuit
Et tout s'est décidé
Je ne vis que d'idéaux, de mots cassés
Je tente d'être complétée
D'amour et d'inconnu

This is part of the Song of the Day series (background).

Links · Spotify playlist. This tune on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify. Now, Somnambule is my favorite among the songs by Ms Pirate that I’ve heard so far, and here’s a nice live take in a church. But my favorite online live performance is a totally-live two-song set: Place de la Republique & Adieu, beautifully captured in an empty room on a beat-up old piano, somewhere in Toronto. The second song cuts deeper.


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June 06, 2018
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