L'Eau et la Peau
An assertive bass, throbbing beats, a heady melody. An ensemble that summons our hearts and bodies. This is "L'Oeuvre de nos vies", the prodigious opening track of Gael Faure's new EP. EP or mini album? The corpus of L'Eau et la peau is so rich that one can wonder about the names we give to the musical proposals of artists of this calibre, demanding without being snobbish, inventive while remaining accessible. Today, Gaël no longer wants to hide his words behind others, and frees his voice in a way he has never done before.
In L'Eau et la peau, the plot is pop, the subject existentialist. Both question our power to "change our relationship to ourselves, to others and to the world. By reconnecting with nature and especially with our own nature," says the musician. What is essential? This is a vast question that Gaël has been trying to answer for years, noting that the social position of each individual can blur the message about his or her duties towards the planet... and towards us, humans.
Nearly fifteen years after his debut, the desire to free himself from the rules and workings of the music industry has taken hold. To return to simplicity. First with the salvific Regain, his latest album released in 2018, then his powerful show around Jean Giono, Le Bruit du Blé. Due to the health crisis, it could not be performed as much as expected, but Gaël is exporting himself to the Drôme, with the idea of bringing art back to the countryside, and participating, in his humble measure, in a necessary decentralisation. Conferences, performances, parties: the artist finds his roots without forgetting his love for the infinite extensibility of the sky and the sea. Water and skin...
Gaël wrote and composed these new songs alone, which he chose to co-produce with his drummer, Emiliano Turi. With the label Zamora, he also takes care of the production, in order to be completely autonomous. In the sights of L'eau et la peau, a combination of the synthetic and the organic, shamanic rituals in the style of Junip, as evidenced by the aptly named "The Healer". The objective is collective: "To cleanse ourselves of these holdovers from the past, family ghosts, buried wounds and unresolved transgenerational traumas, hidden pains, shame and fears," comments Gaël. And make them disappear around a big, beautiful and powerful ceremony around the fire. Among Gaël's influences are Karen Dalton, Andy Shauf, Rodrigo Amarante, Barbara, Balthazar, Nick Drake, Feist... But also the prose of Jean Giono ("he gave me back the smile I was gradually losing in Paris"), Nancy Houston, Herman Hesse... Not forgetting the films of Tom Ford, the Coen brothers or Bong Joon-ho. Finally, the visual prism of L'Eau et la peau includes the still lifes of Louise Moillon and Jean-Baptiste Chardin, 17th and 18th century painters whose technique impresses Gaël.
"Taste the real richness", he sings in the refined soul of "Renoncer", which encourages, as he explains, to "twist the neck of the superficial, the false truth, the parade...". Wouldn't the most precious thing we have be time? The one we have, the one we give. When we talk about "Tu risques quoi ?" with Gaël, he quotes Françoise Dolto: "the only sin is not to risk living one's desire". You have to find your own way, your own voice, and assert it.
"All this time to recognise all these things that make me such a great storm", admits Gaël on the luminous "Ma Folie ma Maison", between French and Spanish, where resilience and learning defuse the reality of our existences subjected to upheavals such as those we are currently experiencing: "at this time, you really need to be armed spiritually not to sink into a certain madness, depression or anger! This is an opportunity to take care of yourself, to start again. With L'Eau et la peau, an oracle that one might think is nestled in the land of Lourdes, Gaël Faure accepts his own disorder and allows us, too, to let go. And isn't that what we expect from music ?