MARIE DAVIDSON

SATURDAY - RED BULL PRESENTS STAGE


Marie Davidson’s music dives deep into her internal psyche. Her new album draws on the influence of her assorted musical heroes, an array of important thinkers, and her recent experiences as an artist. On Working Class Woman, she takes the same building blocks as before but knocks them together into something bolder. Crafting a more timeless sound than she’s done previously, it’s the logical next step for a career built on a far-reaching worldview.

Davidson’s relationship to music started with the violin. She was raised in Montreal, the city where she still resides now, and her parents nudged her toward learning an instrument. Her request to learn the piano was rebuffed. The violin was a cheaper option, and one which she would be able to transport between her separated parents’ houses. She had classical training for several years and played in orchestras while she was at high school.

In the meantime, she hungrily consumed the music which she heard around her. That meant Nirvana, hip-hop and R&B: the sounds which were taking root in the ‘90s. By the time she was 19, she had picked up the guitar and was starting to play in bands around Montreal, as well as incorporating those contemporary influences into her own music. She started playing synths, and returned to the violin too, finding inventive ways to record and process the sounds it produced.

It was the catalyst which led to her self-titled debut EP in 2012 and debut album "Perte D’Identité" in 2014. Those first releases spoke to many of the interests which still occupy her now: textured atmospheres, spoken text – rather than spoken word, which she sees as a distinct tradition – and a melange of influences which includes Italo disco, proto-industrial and electro.

Her new album "Working Class Woman", set for release on Ninja Tune, continues in the dancefloor-minded trajectory charted by Adieux Au Dancefloor. The album’s heavier moments – of which there are many – deliver a gut-punching weight, combined with her characteristically-deployed spoken text. Sometime the text is a peak into her thoughts and state of mind; at other times, she employs a bleak humour, directed both at aspects of club culture and in more oblique critiques of the modern world.