Daniel Bélanger: in sync with himself

Fans of Daniel Bélanger have had not one, but two new works by him to savor in no time. After his first collection of poetry, Heavy weightsreleased at the end of the summer, the singer-songwriter offers this Friday his new album, Mercury in May.

This 11eopus (counting the album recorded live Tricycle) was composed in the midst of a pandemic, when “everyone was stall», tells in an interview the icon of Quebec music to Subway.

“The pandemic has made the past no longer able to exist; and the future, we expected it. I was lucky, I didn’t lose anyone to the pandemic, I just had to live from day to day. And observe and rely on that day,” he recalls.

From his daily observations and impromptu encounters flow the 10 pieces of Mercury in May.

Mercury in May, new album by Daniel Bélanger. Image: Secret City Records

The flame still burns

The inspiration, Daniel Bélanger confirms, hardly dries up. “The flame is not extinguished, I still want to talk about this world in which I live. I feel lucky to still have fun, if not more, since I’m a better musician, a better technician in the studio than before. It’s very liberating. »

Surprisingly, another album could have been released during the pandemic, if not that its creator finally put it aside. “I firmly believed that this would be the next album. But I wondered if I was going to be able to live with these songs for a long time and if it was the right time for me. The answer was no. »

He then set out again on other avenues, these fruitful, in adequacy with the Daniel of today.

I realized that I could be who I am without reacting to what I’ve done in the past, and just make music where I’m in my head. I didn’t try to run away from what I did or get closer to it, just to free myself from those albums.

Daniel Belanger

Result: bewitching Mercury in May where operatic voices rise, to which we had become familiar. Trackingin 2020, which bears the indelible Bélanger signature while having its own identity — like each album since the initial The insomniacs having funpublished in 1992.

The locomotive atmosphere

When Daniel Bélanger creates — always the music first, the lyrics are added to it — a song establishes the atmosphere, the climate of the album to come. “It’s as if the playing field was marked out. I know his height. It allows me to move well in there, ”he describes.

In the case of Mercury in May , Joy has been the acoustic locomotive, although » Sunrise was a lot of fun to do and challenging for others to come.

But this climate, which dictates what he will talk about — « which I don’t always know before I start writing! » — is a matter of instinct: « If I were asked to talk about the climate, I wouldn’t be able to do it. » I like the place where I find myself and it is favorable to me composing other pieces. A place where I feel in sync with what I want to do. It’s all very intuitive. »

It is precisely the atmosphere that emanates from Mercury in May that Daniel Bélanger particularly likes from his album, in addition to the cover that a graphic designer has assembled from his illustrations. But he goes further.

I actually like to be personally in sync with what I’ve written and composed. Like every album, if I release it, it’s because I like all the songs. I don’t like him more than anyone else, I’m just happy to have created something out of my little nothingness.

Daniel Belanger

If you wonder what Daniel Bélanger might look like in the middle of a creative session in his studio, imagine him improvising lyrics to the sound of music. “Instead of erasing on a piece of paper, I erase what I have just sung,” he explains. It’s as if there was something more and more spontaneous in my work. »

We admit it to our interlocutor: when we are interested in the creation of songs, melodies, atmospheres, we can be inclined to intellectualize a little the process of an artist. Daniel nods, laughing.

In fact, he adds, “there are so many things to define in an album, that when places are more intuitive, I don’t try to explain it. That’s why it often takes me two, three years to understand the album I made. At the time, we are so called upon to check a lot of things — the arrangements, the lyrics, a little seam here, a little edge there — that when it’s finished, the big picture reveals itself to me just in the months that follow. follow”.

Like his inspiration, we see withMercury in Maythat his creativity does not dry up either. « I’m glad that people have been curious about my work all these years and they don’t seem to get tired of it. » We bet that his faithful audience will never tire of hearing everything that plays in his head.

Mercury in May
Secret City Records

Heavy weights
Red herbs

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