In creating her sixth album En cas de tempête, ce jardin sera fermé, Coeur de Pirate was forced to revisit traumatic experiences and come to terms with her habits.
Now ten years into her storied musical career, acclaimed Montréal singer-songwriter Coeur de Pirate has more than a few hard-earned life lessons under her belt.
Bursting onto the scene with her 2008 debut eponymous album at the tender age of 18, Coeur de Pirate, real name Béatrice Martin, now finds herself facing the release of her sixth studio album En cas de tempête, ce jardin sera fermé. After hitting a mental wall during the writing process, Béatrice was forced to revisit traumatic experiences from the past few years and face her demons, jumpstarting her creativity in the process. For Béatrice, the release marks a culmination of a decade of wisdom and relentless dedication to her career.
In the early stages of her career, Béatrice’s soft voice and talented songwriting and piano abilities thrusted her in the spotlight. Before she knew it, she was being labelled as Québec’s next big thing and the unofficial torchbearer of bringing francophone music to a whole new generation of youth. After the smashing success of songs like “Comme des Enfants” and “Ensemble,” her popularity was only amplified in France.
“It’s been crazy,” she admits. “I still feel insanely lucky to have made it this far and that people listen to me. It’s been a mix of hard work and a lot of luck.”
Through all the pressure, however, Béatrice has handled it with grace and had no problem living up to her expectations. In 2009, she won the Félix Awards for “Debut Artist of the Year,” following up in 2012 for “Female Singer of the Year,” “Québec Artist Most Celebrated Outside of Québec” and “Pop Album of the Year” for Blonde. Her song “Comme des Enfants” received a Victoires de la Musique Award for “Best Original Song of the Year” and a Bucky Award for “Best Reason to Learn French.”
In 2012, Béatrice stopped touring during the second half of the year and gave birth to her daughter in September. An important stage of growth, she maintains that becoming a mother patience, in life and in music. “It’s great to have someone to do this for on a more direct level,” Béatrice explains.
While she never stopped making music, things started to take a turn in 2016. As a response to the shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando now two years ago, Béatrice came out as queer in an op-ed for Noisey. What was intended to be a shared moment of solidarity between the artist and the LGBTQ community, Béatrice found herself on the receiving end of harsh backlash. Martin said she felt taken advantage of during the ugly fiasco, with everyone from French tabloids and media figures to fans on social media invasively scoping her life and past.
The biggest lesson for Béatrice has taken from this time? Not to take criticism too hard. “People have different perceptions of you and everything and it’s completely normal,” she says. “I used to take criticism so seriously.”
Following a relentless run of live performance and festival dates (which she also took on the toll of producing the shows) that included 150 dates across Europe, Canada and the United States last summer, Béatrice spent found herself approaching burnout. She wasn’t able to focus on her album physically or mentally, and admits to turning to alcohol, noting that her world had come crumbling down over the past few years.
“I entered a void. I couldn’t write anymore and everything was horrible,” Béatrice admits. “Then I stopped drinking and all my emotions came rushing back. Everything I had repressed came back and I was able to write again.”
En cas de tempête, ce jardin sera fermé is both a warning and a protective shell that revisits the traumatic experiences of her past. “I was in the middle of an anxiety attack in the streets of Paris when I saw that sentence on a small sign on a garden’s entrance,” she recalls. “It really resonated with what I was experiencing, and it stayed with me.”
“Obviously all musicians write about their own lives at one point or the other, it’s so cathartic,” Béatrice preaches. “I’ve been through a lot because I was forced to grow up so fast and I wanted to talk a lot about facing my own demons and coming to terms with patterns I kept repeating in my life.”
The album’s opening track “Somnambule” speaks on the fragility of love she’s experienced recounting her relationship with a “broken being” filled with mixed feelings and a disintegrating connection.
While the album’s lead single “Premonition” and its electro beat bring a pulsating mood fraught with thought-provoking lyrics. An introspective track, Beatrice speaks on the subconscious reality of toxic relationships and repeated behaviours. Why do people who make each other unhappy stay together?
Inspired by Michel Berger and the paradis blac era, italo disco, France Gall, Dalida, Pierre Lapointe and more than enough recent life events, Béatrice took to Paris to write and record. “It’s been a good reflection of what I’m into,” she says. “I’ve gone from folk to 60s yéyé to alternative but still true to my roots and French chanson.”
“It’s going back to things you know when change scares you,” she explains. “It’s not healthy but it is what it is. We find comfort in that.”
Throughout her music career, Beatrice has certainly had her share of ups and downs. Through the hard-earned lessons, reality checks of the past decade, she’s come a long way and deciding to face her demons and come to terms with her repeated habits of a tumultuous past few years was a tough, but necessary decision to make. But all in all, would Beatrice do anything differently over the years?
“Nope,” she says firmly. “Well, maybe not bleach my hair so much.”
En cas de tempête, ce jardin sera fermé is available to stream on Spotify and Apple Music now.