The album At dawn returning, the still hot fourteenth Cabrel, naturally rose to the top of record sales in Quebec. As if it went without saying. Perhaps it is indeed in the scheme of things. Perhaps this is a particularly good time for the reunion. While nothing seems to be holding up, the planet is overheating, an invisible beast threatens us even in the postilions of the singers, hearing the beautiful and not nervous voice of Francis Cabrel, from a healthy distance, reassures a little a lot. And his thirteen new songs as well. Beneficial, more than before. Comfort comes from Astaffort over and over again.
“Everything is multiplied”, comments the benevolent troubadour. “Everything that matters to us becomes more important. When I got Dylan’s last album [Rough And Rowdy Ways], during the first confinement, it had an effect on me! I was a hundred times happier than I usually would have been. My faithful Dylan was there, without my asking him, to help me break the isolation. “
At least we have that. Loyalty. Long-term ties with songwriters. Solid. Everything in Cabrel and around Cabrel reinforces this idea of sustainability, of what is made to last. Until the Éphémère studio, housed in a barn, so named because originally intended for a single album (The beautiful damage, published in 2004). The console also has quite a few decades in the making. Reliable and analog. “It corresponds to what I want in human relationships. Denis Benarrosh’s drums follow the beating of my heart, we’ve been playing together for a long time. There are new kids, but the core of the group is still the same. For this album, we recorded almost everything together in the barn, and even the female choirs, from the first take. The very great complicity. We worked around a table, as a family. “
For me, music should allow words to breathe. I believe that I needed, that the musicians needed, and the people too, moments of trance, where it floats a little, where the music takes us into a zone of well-being.
Thanks to consistency, most of the work took place over time, almost completed in the fall of 2019. “We still continued until March, and between confinements. We have adapted. The man has the habits of a “good peasant”, as he puts it. In the song he wrote as a letter to his father, Look like you, where he admits to feeling “sometimes at fault” for having one day “crossed a guitar” and “lived as one has fun”, the description of the father also speaks for itself. Early riser, disciplined, he writes at fixed times, “keep fit” on the guitar. “I cannot imagine creation otherwise. Inspiration doesn’t come from playing tennis. You have to concentrate. But still, I don’t kill myself at work, like my father, and his father before him. Yes, I have a little “feet on the ground”, as I sing about him, but first I had my head in the clouds for a long time. “
The Cabrel way
At dawn returning is a remarkably balanced album. Relevant and pleasant, weighing its weight and nevertheless light. If Cabrel does not miss what worries him and worries him – climate change in To the poles, the disappearance of bookstores in Hard to believe, the need to respect the other in Let’s talk together -, the music rather soulful caress the bodies. There’s even a Dutronc-style rock, on purpose (Song for Jacques, an ode to detachment).
“Music acts as a counterweight. It cannot be more sullen and heavy than the text. For me, music should allow words to breathe. I believe that I needed, that the musicians needed, and the people too, moments of trance, where it floats a little, where the music takes us into a zone of well-being. It’s not hard to imagine what it will look like on stage. “The songs are waiting for that! They are pawing. When the concerts resume, I think they will be exulting. And U.S. too. “