Hailed as “one of the finest new songwriters in Canada,” by Tom Power (CBC Q), Gabrielle Papillon’s sweeping and heart-piercing Keep the Fire is packed full of thoughts that are wise and poignant, empathetic and understanding, open to interpretation.
Although her music remains confidently, almost nonchalantly rooted in folk strumming and gentle vocal phrasings, on Keep the Fire Papillion has embraced her art-pop sympathies and pushed them to the forefront. The songs pulse, evoke – are bold without sacrificing emotion.
This progression comes partly from Papillon’s continued relationship with producer and pop-folk whiz Daniel Ledwell, helmer of her last, award-winning chart-topper The Tempest of Old. Recording this batch of songs—imagined, Papillon says, as a backdrop to life, a life score—at Ledwell’s Echo Lake studio made for a foundation of strength and collaboration, which allowed for the new part of her record-making process: Corey LeRue. LeRue, the EDM pop genius behind Neon Dreams, lifts Keep the Fire into a new realm with his secret mixing recipes, adding heft and punch to pretty songs. The approaches may be disparate, but the result is something thrilling—melodic and catchy, memorable and affecting.