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Steve Amirault: One Existence, Two Voices

By Published: October 17, 2010
A perfectionist and dedicated artist, Amirault didn't suddenly fancy himself a singer. "I started to take singing lessons to learn and develop the tools of the trade; pitch and how to control my voice, my diaphragm, breathing and so on."

Through no fault of his own, Amirault seems to possess a limited range, his rich voice rarely varying by more than one octave, but he more than makes up for this limitation at all other levels, from song choices to lyrical and compositional considerations. His songs have an indescribable standards feel to them; they are as personal and heartfelt as his arrangements and execution, the three fitting together like warm, apple, and pie. And anyway, his music has never been bold and brash despite the grand existential themes that fuel his inspiration; it's always been about the subtle, comfort-carrying pleasures of life, even when he reflects on its sadder sides. His bluesy yet hope-filled ballad, "Je vois Clémente Danser," (which originally appeared without lyrics on Breath) a song he wrote in memory of his deceased grandmother, is a testament to this.

The new album will continue to explore such majestic themes, but, based on "Perfect World," "One Existence," "Now That You're Here," and "Clémente," Amirault continues to do so by affirming beauty and goodness in all things, not by focusing on the bad.

The launch for Amirault's fifth album, and the official launch of his new direction, is planned for the summer of 2011. The disk will be called One Existence—also a song on his third album, Rendezvous Point (Effendi, 2000), which he revisits here.

The trio has been in the studio and the songs are recorded. Accompanying Amirault, and forming his new trio— another warm apple pie affair—are bassist Rémi-Jean Leblanc and drummer Samuel Joly, both bringing their high talent and personal voices. Though I've only heard a couple of tracks from this trio, the three appear to perfectly and seamlessly complement each other so that, in typical Amirault fashion, nothing ever needs to be overstated.

The album—an independent release—will feature original Steve Amirault compositions and lyrics, two of which are in French. Personally, I think Amirault should sing more songs in French. His slight Acadian accent (he was born in Nova Scotia to Acadian-French speaking parents) and the smoother, more fixed prosodic tones of French seem to give him a truly unique folk spice not present when he sings in English. It's no coincidence that the second French song is called, "Poème aux Acadiens" ("Poem to Acadians").

Back to my initial disappointment... It had everything to do with me and nothing to do with Amirault's singing abilities. Great is great! His "new thing" is a welcomed addition.

Photo Credit

Randy Cole

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