In 2019, we put a name and a face on Canine. The one who had first made herself known by multiplying her voice and hiding under a feather headdress fell the mask with Dunes, his first album. Behind Canine, a remarkable musical and choreographic project, Niçoise Magali Cotta then developed a chiseled electro soul, where androgynous singing and hypnotic layers were superimposed with power and technique.
Three years and a great tour completed just before confinement later, the 39-year-old singer lightens the device even further and takes her artistic double on more pop paths. More intimate, too. Source, his second disc which will be released this Friday, the artist, who grew up between the Nice district of Ray and the hamlet of Libre, in the Roya valley, wanted it solar and maritime. Clean and comforting. Like a hug, sober and sincere.
“I spent the confinement in Normandy with friends, I finished the composition of the album there, in unusual landscapes for me. Curiously, this magnificent countryside allowed me to realize how my element was missing from it, how my element was the sea. It’s central to the record. For me, the sea is a healing element.”explains Magali Cotta, on the other side of the screen.
Nature, music and women
And of healing, of care, it does indeed seem to be a question in Source. The strength of the strings of the first album has given way to the warmth of the brass, the protest choirs have turned into soft echoes, the singing is more refined, sometimes breathy. The French also won on five titles out of thirteen (and three interludes, the rest is in English) to go further in confidence. Like a bit of electro pop balm to a damaged heart.
“I didn’t want it but the album sounds like that. Like an act of resilience, it’s a buzzword but it’s true. It’s a record that allowed me to be reborn while I was going through a very difficult breakup. It is almost written like a diary. There are times when you feel suddenly weakened and when you need to be without artifice, as close as possible to what we feel, introspection. There is always the notion of fight in Sourcebut it is an interior fight more than a fight turned towards the world as in Dunes. I wanted something more stripped down, more direct.”
Also in their structure, the titles of Source are more accessible. And the nested melodies of the first album have here become effective refrains. “I didn’t want to do the same thing again, I wanted to work differently. Rather than pieces that unfold, unfold, as in a rather jazz format, I forced myself into the pop form”details the one that nevertheless fuels Miles Davis, John Coltrane or Lester Young, with a few detours through the pure and hard flow of an NWA or the delicacy of a Chopin. “In the end, this readability that we gain with pop and song, interested me a lot. Looking for the obvious, simple, hard-hitting sequence of notes, I had never done this work.”
However, there is consistency between Canine’s first effort and this sequel. And it goes through, among other things, the omnipresence of female choirs and the fact that Canine on stage, and in her music videos, is also surrounded by a set of very different women. Singers, dancers. “It’s true that if the album starts from the intimate, there is something that remains essential for me, it’s the notion of sorority. And the questioning of what is feminine. In this period of chaos that was my life at that time, the three places where I found support were: nature, music and women, my friends, my mother. Dunes, it was almost a political fight, there is a more magical link. Almost a secret that happens between women. It’s empathy.”
A magical universe that Canine has developed even in the visual of the album, associating each title with a different source, a symbolism, a color. “Like a little oracle, an identity card of each piece to say what it had brought me. I had a lot of fun drawing all this, emphasizes the one who also likes to work on painting, dancing and images. From the start, I wanted to be multidisciplinary, not to put a barrier between the arts, even if the essential, nevertheless, remains the music.”