In 2019, the Boulay sisters proclaimed the death of the stars, a premonitory title because the world would provide them, in the following months, with other reasons to despair. After a long hiatus in which they considered abandoning their careers, Stéphanie and Mélanie are reunited with music, turning their eyes towards the lights in the sky.
I had to stop. When it came time to cross off all the remaining shows on her calendar, in September 2020, Mélanie Boulay was very, very pregnant with her and Stephanie’s second child, she just couldn’t do it at all. “There were times when she was lying on the floor and my boyfriend had to help me up,” she recalls. I was affected to a level where just thinking about leaving our house to take a guitar in my hands made my heart ache. I was physically unable to continue. »
Beneath the scorching spring sun streaming through the restaurant window, the Boulay sisters now wear serene smiles. With the new song they reveal today, the lights in the skythe singer-songwriters perform in the dazzling, sparkling garb of pop and synthetic sounds that contrast with the irresistible folk trinket of their early days.
And yet, beyond this gentle transfiguration, The Boulay Sisters, is stronger than them, they remain melodically and poetically The Boulay Sisters, when they sing like a mantra: “What is life worth, what is life worth? ? »
the death of the stars, it was disappointment, it was fucking, there is no hope. But one day I said to myself: if you keep making music, girl, you’re going to have to find some light somewhere. I have come to this in my life: I no longer want to be fatalistic.
continue to exist
“If you keep making music, girl. Stéphanie’s fun formula is not an exaggeration. To the overwhelmed observation that burned without flame the death of the starsTo his chronicle of a current world to his loss, a wave of complaints of inappropriate sexual behavior was added in the summer of 2020 after which the head of his record label, Eli Bissonnette, resigned.
Breaking free from her contract with Grosse Boîte (her new album, scheduled for fall, will be released on Simone Records) was only possible at the cost of necessarily painful legal proceedings. Stéphanie had to negotiate at the same time with the repercussion of the confessions on social networks of her ex-lover, who admitted to having “abusive behavior” with her. A painful fact that she would have preferred not to make public.
“I don’t know if people realize how difficult it was. We were very upset with the environment, to the point that I said to myself: in the worst case, I will continue to make music just for myself, not in the industry. We no longer knew who to trust,” says Mélanie, who at the same time is saddened by the “backlash” experienced by several of the whistleblowers and their allies, against whom many industry representatives would have turned. Not counting “all those people who are still there, who have not been reported and with whom we will still have to rub shoulders.”
But after having carried this vertiginous disenchantment with the environment to which they belong for 10 years, The Boulay sisters will have calmly reconnected with the essential: music.
Every time I became a mother, I wanted to take a step back in my career, because I find it difficult to juggle the two. Then, silently, she catches me again: I can’t just be a mother. I need to create things outside of my family life. I need to exist, and that’s what music does. It makes you exist so much.
avoid the dark
Although they have now gone for another ride on the Ferris wheel, Mélanie and Stéphanie Boulay are today inhabited by the acute awareness that they must define their limits. Every one of their tours, one or the other or both, ended in burnout.
“There’s so little space, you feel so grateful when you finally get attention that you feel like you can’t turn down any opportunity, otherwise you’ll lose your spot.” It’s the logic of capitalism: if you don’t want to make the sacrifices, someone else will be ready to make them. The record companies have a lot to gain by squeezing you to the max”, laments Mélanie who, to this day, still carries with her the fear of submerging herself again in the same black hole that she swallowed after her first tour.
“Being in public space creates a self-consciousness that is harder for women to deal with, because you are always being compared to beautiful, thin, articulate, strong but not standing out, who are sexy but not too sexy. And the pressure to remain humble! I put a lot of pressure on myself to be successful, but at the same time not to change, to always be kind and polite”, explains Stéphanie.
love still exists
is on its way to everybody talks about it, in March 2020, going back to the genesis of this fourth album planned for the fall. Branded as being depressed and depressed on social networks, the Boulay sisters will have obtained confirmation of what they already suspected -“What is expected of public figures is entertainment, laughter, mischief”, according to Stéphanie-, but they will also have gotten into some How many introspection sessions?
What does it say about me that people find me depressing? And if there is any truth to that, how do I see myself as more positive? What am I left to say if I stop burying my face in my shit constantly?
Mélanie continues and the interview now seems like a conversation between sisters that the journalist would attend almost by chance. “I also had this thought: why, even if I am happy, everything that comes out of my mouth that I have noticed is not beautiful? Why do not I make the decision to dwell more on beauty? »
Meditate on beauty. They have dedicated themselves to this, recording new music with the young director Connor Seidel, as well as investing in other projects: osteopathy studies for Mélanie and amateur beekeeping for Stephanie. What is life worth, what is life worth? Much, we will understand.
“Why do we collectively bring children into the world, even though we know that it is the end of humanity? “He launches this last one before answering his own question. “Because love is more important than anything. »
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