The method has not changed, the substance, though: Julien Clerc has put music and voice on texts requested from others, including Clara Luciani or Jeanne Cherhal, for an album more open to societal themes.
Violence against women
This is the theme of The girl on fire, written by Jeanne Cherhal, whose heroine “Has lit the fuse / And opened a breach with her wishes (…) Has never backed down / And for all women has spoken”.
“I met Jeanne on a promotional tour in Belgium, I had been thinking of asking her for a text for some time,” Julien Clerc told AFP. “She took a long time to come back to me, sent me a nice letter with this text, saying ‘I thought for a long time before offering you a text and I said to myself that someone who sings Women, I love you would be interested ”. I thank him for it, it is a majestic song ”.
Album Earthling, coming out this friday (at Play Two), is full of subjects with dark reflections. A deliberate will? “No, it’s not on purpose, but on arrival, I said to myself: it’s true that these texts take on a resonance in the current era”, answers the septuagenarian, always dashing.
Another topical issue, the fate of a planet with exhausted resources is at the heart of The rose and the bumblebee, co-written by rapper Vincha and Baptiste W. Hamon, folk explorer. “Vincha is a friend of Marlon (Marlon B., former drummer from Phoenix turned producer, who realizes and mixes the album here) and the fact that he is a rapper made me make music a little different, with this litany in the middle, a little spoken. This is a question we must ask ourselves, in what state are we going to leave the world to our children? “
And Paul Ecole (popular author, at the service of Calogero, among others) brush Brexit, a word that immediately spoke to Julien Clerc. The artist has just returned to France after living in London for five years. “I had one foot there (to live there), but one foot here (to work): I spent a lot of time in the Eurostar, and there, with the Covid and Brexit, I realized that this It wouldn’t be so easy to go back and forth, ”he says. “We hadn’t talked about it together, but Paul had this idea, this fable of an Englishwoman in love with a Frenchman; and then the story is over, but it’s an English grief, it shouldn’t be too obvious ”.
Depression, news item
How are you ?, signed Marie Bastide (famous lyricist), on the other hand brings Julien Clerc to unknown land. “I thank her for giving me this text, because my wife always tells me, you do not know depression”, exposes the singer, who also sees his wife, the writer Hélène Grémillon. “I think it’s true, I have never had a depression in my life, it is not my mental turn, even though I have known sorrows.”
New arrival in the seraglio of the singer’s feathers, Clara Luciani – crowned female artist at the Victoires de la musique in 2020 – delivers two titles, My refuge, sentimental story with desires elsewhere, and above all Man swam, shifted look at a news item.
“What I’m looking for as a composer are texts that are out of the ordinary. Clara’s texts surprised me with the style, the inspiration. Man swam is completely atypical, it’s a news item, which we see very little in the songs, ”he says with satisfaction.
The other surprise in this album with an uneasy frame comes from Bernard Lavilliers, a committed artist, who offers a “small original painting”, as Julien Clerc says, on … a love story (fall).