I usually dedicate the last post of the year to a song by an artist that defined my year or otherwise was a huge song - sometimes an anticipated release. This year, this was an easy choice, despite what I literally just said.
I started writing this in March, anticipating that this song would be the most significant one of the year for me, and this one was going to be tough to beat. Perséides, the whole album,by the same artist came close to beating it. Also, this song beat it in significance that I spoke of at length - but it's still significant enough that I'm keeping it here.
But also, I thought I'd give you a peek behind the curtain of my process.
While researching a post for the song "Toes", by Toronto artist Lights (aka #1000), I listened to that artist's entire Siberia albumS - as she released an acoustic version of the album a year or so after the original. Doing THAT led me to another song of hers, "Peace Sign", which is the one that is the most dramatically different in its two versions (which I covered well on March 3rd). The acoustic version, a highlight of Siberia Acoustic, was reimagined as a bilingual duet, with Béatrice Martin, who is also known as Cœur De Pirate, who happens to be from Montreal, doing the French translation. I was desperate for a couple of Quebec artists for my #MapleLeafMarch that weren't Céline Dion, so I did some listening.
That discovery changed how I had the whole MONTH laid out, beginning to end. It also forever changed my Spotify stats, as she quickly became one of my top five listened to artists of all time, and them my MOST listened to artst, in like three weeks.
A couple of her albums have quickly become favorites of mine, despite me not understanding a word of French. The 2015 album Roses rises to the top, 1) probably because it's half in English and I can understand English but 2) because the songs on there in both English and French are both lyrically and aurally interesting.
I posted a song for which there is no official video, and so I start with the original album version of "Oceans Brawl", the best song off the best album. It is an epic piece, with a 10-second pregnant pause at about the 1:23 mark, so you can listen to the oceans.... brawl. The song itself builds in desperation to an impassioned crescendo before rolling back with the tide.
Any doubts about the real passion that goes into writing and performing this song need look no further than the CBC Music festival, where she cannot stay seated at her piano while performing the song. It is not the type of song to be merely sung. It is a whole body experience.
This live session was released prior to the release of Roses, which means it's a quieter and unproduced piece, and while it's not as bombastic at its crescendo, it's still a powerful version of the song.