Les soeurs Boulay with guest Catherine Leduc

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Music Canadian

The Boulay sisters grew up in the Gaspé, bouncing around in the back of a pickup or on a snowmobile, never far from their collection of vinyl LPs. It’s all their dad’s fault: he’s the one who encouraged them and followed them around with his VHS camera, and who used the record player as an alarm clock every morning. It’s Michèle Lee Richard’s fault, too: she’s the one who came knocking at the door one day to give singing lessons to six-year-old Mélanie, who made her stage debut that same year in front of 600 people (wearing her mother’s three-sizes-too-large shoes, because she’s pig-headed that way). And it’s Clé de Sol choir’s fault (average age 40) for giving the two little brats, ages 10 and 13, a chance. And it’s their mother’s fault for always encouraging them, even when times were tough. And last but not least, it’s the fault of the music “establishment” for having the blind faith to give them stage time.

 

After a few years of bumming around in the choir and solo, one hung-over morning, by chance and by choice, they started performing together… and that’s when things took off. Shortly after the February 2012 release of their first EP (produced by Éric Goulet), they placed first at the Francouvertes music competition. Since then they’ve appeared from the FrancoFolies de Montréal to the Emerging Music Festival in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, from community venues in the Gaspé, the Charlevoix, the Côte-Nord and the Magdalen Islands to Loto-Québec’s Entrées en scène showcase and the Quebec Indie Music Awards (where they won the award for New Artists Most Likely to Succeed). Their debut album, Le poids des confettis—released March 26, 2013 and produced by Philippe B— highlights their clean, austere musical style and subtle shading, from cheery pastel to sombre. Songs of nostalgia, of wild and crazy times, of celebration and sorrow, of love or something like it; songs of two sisters wandering the city in search of a tree, of a guy who’s not afraid of a dip in cold water, and of true friendship captured in a half-empty bottle, a deflated balloon or a faded photograph.

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