Émerik St-Cyr Labbé sees music as a vehicle of freedom that can create as much movement in life as it does in the air. Under the name of Mon Doux Saigneur, he cobbles together an astonishing mix of haunted folk, desert blues and country that grooves to the point of stirring the most hardened and manages to distill the raw sincerity of his slacker's poetry while always keeping something comforting.
Discovering himself as a songwriter on adventures between his native St-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Montreal via British Columbia, it was in 2014 that he decided to leave the construction sites to devote himself entirely to building songs. A sensitive and audacious first solo effort was born the following year from this period and the meeting of director Jesse Mac Cormack; the EP MONDOUXSAIGNEUR#1, a lo-fi assemblage of hypnotic rhythms and surprising metaphors that constitutes a sincere and vibrant declaration of war to the prefab.
The need to surround himself with various musician friends to face the Francouvertes stage ends up organically forming a band around the singer. Guitarists David Marchand and Eliott Durocher-Bundock, bassist Cédric Martel and drummer Mandela Coupal-Dalgleis form an increasingly tight-knit cell after months of creating an eponymous album in 2017. A dense and vibrant introspection marked by grief, the collection of abundant pieces with stripped-down production will be crowned Indie Rock Album of the Year at GAMIQ in 2018.
Putting this winter living into music transforms the group into a true family that, when the sun returns, takes to the road and inhabits ever larger stages throughout Quebec, notably those of the Francos de Montréal, Pop Montréal and the Coup de coeur francophone.
This period instills an urgency to live, a renewed enthusiasm and a light that transpires the wind of the sea and overflows on Horizon, second album of Mon Doux Saigneur. Filled with pearls of hope that sound like they were plucked from the heart of seventies rock, the album was nominated in the "Album of the Year - Alternative" category at the ADISQ gala, while the single "Tempérance" was nominated for the SOCAN 2022 French Song of the Year. Although marked by the hazards of a worldwide pandemic, the group went on tour tour from the Festif! to Baie-Saint-Paul, Gatineau, passing through Alma, Quebec City, Rimouski, Tadoussac, Granby and so many other stages where the contagious and casual groove of its joyful empathy attracted more and more allies.
That’s how Fleur de l'Âge, who appears in May 2022, becomes like a balm for the soul to spread on our years of misery. Without directly addressing the confinements and illness, the album is still a reaction to all that has been missing from the last few years; a mischievous exorcism of the doldrums and angst, and a celebration of the power of being together, of music and those who make it happen.
Always marked by an affection for the abundant 70's/80's sounds and the catchy choruses, the album remains despite its flawless realization crossed by a freedom and a sincerity that has nothing to do with artifice. A desire to gather, to return to the simplicity of the game and to go towards things with the heart of a child that finds echoes everywhere in the collection of hymns to all forms of love that constitutes Fleur de l'Âge.
Songs like so many ways of resisting chaos without disguising one's sensitivity or ideals, and finding something blue like joy.
Perhaps even the holy peace.