In the time since 2014’s Piano Ombre, Frànçois Marry rediscovered his adolescent passion for the power of grunge. This energy he “lost on the way”, in his own words, resurfaced on two occasions. A collaboration with Hedi Slimane, who allowed him to immerse himself in the punk and grunge scene of L.A. - with bands like Wand and Sunflower Bean in particular - revived his passion for this electricity. Secondly, and especially, as the band performed live dates in the Middle East, they found themselves playing to a youth still feverish after its Arab Spring. “We played in Istanbul, Lebanon, Alexandria and Cairo in 2015”, explains Frànçois. “We discovered a youth eager for music, in particular the Egyptian youth, who had made the revolution two years earlier.”
As a man and as an artist, it felt necessary to have that grunge-ful spite, that healthy anger, to survive the horrors of 2015 and the chaos of the world, referred to in “Grand Dérèglement”, the introduction of Solide Mirage. Attacks, wars, the migrant crisis, generalised fear, the pre-apocalyptic atmosphere: a dark year for all and one which incited profound questions in Frànçois Marry. “We questioned ourselves a lot. It’s delicate to speak about politics in songs, but inevitable when you write in moments like these. I have a natural attraction to abstract poetry but I realised that it had become a head-in-the-sand technique. I do not understand why musicians do not ask themselves more questions about the responsibility of their words. And considering the realities of life in the year 2015, I had to think about what we wanted to say”
Solide Mirage - like an imperceptible dream, a fantasy where reality shifts as one approaches it – is a perfect definition for this protean, changeable-yet-direct album which reveals new facets and new territories in every listen. Sometimes soft (on 1982, Apocalypse à Ipsos, Pepétuel été, 100.000.000), sometimes tough (Bête Morcelée and its rush of pure grunge, Grand Dérèglement and the roughness and splinters of Jamais Deux Pareils), sometimes crazy (the digitized trance of Âpres Après), but always highly political, whether direct or reading between the lines.
The album was recorded in Jet Studios in Brussels and produced by Ash Workman, who also worked on Piano Ombre and who has worked with Metronomy and Christine & The Queens, with strings performed by Owen Pallett.