Marie-Pierre Arthur: French Folk Rocker

Marie Pierre Arthur

Photo by Valérie Jodoin Keaton

Fall in love with the charming Folk Rock of Indie darling Marie-Pierre Arthur. In the footsteps of Coeur de Pirate comes another French singer out of Quebec worthy of international crossover success. Your music collection will be better for having this singer / songwriter in it.

She's the kind of uber-talented, not yet mainstream (outside of Canada) artist that Paste magazine would fawn over. You could put her on a playlist with Neko Case, Sharon Van Etten, and a much more famous Canuck, Feist.

Born Marie-Pierre Fournier, the singer took the stage name Marie-Pierre Arthur as a nod to her father. To identify her as being 'Arthur's daughter' in her small hometown in eastern Quebec, she was called "Marie-Pierre à Arthur."

The artist hails from a family of musicians and studied voice in college. She plays the so-called "Beatle Bass," the same type of violin-shaped Höfner bass guitar played by Paul McCartney.

Before going solo, she was a bassist for Canadian acts like Ariane Moffatt and Mara Tremblay. Later, she played and sang backup for the critically acclaimed indie Rock band, Karkwa. Members of the band produced and played on both of her albums, including her boyfriend and baby-daddy, keyboardist François Lafontaine.

Marie Pierre Arthur, debutMarie-Pierre Arthur (debut album)Buy it

Arthur's self-titled, debut album offers a mix of pretty, minimalist Folk (sometimes verging on Shoegaze), heavy on reverb, with some well-placed Country flourishes.


Here's the video for my favorite song by her, "Droit Devant."

 

The plentiful reverb gives Arthur's vocals that spacey effect on "Elle." Check it out:

 

Aux AlentoursAux Alentours

In 2012 (and after her son was born), Arthur released her sophomore album, Aux alentours, with 5 songs written by her boyfriend, François Lafontaine. The project was another atmospheric opus with a Soul-Folk Rock sound. With it, she wowed critics (and fans) once again. It spawned the hits "Si tu savais" and "Emmène-moi," and earned her a Juno Award nomination (Canadian Grammy) in 2013 for Francophone Album of the Year.

Please note: This album is only available as a physical CD in the U.S. No digital formats are available.


Check out the rollicking single, "Emmène-moi":

 

And here's the video for the single "All Right." The song is in French, save the repeated chants of "All Right" in the chorus. Singing backup is a Gospel choir led by a who's who of French Canadian singers. (I see you, Ariane Moffat.)

 

What to you think of this French singer? Leave a comment.

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