Though we may try to be civil, most of us roll our eyes when we hear that an actor or actress is going to release an album. After all, they’re not “singers.” They have not put in decades of work and hours of networking to appeal to record labels and get one shot of success. Nevertheless, they get signed to a major label and get radio play based on name recognition alone.
However, Evelyne Brochu and her new album, Objets perdus, may just prove all of us wrong. As Chloé in Inch'Allah and Rose in Café de Flore, Brochu has established herself as a stalwart of the French–Canadian screen and stage. Even so, it's not as if Brochu has had no professional music experience until now. She released a song called, “C’est l’été, c’est l’éte, c’est l’éte,” with longtime friend, Félix Dyotte, in 2016, and has appeared on a couple of tracks on the latter’s 2017 album, Politesses. However, the vast majority of her growing international fanbase is still unfamiliar with her musical work.
Instead, most eyes are turned to her English–speaking television roles as Aurora Luft in the Canadian thriller X Company and Delphine Cormier on the beloved and hit show Orphan Black.
As a result of her success in the English acting scene, you may ask why she'd want to spend her time on a francophone album. In order to answer that question, a closer look at the album itself is required.
The record opens with “Maintenant ou jamais” (“Now or never”), which is quite reminiscent of the 2016 “C’est l’été." After all, the majority of the songs on this album were more collaborations with Dyotte. Sweet light synth fills the background of the song while Brochu’s light vocals float on the lyrics of a classic love song.
As you continue through the songs that all seem like a cross of Cœur de Pirate and Clairo, if Cœur de Pirate had more of as celestial edge and Clairo had less of a youthful realness, you come across “Difficile” (“Difficult”).
“Difficile” opens with a heavy beat and dancehall trumpets that catch you off guard; it initially seems as if Brochu's about to lay down a couple of rap verses. However, her fairy–like vocals quickly return, and as the song progresses, the lilting verses contrast with the with the track to the point where it almost seems distracting. “Difficile” feels out of place with the rest of the album, and Brochu almost seems out of place within it.
However, this album is refreshing because she's not pretending that this project makes sense. Brochu is not suggesting that Objets perdus is a groundbreaking album that is going to revolutionize her career. She is not claiming that this has been her lifelong dream and that her entire acting career was simply a stepping stone for her to get her to this place.
Brochu does not claim that she is a singer–songwriter. She openly speaks about the integral role of Félix Dyotte and Pierre LaPointe for this album and praises their contributions to the composition of the songs. In fact, Brochu’s choice to release an album featuring not a single song in English, thereby alienating her growing anglophone fanbase, is telling of her true motivations behind the album. She truly just made Objets perdu because she wanted to.
We are often too wrapped up in the idea that every album needs to be “powerful” and “inspiring.” And if we approach music with that mentality, of course there will be suspicion when an actor suddenly announces that they are ready to make an album.
“Powerful” music is absolutely important. However, there's no harm and, actually, a great deal of good, in an album that purely exists to make you feel nice inside. And that is the beauty of Objets perdus.
There's no grand agenda or overarching story that this album is trying to tell. Instead, it is a collection of lovely songs, filled with unironically Romantic lyrics and dream–like melodies sung by a genuinely talented woman.
So where’s the harm in that?