Canada’s Anik Jean released her first English-language album this week, Lost Soul. She says that at the start she wanted her debut album to go the Anglo route, but in the end her collaborators, like Jean Leloup, felt it would safer to begin with Franco. The resultant debut rural art-rock album Le Trashy Saloon was very successful and garnered a JUNO nomination.
2013’s masterpiece, no-holds-barred rock album Schizophrène was less successful, blamed for an experimental promotional campaign that backfired. The weak-minded, who are surprisingly large in numbers, allowed themselves to be swayed against the excellent music by such missteps of a clumsy marketing team taken advantage of by the profiteering schemes of the press. Bent upon ridicule and sensationalism and probably spurred on by the phantom of Marc Lépine, misogynists banded together in their boisterous … schizophrenic … campaign to keystroke women out of rock.
Anik parted ways with her team and scrounged up her savings to create her own record label and do what she wanted to do from the beginning—release an alternative rock album … in English. The result is the sumptuous Lost Soul. While a loose reference point for the last album could be Joan Jett, Lost Soul has more of a Patti Smith feel. The fifth album of her career, it is dark, moody, atmospheric, and at times eerie with a nice variety of piano rock and some sweltering guitar pieces. It was recorded at Arcade Fire stamping grounds and she says was influenced by artists like Nick Cave and PJ Harvey. Apparently, a feature film, inspired by the album, will be coming out in the New Year which Anik co-directed with Jean-François Bergeron. She plans to play some of the songs live during the screening.
Anik Jean is one of a kind and very precious to the Canadian music scene. We wish her lots of success and strength in making the kind of music she wants to make regardless of what anyone else says.