It’s sometimes good to keep admirers at a distance. For her “come-back” album, Brisa Roché follows this rule to the letter. After four albums in France, she returned to her native California — not the one with six-lane highways and palm trees, but the one up north, where mountain lions roam, and sequoias tower. There, hidden in her home-studio, she channeled song after song, inspired by tracks arriving from producers all over the world. Some sent sound hoping to re-provoke songwriting in the vein of jazz-singer - Brisa freshly arrived in France the moment the Twin Towers fell, who haunted the stages of Parisian caves with a high shadowy voice, forcing journalists to compare her to Billie Holiday. Others sent what revealed a preference for the avant-gardismof “Mystery Man” off of her first record on Blue Note, that transported fans with pop as daring as it was sweet. Still other composers sent tracks they hoped would prolong the sound they loved in her hits “Whistle” and “Call Me”, from her psych-folk period. But of course, Brisa did not revisit the past. She invented a future, a space-time exercise, creating songs across thousands of miles, across musical genres, where a voice springs as easily from a computer, an applauded stage, ora virgin forest.
The album INVISIBLE 1 is titled such because anything is possible when limitations imposed by a studio setting are discarded, when judgments and timidity are veiled by distance, when collaborations multiply across the waves, when intimacy with strangers makes art.
Brisa writes quickly, urgent with the novelty of imported sounds and privacy, 40 melodic arrangements, 40 stories told, narrowed down now to a 14-song album with two sides, upon which two sides of her personality dance. The “introvert side” nestles on Thibaut Barbillon’s intimate guitars and soaring chords, the singer a dreamer and an insomniac, giving herself up in confession. As if escaped from a girl group, she invites us to walk with her, or to lock ourselves in her room with her. The “extrovert side”, sunnier with a more electronic feel and Blackjoy at the control panel, features ideas from co-producer Marc Collin (Nouvelle Vague, Yasmine Hamdan, Elodie Frégé...), upon which Brisa’s voice is amplified, playful as a Kate Bush, serious as a Lana Del Rey. This production, free from all constraints, between continents, out of French studios, American studios, home-studios, underground studios, from Paris to the American West, gives us a new Brisa Roché. At this hour of the death of the great British chameleon David Bowie, when formatted records reign supreme, it’s a pleasure to see and hear an artist who stuns us with her daring art of metamorphosis.