We discovered him three years ago on the occasion of his second album I burn. We had already felt this desire to join a French song inspired by the great authors to the text with music strongly impregnated with American culture. A duet with Miossec, of which he provides the first part, but also typically American melodies in the tradition of popular composers.
With his third work until the light Coming out on April 8, Baptiste W. Hamon further affirms his Anglo-Saxon influence by collaborating with John Parish, a musician and producer who has signed the records of, among others, PJ Harvey, Tracy Chapman, but also Arno or Dominique HAS. “An Old Dream Come True” The young singer confesses that she was even invited to the producer’s house for several days. “John Parish is one of my favorite directors and one of the best in the world”.
From the opening track, have a drinkwe settled in a country setting. “I think it’s really the most country song I’ve recorded so far” says Baptiste Hamon. What instantly adds color to this musical is the use of pedal steel guitar, this typically american instrument with western sounds. “That was my second requirement: to record with John Parish, and to have pedal steel on the record” add the one rocking to the music of Townes Van Zandt or Kris Kristofferson.
Atmosphere reinforced by the theme of drinking songs that are usually found among authors from the other side of the Atlantic, from Johnny Cash to Willie Nelson, passing through Tom Paxton, Merle Haggard or the most recent Steve Earle. But alcohol was also sung at home by Brel, Reggiani, Arno or Miossec. Thus, joining texts in the language of Molière with the music of the great American spaces sounds obvious to Baptiste Hamon: “American music inspires me, my trips to the United States inspire me, but I also listen to old French songs, from the 60s and 70s, at the same time as more current indie stuff, French or international.”
I listen to a lot of country, folk and Americana. And I want these influences to be heard in one way or another on my records.
Baptist W. Hamon
This country-folk color is particularly reflected in rather refined arrangements, never in emphasis. Sober and calm voice, sometimes slightly manipulated in reunion with the coldacoustic guitar, discreet rhythm, female choirs… ingredients reminiscent of a certain Leonard Cohen.
To listen Laughter beyond the flamesa duet with the Norwegian singer Ane Brun, one would almost swear to hear a version of the Canadian, author of the partisan Where last year’s man. But in fact it is an original composition by Baptiste Hamon.
The French singer-songwriter confirms: “Leonard Cohen is one of my teachers, probably the singer I’ve listened to the most and the one I identify with the most.” It’s no wonder then that we can hear analogies in the writing and composition, especially in this song performed on a nylon-string guitar, in a typical Canadian songwriter’s plucking.
He places text and language at the center of his artistic and musical work. I recognize myself a lot in this process.Baptist W. Hamon
about leonard cohen
And on this third album, Baptiste Hamon, who considers himself “more like a writer and a singer than a musician”He changed his tone slightly. In these two previous albums, the young author had accustomed us to write between melancholy and nostalgia with themes that were sometimes serious and sad, such as the song Herve. Here he retains the themes of absence or loneliness, but this time framing them with two pieces with very different atmospheres.
“My writing is rather melancholy” acknowledges Baptiste Hamon, “but for me it was important to start with a light song and end with a text of hope”. Indeed, have a drink invites to the party after two years of sanitary restrictions “a song I wouldn’t have written before Covid, before I missed all my friends” – while the revival of Jacques Bertin Here comes the sun again closes the album on a positive note towards “the will to live”.
Between the two, the atmosphere is deeper without being overwhelming. A sweet melancholy, small moments of life and the serenity found thanks to writing. “The night is made to exhaust the poems” Baptiste sings in until the light, the title track of the album. “This is the song that suits me best” admits the singer-songwriter whose desire to write is still intact after these long months in slow motion.
The covid has not dried up my inspiration, on the contrary, and has allowed me to write in different registers.
Baptist W. Hamon
Now comes the desire to tell these stories directly to people by reaching out to the public. Baptiste Hamon is going on tour throughout France, and there is a good chance that he will come until the light and invites us to have a drink.
Baptist W. Hamon – “Until the Light” (Soleil Bleu-Manassas) – Released April 8
Find all the concert dates of Baptiste W. Hamon in his Facebook page