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NEWS: Marie Davidson returns with L’Œil Nu and the striking new sound of ‘Renegade Breakdown’

Marie Davidson is back with a new album, a new band, and a striking new sound: Renegade Breakdown is set for release on 25th September on Ninja Tune. Arriving under the banner of Marie Davidson & L’Œil Nu, a trio formed of three old-time friends and long-term collaborators with shared roots in Montreal’s DIY scene: Marie, Pierre Guerineau and Asaël R. Robitaille (the former two are also husband and wife, and partners in the group Essaie pas).

If there’s a mood that encapsulates ‘Renegade Breakdown’, it’s the one to be found at 3AM after a long night, when it’s time to start putting on the classics. “We wanted to make songs, like the music we’ve been enjoying altogether for more than a decade,” says Marie. The superb title track, is a deeply knowing anthemic floor filler, with funky bass lines and 80s-influenced electroproduction, woven with Davidson’s acerbic self-referential spoken critique that deconstructs consumerism, the music business, and modern life. (The tracks bilingual lyrics in French and English: “Oh by the way, there are no money makers on this record / This time, I’m exploring the loser’s point of view.”)  It’s punctuated by fantastic spiraling French touch choruses. Watch the lyric video below.

Renegade Breakdown is a reaction to years in which she spent most of her life on the road, navigating the club and festival lifestyle: the airports, the late nights, the lost or damaged gear—often alone, always with her case of instruments and cables in tow. Documented in part by Resident Advisor for their ‘Between The Beats’ series, she candidly laid out the realities of her life on tour and the toll it would take on her health: dealing with feelings of dislocation and disorientation and battling her chronic insomnia, exacerbated by a never-ending transition from one time zone to the next. “I get in these states where I start to question everything, and I hate myself,” she told RA at the time, “sometimes I feel like I don’t belong anywhere.” 

Drawn to the idea of the eternal return, they deliver a forward-facing, innovative pop record that builds on the classic tenets of Marie’s music to create something that strikes out towards a broader audience. With dark humour and interpolated musical influences—from Fleetwood Mac to Kraftwerk, and jazz classics such as Billie Holiday and Chet Baker—they spin each of its entries in wildly imaginative directions.

It follows her breakout 2018 album Working Class Woman, the track ‘Work It’ garnered worldwide dance-floor anthem status, helped by a Soulwax remix, the duo’s re-work garnering over 10m+ streams and a GRAMMY nomination. In the wake of the album’s success, she toured heavily across Europe and North America and it was here that the tipping point came for Davidson, worn out by the often destructive cycles of the touring lifestyle, this disenchantment with club culture provided the catalyst to do something different musically. As she eyed up the end of the tour, she called up Robitaille and Guerineau about an idea they’d come up with the previous year: to make music inspired by pop—such as the iconic work of French singer Mylène Farmer—and to expand their approach to the music from a songwriters perspective.”

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.