Dark and tense

Since she killed her best friend I’m in love with her songs. The French singer and songwriter Charlotte Marionneau grew up in a small town in Pays de la Loire but she moved to London in 1995 because she felt in London music is part of the culture and she could be herself. From this achieved freedom, she created le volume courbe, her personal music project, and began composing songs collaborating with musicians like Hope Sandoval, Kevin Shields, David Roback and Colm O’Ciosoig, contributing to her debut album which was mostly recorded at home. The album was titled I killed my best friend like one of the featuring songs and it was released in 2006. The album opened with Harmony / Papillon de nuit which have been already released as a single in 2001. Her studies in cinema and photography and influences from Citizen Kane, Polanski’s The Tenant and Repulsion, Jean Cocteau , Harmony Korine, Andy Warhol’s footage of Edie Sedgwick and the Factory, and the songs of Serge Gainsbourg, her mother’s favourite artist, as well as Patti Smith and Yoko Ono, configures a very special personal universe of an artist who, in her own words, doesn’t see herself as a traditional chanteuse.

Why did you decide to get into music?

I got into music at an early age because I was an only child. I guess loneliness got me into music and then I started singing and started collaborating at school with friends.

You left your natal France to move to London. Do you miss something?

I didn’t feel free to express myself and was physically sick all the time. When I moved to London I felt like I could be myself and stopped being sick so I stayed.

Why are you le volume courbe?

A old friend of mine called Marcel Marionneau invented a sculpture called “le volume courbe” and he used to talk about his theory all the time when I was growing up in my town so when I was looking for a name it hit me. I like it as it can have many meanings and it’s quite feminine.

Your debut single was Harmony /Papillon De Nuit. A night butterfly is a beautiful image but what does it suggest you?

What’s funny about this song is that my friend Damon wrote those lyrics and I translated them. At the time my English wasn’t so good and in the song he talks about moth which I translated by butterfly of the nights. Only few years later I realised that I was singing about moths! These butterflies that eats jumpers!

I discovered your music thanks to your first album I Killed My Best Friend (2006). In the title song you wonder where to hide all the bodies of the people you’ve killed. Where are they right now?

They are reborn and well.

To die to be reborn?

Maybe. You have to give people another chance.

In fact the album opened with Harmony. What is harmony for you and have you found it?

I don’t think I have yet.

The atmosphere of the album is dark and dense. Using one of your songs I should ask you who are you?

Dark and tense I guess that’s me.

Why do you think The mind is a horse?

The mind is a horse is a song about panic attacks I’ve had for ten years now. The heartbeat sounded like a horse galloping and a mind racing like a horse. The mind is mysterious things and we still don’t know where these panic’s attack come from.

Your latest released was in 2011. It’s the EP titled Theodaurus Rex featuring songs like Born to lie. Were you?

We all are. Originally the lyrics were a letter I wrote to someone who let me down and lied to me and then I also admitted that I do too. We all do.

The EP continues developing the intimate sound style of your debut album. What direction will you take in the second album?

The second album still has that intimate sound a bit but is less lo fi I think.

Puis-je vous demander de me raconter un rêve en français?

L’autre jour j’ai revé de David Bowie, d’avoir parler avec lui et il connaissait mes amis Andrew et Alison. Je n’arrivais pas à le croire! C’est tout ce dont je me souviens mais ça m’a amusé quand je me suis reveillée.

le volume courbe | Videos here

An interview by Juan Carlos Romero
le volume courbe website www.levolumecourbe.com
Photo courtesy of Charlotte Marionneau
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