Indie Music

One to watch: Annie-Claude Deschênes

For musician and multidisciplinary artist Annie-Claude Deschênes, a planned break from fronting Montreal post-punk types Duchess Says – to have a baby and study permaculture – became much more protracted thanks to the pandemic. Before long, the itch to create something became too strong to ignore. “I create every day, all the time,” she told Canadian French-language newspaper Le Devoir. “I needed a project that I could do myself, without depending on others.”

That creativity manifested itself in an unusual way: Deschênes started off by recording the noises her cutlery made (“a spoon spinning in a glass, fork and knife punches on aluminium plates”), and from those clanking beginnings she ended up recording a debut solo album of darkly seductive electro-pop, Les Manières de Table. As befits a record that began with forks and spoons, there’s a culinary theme to it: the standout Phones is based around a restaurant reservation phone call, while the title track concerns itself with modern-day table manners. The concept was extended further with Canadian shows last autumn in which Deschênes’s music was complemented by her own experiments in gastronomy. “With this project the show takes the form of a conventional musical live performance merged with restaurant dining,” she explains. “The public will be invited to dine along and dance!”

No UK dates are scheduled yet, although she does play Paris in May. In the meantime, try not to suggest that her new material is more accessible. “It’s the most punk thing I’ve done,” she says, “precisely because I did it without expectations, without imagining that these songs would be made public!”

Les Manières de Table is released on Italians Do It Better

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