YANN FALQUET –Les secrets du ciel (own label)

Les secrets du cielYann Falquet’s Les secrets du ciel is a French-Canadian Quebecois folk album that sings with melody, drama, and introspection. Just so you know, he is one-third of the great band Genticorum. But this album is a very different folky intimate venture from his band that echoed the lead voice with the voyager call and response of great groups like (the brilliant!) La Bottine Souriante and Le Vent du Nord.

The first several songs are ripe with acoustic guitar and Yann’s passionate voice. ‘La belle est prison d’ amour (aka ‘Beauty Is A Prison of Love’) oozes with almost medieval nuance, with the halo of violin and ancient percussion. The tune tells the sad tale of “a confused lover searching for his love” who “stumbles across a bird who apparently spent a night with her… Instead of helping him locate her, the winged wretch offers enigmatic advice”. Now, that’s pretty tragic, and it’s a lovely tune, but this French-Canadian folk song protagonist guy, on the always important Screwed For A Wandering Eternity Meter, barely moves the dial, what with just some “enigmatic advice”, and fares a great deal better than Richard Thompson’s “Crazy Man Michael”, who like Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner, makes the really big mistake, and shoots the symbolic, literary (and sometimes your own true love!) broadside ballad bird.


The second song, ‘La Rose’, follows suit with even more Quebecois acoustic-picked vocal beauty. The tune evokes medieval mystery.

By the way (and just so you know), Les secrets du ciel translates to The Secrets Of The Sky. In an interesting tangent, the great but somewhat addled Pink Floyd founder, Syd Barrett, when confronted with countless Madcap Laughs questions, was apt to simply say, “Sorry, I don’t speak French”.

And, yeah, I don’t speak French, either; so, thanks to Google Translator and, of course, Syd for giving me a pretty good quote to use, when writing about a language I don’t understand and just hope to get the titles right.

That said, the upbeat ‘Du long de la jolie’ (Along The Pretty’) recalls the sound of Canadian singer-songwriters like Paul Piche, Jim Corcoran, and French guys like Dan Ar Bras or Malicorne’s Gabriel Yacoub. Big compliments all around.

That also said, there’s more news from Babble. ‘Les mers et les montagnes’ (‘The Stars And The Mountains’) bends with deep (almost) symphonic folk depth. This is gorgeous stuff with languid strings and universal passion. And ‘’Les iles’ (‘The Islands’) is melodic and magical, with a quick pulse, a few horns, and even more acoustic dexterity. The quiet beauty of Pierre Bensusan’s early albums comes to mind. The same is true of the title song that strums with horns, more of that ancient percussion, Yann’s soothing voice, and a nicely curious banjo. And then, ‘Les deux noyes de lile aux Basques’ (‘The Two Drowned Men Of Basque’) ups the curious banjo ante with a Celtic-vibed violin. Nice. The brief instrumental ‘Sutherland March’ is a quick-stepped interlude. Then, ‘Le depart’ follows with an even more gorgeous medieval acoustic/guitar mystery shrouded with horns that swell with hourglass sandy time.

The album ends with ‘Courage’, a delightful song that, with acoustic guitar, vocals, and a deep depth of singer-songwriter passion, envelopes the final grooves of this record and reveals a mystical, deeply introspective, and French Canadian acoustic glance at the many wonderful ancient colours that are painted into an always secretive and very melodic sky.

Bill Golembeski

Artist’s website: https://yannfalquet.com/

‘Le Départ’ – official video:

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