All photos by Shauna Alexander
Coeur de Pirate… if you haven’t heard of her, get familiar—tl;dr she’s a Québécoise singer who sounds like an angel on a piano. Making a stop in DC in promotion of her sophomore album, Coeur de Pirate bashfully entertained a crowded 930club.
On the road with her as opener was Leif Vollebekk—an equally as enchanting singer/songwriter; save for his lack of lyrics en francais. Just the man and his guitar, I couldn’t help but draw comparisons to Benjamin Gibbard or early John Mayer. His lyrics are flowered with sweet metaphors and the theme of love runs rampant; nothing really unique. He came and went without leaving much of an impression. To his credit, once accompanied by cellist Meredith Bragg, his music seemed perfectly tailored for a Paramount Vantage film.
Upon Coeur de Pirate taking the stage, the audience were immediately hypnotized by the singer. Her backing band was notably solid—even if french is unfamiliar to you, the music translates the emotions of her lyrics. She retains the sweetness of her studio recordings, both vocally and aesthetically. With a shaggy bob, tattoos, and an infectious smile, she embodies her lyrics.
Jumping back and forth between both her self-titled debut album and her sophomore album Blonde. Kudos to her for rearranging her music; that extra bit of attention payed to the live performance didn’t go unnoticed.
Her stage presence was meek—despite her cute discourses with the audience here and there, she was swallowed by her band and the size of the venue. Personally, I would have preferred her at Red Palace; she would have received a more personal performance space. Coeur de Pirate truly shined during her encore in which she went solo on the piano—she commands attention so much better on her own. (note: kudos again to her for forgoing the “delayed encore bit”… she came right back out without much fanfare)