On her solo debut album, Erin Jane Laroue, founding member of chamber/funeral/folk ensemble Jamais Jamais, plays mournful piano ballads that touch on classical and baroque music. It’s a somber affair, mainly with Laroue’s piano and expressive voice carrying the listener through her meditations on life, death and love. It is also quite enthralling.
On album opener “Alone” she touches on the subject on the existential loneliness over sparse, yet lush piano backing her up. “Only The Sea Goes On” is about mortality and one’s desire to lose themselves under the waves of the ocean. Pretty bleak stuff, but Laroue knows how to keep the listener hooked. Though, “Triumph” offers some hope, as it tells the tale of a love, that is worth sticking with, even through the hard times, and not giving up. “Z” and “Uno” are instrumentals that show off Laroue’s mastery of the piano. Closer, “The Future Is Au Revoir”, is about being a bit worried about what the future holds, but learning to embrace all its possible darkness and possibilities. It’s quite a way to end the album.
Chalant packs quite the emotional wallop. Laroue takes the listener on a journey that is fraught with peril and self doubt, but one that is ultimately rewarding and cathartic. It is a dark, beautiful album you should definitely not pass up. Get lost under the waves of her piano and voice. You’ll be glad you did.