Having starred in both Le bébé d’Elsa (as a teenager) and the Glee-like Chante! a decade ago, French singer/songwriter Tiphanie Doucet is already an established artistic presence in her homeland. Likewise, her short time in the country-esque outfit Milk demonstrated her passion and aptitude for a formal musical career. Now, with her upcoming debut solo LP, Under My Sun, she hopes to spread her lovely folk pop candidness to the whole world. Filled with earnest songwriting (sung in both French and English) and calming instrumentation, it’s a richly poignant and pastoral journey that reveals Doucet as a master of the style.
Produced in the Catskill Mountains by Simone Felice (the Lumineers, Bat for Lashes, Jade Bird), Under My Sun is inspired by artists like Norah Jones, Ingrid Michaelson, and Feist. (At times, it also channels the most organic and sparse sides of Sia, Greg Laswell, Tori Amos, and David Gray.) As for its topics and themes, Doucet reveals that the “heartbreak and homesickness” she felt after moving to America served as “a wellspring of musical inspiration”. As such, its “bittersweet meditation[s] on love and relationships” are mostly autobiographical yet wholly universal.
Although there’s a prevailing sense of scant acoustic elegance that makes the collection feel unified, each composition offers something special. Of course, the opening title track allures with its warm arpeggios, wistful vocals, easygoing percussion, and delicate piano and string accompaniments (courtesy of David Baron, Anneke Schaul-Yoder, and Felice). While several other selections exist in a similar air (“Shadow of You”, “Les Miroirs”, and closer “9 Bar Café”), pieces like “Dors” and “She” offer a faster pace and lusher symphonic arrangement. Meanwhile, “Come to Me” proves especially inviting with its handclaps and optimistic splendor, whereas “Peace of Heart” is a fervent gem in every way, making it a clear standout of the bunch. Really, every song culminates beautifully to make Under My Sun a piercing, elegant statement.
Check out the whole record below and pick up a copy when it releases this Friday.