The wind has turned, the smoke is gone, the fire is burning.
On the cover of her second album, Radiate (2018), Jeanne Added looks in the same direction as on that of her debut album, Be Sensational (2015), and yet everything seems to be reversed. The metallic gray apparition emerging from the darkness gives way to a disconcerting white image of sincerity and strength, mingled with tenderness. This sweet invitation is much more than a clever aesthetic nod: it perfectly illustrates the spirit of this album. If the path continues toward the same goal, the same demand for musical quality, some burdens have been left aside. The tensions magnified by cold sounds that were behind the success of her first album seem to have exploded during her 200 concerts throughout France over the course of more than two years. From this fire emerges the incandescent flame of a musician who burns with a rare intensity. In this new album Radiate, with its evocative title, Jeanne Added radiates. She sings with a intoxicating fervor; authentic, intimate, relaxed, she sings with an open heart.
Radiate, a luminous album, progresses from its first words: "Let it go, let it hope... We will be somebody new," to the last: "loneliness overcome," toward the revelation of oneself through one’s interactions with others. Between two beats, life is vibration, just like singing. Indeed, for her second opus, Jeanne Added explains: "I wanted more singing, I wanted to hear my voice as I know it, to let it be heard in a wider spectrum." Naturally, she had friends listen to her masters. Frédéric Soulard, whom she knows from the National Conservatory of Paris, and Mark Kerr, who together form Maestro, produced the album. "Two tremendous musicians," she says, "Fred is at home with any machine, any synthesizer (he is also part of the band Limousine) and Mark (former drummer of Les Rita Mitsouko) is a great drum-machine programmer and an unstoppable drummer. Moreover, they are absolutely irresistible live. Maestro is tense, exciting, physical."
“Physical” is truly the right word, and the production is wonderful. Fed with multiple influences, retro futuristic soundscapes with feverish contours, the production blurs genres with inventiveness and finesse, leaving room for a clear and precise voice. "To avoid showiness, to search, to stack, then sift through and get to a form of purity that is true to the idea we have of Jeanne’s music"—these are the words Maestro uses to explain their work on the album. They go on: "She has a unique way of focusing her energy; there is a density and a direction in every line she sings. We still had to penetrate this sound, and this demanding intention."
Jeanne Added’s sumptuous voice is irresistible. It radiates, bewitches, disarms, disturbs. It intoxicates, makes you feel in love, happy, alive. If you still need convincing, start by listening to "Song 1-2." The gods are furious, impulsive and volcanic; Jeanne Added’s voice moves mountains—our own mountains. Big and small.