Marie Davidson & L'Oeil Nu
A trio of old friends and long-time musical collaborators, Marie Davidson, Pierre Guerineau and Asaël R. Robitaille share many things in common (with the former two also being married to one another, and writing & performing together as the group Essaie pas.) Each of them has made waves in electronic and experimental corners of the music industry; often working together, for labels like DFA, Cititrax, Holodeck, Orange Milk and Mind Records. But they’re also devotees of classic pop songwriting, and they created Marie Davidson & L'Œil Nu to celebrate and reimagine those shared musical touchstones.
If there’s a mood that encapsulates L'Œil Nu, it’s the one to be found at 3AM, after a long night of drinks, when it’s time to start putting on the classics. This, for Marie, Pierre and Asaël, means Fleetwood Mac, Rush or soundtracks from French cinema, and it was in one such moment that the germ of the idea for L'Œil Nu was planted. Later evolving and growing to encompass something bigger: to be a band, to write songs and to approach music from a pop perspective.
The three first met through legendary Montreal venue Le Brique over a decade ago, a now-defunct loft space and DIY venue that took on cult status in the city, hosting new wave, free jazz and everything in between. “It was a joyful mess,” says Guerineau. Robitaille lived there, and he and Guerineau were part of an ever-changing circle of makeshift bands. This is where in summer 2011 L'Œil Nu came to life, both fans of the golden age of French and Italian cinema soundtracks, they started composing, recording and mixing a track per night. Marie was also a regular visitor, and after meeting the other two, they soon became close. In between working the door at shows, they would share gear, experiment with music and pass different musical inspirations between themselves.
Since then, they’ve each followed their own trajectory while often still working together. Marie’s first release was in a duo, Les Momies De Palerme, on Montreal’s Constellations imprint (also home to Godspeed! You Black Emperor). Since then, she’s released a spate of solo releases, starting with 2015 debut album “Un Autre Voyage”, that nodded to Italo disco, proto-industrial and electro, followed by 2016’s dancefloor-oriented “Adieux Au Dancefloor”, and in 2018 her celebrated “Working Class Woman”, on Ninja Tune, a multifarious mix of club sounds combined with biting critiques of the dance music industry.