“In the end, it comes down to the north and the impression of great open territories in Lapland, but what I was really looking for with this album was a feeling of space,” comments Maud Geffray about her debut album Polaar. This is exactly the sensation that washes over you when you first listen to the 12 cottony tracks that fit together like so many sequence shots forming a horizon of all possibilities, oscillating between deep melancholy and intense joy, dance floor energy and chill-out moods. Sketching a sort of ghostly expanse populated with spirits who have never stopped living, dancing and dreaming – and moving towards the light.
Maud Geffray needs no introduction. In three albums with Sebastien Chenut in the duo Scratch Massive, she redefined electro with an 80s New Wave angle. For the past two years (but without leaving Scratch Massive, who just released Day Out of Days, the soundtrack to the film by Zoe Cassavetes, and whose fourth album will be out soon), Maud decided to strike out on her own and explore new musical directions. For her first solo flight two years ago, she unveiled 1994, where she constructed a lugubrious soundtrack set over the video rushes of a forgotten rave in the dunes of Carnac, questioning the ideas of dance, youth, freedom, escape... In other words: ways out.
Polaar (“polar” in Norwegian), the first solo album by Maud Geffray, began with a project for the International Art Film Days in which the Louvre Museum gave her total artistic freedom. She immediately knew that she wanted to make a unique creation. A musical film based on a two-month stay in the hinterland of Lapland, accompanied by video director Jamie Harley (Koudlam, Judah Warsky, etc.), to find out more about how teens live in the region.
To do so, they stayed in the city of Rovaniemi in Lapland, the kingdom of kaamos (a local term for the almost permanent polar night). This strange, sensorial and luminous expedition would result in Kaamos, a film graced with surreal beauty, set to a six-track soundtrack. This first experiment triggered something in Maud, who decided to take the project further and develop a more constructed, pop album around the theme that would deeply delve into this desire for space. “The album is called Polaar because I really wanted to separate the two. In a way, Kaamos is the musical film and the genesis of the project, while Polaar is the album, which contains new tracks and which stands on its own, autonomous. I didn’t want any confusion between the two.”
Tormented, paced by electric volleys that brutally pull us back to reality, strewn with chloroformed drum machines capable of suddenly launching into the purest trance, punctuated by muted pianos, swept up by drawn-out and stretched-out melodies, haunted by vocals that ricochet in echoes and possessed by a perfect pop duo with Flavien Berger, Polaar is a curious drug. A staggering sound wave underlying shadows of shoegaze, the electrified Italo-disco of the label Italians Do It Better, the dripping intonations of Lana del Rey, snippets of Depeche Mode, the current torpor of vaporwave and fragments of Bel Canto, in which the 1990s and 2000s telescope into each other. An album in which all prospects are possible, in which time stands still, trance overtakes numbness and opposites fan each other’s flames. A mix of fire and ice, sluggishness and energy, like the perfect soundtrack for a long journey spent floating, in search of light.