La jachère
Atondo Musique
Montreal, QC
RILY: Angel Olsen; Jessica Pratt; the perseverance of Spring

When winter arrives, it feels like somebody has taken a giant eraser and removed all of the colour from your surroundings. In place of green, red, and pink hues there are whites and greys. It seems impossible that anything colourful will ever surface again from the frozen ground or emerge on the bare trees that shiver in their snow coats and yet, every year, miraculously, vibrant colours do return. 

Rhododendron – Montreal-based singer-songwriter Marine Noël – writes, firmly, in her Bandcamp bio “Ceci n’est pas une plante!” But La jachère, Rhododendron’s debut EP, contains the same determined spirit that plants do. Across Noël’s songs – quiet, folky affairs – she sings of pushing through tough stuff and of renewal. The very last line of the EP is “Il faut repartir et resplendir” (“We must go back and shine”) and even the EP’s title nods to restoration and rebirth. La jachère takes its time unfolding, but oh how beautifully it blooms. 

– Laura Stanley