Following No One Knows We're Here, her début album in the form of aquatic outburst halfway between a siren and Venus, Alice Lewis has now become a colourful night creature and embarked on a new track, gliding along the heights of the new French scene (Chassol, Limousine, Chatelard, Paris), with Your Dreams Are Mine, her second project which brings together mainstream pop and formal research.

 

After a childhood spent in the UK, immersed in the synth-pop of Depeche Mode, Soft Cell and The Human League, Alice Lewis went on to study Fine Arts in Paris, where the practice of drawing, sculpture and installations eventually led her to write her first songs. In 2004, she travelled to China to study opera and to Taiwan to learn the zither. Whilst singing for Sébastien Tellier (on Politics) and composing music for a film (The Fox and the Child by Luc Jacquet, who also directed March of the Penguins) and adverts, she released her début album, No One Knows We're Here. It was recorded between Paris and the English countryside and released in October 2010 by Naïve.

 

    Produced by Ian Caple (Tricky, Alain Bashung), the album features twelve electro-pop tunes wrapped in string arrangements (performed by the quartet working with Tindersticks and The Divine Comedy), on which she placed her high and ethereal vocals reminiscent of a celestial Kate Bush or an Alison Golfrapp in Wonderland. Towards the beginning  of 2015, she completed her second album for the production of which she picked two young and audacious musicians, Maxime Delpierre (Limousine, Rachid Taha) and Frédéric Soulard (Poni Hoax, Vitalic).

 

    Between electronic epics and melancholic ballads, Your Dreams Are Mine could be the encounter of a female Nick Cave with an updated version of Kraftwerk, blowing hot and cold on the dancefloor or the listening chamber: vintage synths and drum machines are raising bodies and awakening ghosts (Ignorance is Bliss and Nothing I Could say, remind us of Depeche Mode’s gothic and reverberated Black Celebration whilst Haunted Reveries is inspired by Thai music and Apichatpong Weerasethakul's film Uncle Boonmee ) .

 

   Elsewhere, aquatic drifts provide elegiac respites: the arpeggios of an acoustic guitar surrounded by dissonant violins glissandi in The Drought, Bellbuoy’s marine chant or Crossing the River, a night-time lullaby all unfold somewhere between Night of the Hunter and Eden Ahbez ...

 

    Blending electronic and organic sounds, the production work and musical arrangements by Maxime Delpierre (production , keyboards, drums, projections of angular guitars in an Arto Linsay fashion) and Frédéric Soulard (production, violin, finely tuned dynamic and spacious mixing) enhance Alice Lewis’ crisp and clear vocals. With a touch of Julee Cruise and Nite Jewel, she uses her acute pop melody sense to serve catchy and romantic lyrics (at times co-written in English with Ocean Viva Silver) whose dreamlike state oscillates, like a metronome, between a zenithal light and abysmal depths.

 

    For Alice’s very own wonderland can sometimes reveal nightmarish trappings: ghosts who have come to haunt her, a free-falling airplane (Let it fall, a political metaphor), towers erected in the middle of a desert where time is suspended (The Drought) ...

    Alice is a woman-child who protects herself as best as she can, rolling with the punches, waiting for a ship to come and rescue her in the middle of the ocean, humming in the river bed or dreaming she is made of stone (The Statue) so as to no longer feel... One comes out of this journey utterly dazzled and filled with love for Alice Lewis. She is as fearless as feathered beings can be, let us listen to her song...

 

Wilfried Paris