By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Montreal-based artist Mirabelle released her new album ‘Late Bloomer’ via Simone Records on May 29, 2020, a return to music of sorts for singer-songwriter Laurence Hélie, previously known for her two early 2000’s Francophone folk album releases.
‘Late Bloomer’ was produced by Warren C. Spicer (Plants & Animals) and features synths from Christophe Lamarche-Ledoux (Organ Mood, Lesser Evil) upon a batch of tunes that revolves around self-acceptance, reflection and celebration. “Betty,” which was the first song she wrote for the new focused project, was also put out as a single.
The Music Bugle recently had the chance to talk with Mirabelle about her new releases and more.
Music Bugle – How would you describe Montreal to someone who has never been there before?
Mirabelle – It’s a little bit chaotic. It’s also quite easygoing. It’s a lot of people. It’s not just French and English, it’s diverse. It’s amazing food. Great music. It’s street fairs and festivals. It’s never-ending winters and very rewarding summers. It’s there for you in the middle of the night and great for an afternoon in the park. It’s inspiring, it’s human. I like it.
Music Bugle – What inspired the name ‘Late Bloomer’ for your latest album?
Mirabelle – I’ve been making music for a long time, but with this record, I feel like I finally found my voice, as a singer and as a songwriter. I guess it just took me a little longer than most. After my last record, I sort of hit a wall. I felt disconnected from music and it wasn’t a good feeling. It was impossible to write songs in that state of mind. I needed to start over again, make a clean break. It was a long time coming.
Music Bugle – What’s the biggest challenge in being a singer-songwriter?
Mirabelle – Confidence in my ideas, to trust my instincts. I was really fortunate to work with an amazing producer, Warren Spicer, who gave me space and always took the time to listen to me. That was crucial in finding the sound that was in my head. What started out with me asking him to produce the record ended up being a really fun collaborative effort. I learned so much. It was great!
Music Bugle – What made you want to release “Betty” as a single ahead of the album’s release?
Mirabelle – “Betty” was the first song we made in the studio where everything just came together and felt awesome and exciting. Whenever we lost our way, we would listen to it and it made us feel like everything was going to be okay!
Music Bugle – Who are some of your musical influences?
Mirabelle – I would not be the same without Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, Hole, Sinead O’Connor, Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Mazzy Star. In recent years – Frank Ocean, Ariana Grande, Kendrick Lamar, SZA, Soccer Mommy, Phoebe Bridgers and I always go back to Massive Attack, Elliott Smith, R.E.M., Beastie Boys, D’Angelo, Radiohead. I could go on and on, depending on the day you ask me, the list would probably change.
Music Bugle – How has the COVID-19 outbreak affected you as a person?
Mirabelle – Oh my… I keep telling my boyfriend that I’m such a bad candidate for pandemics. I’m awful, I hate it. I want to see my friends and my family. I want to go outside and not worry! Ugh! I want people to be safe. I do hope that it brings some change though, that we see an opportunity to rethink how we live, that we reevaluate our needs, our priorities and our place in the world.
Music Bugle – Have you been working on any new music?
Mirabelle – Yes and no. It’s never a clear process for me. I’m always sort of working on something and then not really at the same time. It’s like I need to not feel like I’m working or trying too hard, otherwise I feel that I might jinx it and then I get discouraged.
Music Bugle – What has been your proudest moment as a musician?
Mirabelle – Making this album.
Music Bugle – What is your favorite set of lyrics from your work?
Mirabelle – Hmm… I worked so hard on the lyrics for this new album. I tweaked things until there was nothing that would made me cringe! (Laughs) I wanted everything to feel right, but if i had to pick just one, I’d have to say “Cheated.”
Music Bugle – What’s something people should know about you?
Mirabelle – (Laughs) Tough question. I don’t know. Hmm… I worry a lot? That has to be my most defining trait, if you ask me. I worried a lot about answering this question!