Friday, October 14, Cali released his 11th studio album “These days we almost forgot, volume 1”, recorded at his home in Rivesaltes. An intimate album, full of musical surprises, intended as a break, a return to basics.
In what state of mind did you write this album?
It was after the Covid, I was on the road again… And in all this hubbub around us, all these things that go fast, this music that comes from everywhere, that we listen to quickly, I needed to ask myself, to return to my sources. This album is that: music to the bone, to the essentials, with the words in front and a minimalist dressing behind.
It’s a real songwriter’s record. Which artists have inspired you?
I returned to my musical roots: Johnny Cash, the Springsteen of Nebraska, Bob Dylan… And I’m extremely attached to the album object. Today, do we still take the time to listen to an entire album, to tame it? A song is a piece of life. We cannot draw a line under all those who built us: the Ferré, Brel, Brassens, Barbara and so many others since. I want to preserve that.
Over time, the flayed skin appears less raw. Is this the album of maturity?
It’s a confession album where I whisper in your ear. In the past, in my songs, often I lit fires, I tried to bring a passion, I needed it. There, the fire is different: it’s a small flame, but this one, it warms. Since the beginning, if I make music, it’s to be sincere with life. For me, maturity is telling yourself: I’m going where I want to go, with what I know how to do. And when we are sincere, we speak to the whole world.
Has the voice also changed?
I like it more and more! She frays a little. She, too, carries a background that suits me well. Today, it is more rooted in me.
Musically, this disc is quite different from what you have produced so far?
I took my guitar, my harmonica and off we went. The whole album is acoustic. Above all, I wanted to continue working with an Irish musician who has always made me dream, who has already played with me and who is now my friend: Steve Wickham, violinist of the Water Boys. He is present on seven songs.
How did the recording take place?
We made the album together, at the Rivesaltes studio, with Julien Lebart, my pianist and lifelong friend. We recorded all the songs from a first draft, to keep the original emotion. The microphone was placed away from me to capture the sounds around. I wanted to keep the charm of small imperfections. It’s very organic.
Besides Julien Lebart and Steve Wickham, which musicians have you surrounded yourself with?
Again, it’s back to basics with Patrick Felices (bass and double bass), Pierre-André de Véra (guitar), Fanfan Miniconi (percussion, drums), a string quartet formed by Mélody Giot (cello), Charlotte Chollet (viola), Marie-Camille Costaseca (violin) and Cécile Teixidor (violins), from the conservatory of Perpignan. It was the young sound engineer Tom Chiesa, a graduate of IDEM, who technically oversaw the album. And I don’t forget Blaise Margail on trombone and Nicolas Puisais on trumpet. It was here that I had to make this album and with them.
The disc is released on October 14. Are autograph sessions planned in the P.-O. ?
Saturday October 22 at 4 p.m., at Fnac in Perpignan, there will be a dedication meeting with the public.
Have you imagined a concept for the stage?
I have already tested some of the songs in a rock band or dressed in strings: it works too. Currently I’m touring with a solo show Never trust a cowboy, a guitar-voice, between poems and songs. I play several of this new album and they overwhelm me every time. I will keep them for a long time on the road.
A few nuggets…
Pobrecitacrazy Cajun, which sounds like a joyful, festive jam: “ A song that we could listen to as an aperitif, at 6 p.m., in Fillols, on the square” . A nod to Alain Souchon, “for his consoling phone call after an unsuccessful Music Victory”. And a majority of songs, subtle alliances of guitar, piano and violin where Cali, less painful, more peaceful, more philosophical perhaps, measures love, friendship and breakups, as time passes. With this introspective album, both serious and benevolent, he shares with us the ardent youth, the strong moments, the loved ones, the ordinary gestures, all these memories that we have almost forgotten but which, in the end, give life all its salt, all its meaning: Don’t give up, I know you too, I’ll be there (ode to the woman of his life), Like a paper planeand especially the poignant Where are they going?. With simple words, true words, and a few chords to bring a song to life, he scratches the shell and touches everyone in their vulnerability. Where the heart does not lie.
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[VIDEO] Cali: “This new album is music to the bone, to the essentials”
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