Le Vent du Nord : Têtu
Deep in the wintery woods of Quebec, Le Vent du Nord huddles around a few microphones, putting the finishing touches on a heart-wrenching song about a prisoner recalling his loved one, with their trademark vocals, interwoven like strands of pure wool. Their musical intimacy comes from over a decade of being one of Quebec’s most popular, award-winning bands. Since the group’s founding in 2002, the quartet has racked up several prestigious awards, including two JUNOS (Canada’s Grammys), two Canadian Folk Music Awards, one Grand Prix du Disque Charles Cros (France) and Artist of the Year at Folk Alliance International’s annual gala (USA).
With their eighth album, Têtu (Determined), Le Vent du Nord hold to a steady course, staying faithful to their Québécois roots while at the same time taking an unyielding approach to innovative new ideas. From the opening atmospheric “Noce Tragique,” to the biting politics of “Confédération,” to the moving “Pauvre Enfant,” the new opus contains 15 tracks covering politics, love, and satire, plus many foot-stomping dance tunes. With stripped-down a cappella singing coupled with sophisticated arrangements including a string quartet, Le Vent du Nord’s music is getting sharper, more refined, and ever more thoughtful.
The band’s members are Nicolas Boulerice (hurdy-gurdy, piano, voice), Olivier Demers (fiddle, feet, voice), Réjean Brunet (accordion, bass, jaw harp, voice) and Simon Beaudry (bouzouki, guitar, voice). Along with its terrific musicianship, Le Vent du Nord has brilliantly connected Québécois musical tradition to a larger musical world and in doing so have turned lost traditions into new and intense dynamic performances.
Têtu is an album that buzzes with heavy grooves while leaving room for good times, smiles and honesty. It proves that Le Vent du Nord is absolutely determined to continue making exceptional music, holding steadfast to their roots while remaining uncompromising in their identity as movers and shakers in the tradition.