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Camille speaks of Ilo Veyou, water, peace and intimacy | reviews, news & interviews

Camille speaks of Ilo Veyou, water, peace and intimacy

Camille speaks of Ilo Veyou, water, peace and intimacy

On the eve of her new album release, the French singer discusses parking cars, Ibsen and forgetfulness

Camille: 'Sometimes I feel like not working at all'

“I am a lady of the sea, I’m a lady of the water,” declares French sonic auteur Camille. “Water is life and we forget too much about this.” Her new album, Ilo Veyou, is filled with water. There’s the “Bubble Lady”, the “Wet Boy” and the “Shower” that’s a refuge. Ilo Veyou is also about her voice – wordplay, the rhythms it makes, the farty sounds, the distracted humming, the tender melodies she sings. But it’s about a new phase in life, too: becoming a mother.

Asked why she wrote of the shower as a refuge, she says, “It’s warm and watery. We want to stay where we are in a comfortable position. We don’t want to change, change is disturbing. I wrote it before I was expecting a baby. Afterwards I thought it could be the voice of a kid.”

“What’s not comfortable for me is parking a car,” she continues. “The stage is one of the places I’m alive, so the siren that’s calling me there makes me alive. Going on stage, I don’t feel uncomfortable with that.”

Camille Ilo Veyou coverShe’s interrupting the French promotion of Ilo Veyou – say it out loud – to appear on the Paris stage in Ibsen’s The Lady From the Sea. “There is melancholy in it,” she acknowledges. “The emotions settle down, but it shifts all the time, you never know what to expect.

"There is a humour, too. She talks about what is wrong with her, it's very modern. The relationship with her husband is very modern. We come from the water says the lady of the sea, and we will go back. We’re going to be swallowed again.”

Ilo Veyou is more intimate sounding than Music Hole, its predecessor. Partly recorded in chapels and an abbey, its sound is open, spacious. “I don’t think Ilo Veyou refers to any of my albums,” she says. “It’s more in French, so it’s got this intimacy and an energy that’s more calm. Music Hole was a very hectic album. Now I’m very peaceful and sometimes feel like not working at all.”

So much so, Ilo Veyou’s affecting “L'Étourderie” celebrates having your head in the clouds. “It's about being in love and forgetting things. It’s fine because you’re in love. I think forgetfulness should be a quality. As a student, people would say of me, ‘Oh, she’s forgetful.’ But I think it’s good. If I’m allowed, or if I'm not allowed, I’m forgetful.”

Still, she will be coming to London to play live after the album’s release. Asked what we should expect, all she'll offer is: “I’m trying to use no obvious mike and get that natural thing. In some songs I’ll have to use artificial reverb. But don’t ask me, please. I don’t think I want to present a show so it will be like this or this.”

Visit Kieron Tyler’s blog

  • Ilo Veyou is released on 24 October

Watch Camille performing “L'Étourderie” from Ilo Veyou


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