Bette & Wallet Release Électrique on April 22 2014
Électrique, the long-awaited sophomore from Eastern-Canadian folk duo Bette & Wallet, takes traditional music to an astonishing level of sonic-awesomeness. With original lyrics based on urban legends and pan-celtic dance tunes played on electric-guitar, the album is uplifting, danceable, and thought-provoking. Recorded at various homes in Quebec and Nova Scotia, with Mary Beth Carty and Gabriel Ouellette playing and engineering everything, the DIY effort features mainly bass, vocal harmonies, foot percussion, and electric guitar in alternative fiddle-tuning. Many fine friends on choral duties complete the album’s quirky sound, as well as experimental throat singing, synths, drums, and hand claps. Bette & Wallet are eager to return to the stage to promote this sound-art masterpiece, and reinterpret their recycled-music repertoire in surprising ways!
Bette & Wallet’s inspiration lies in a contemporary sound, but is deeply rooted in the traditions of Acadie, Brittany, Cape Breton, Cree Nation, Ireland, Manitoba, Quebec, and Scotland. Subtle touches of the acoustic instruments they are renowned for, accordion, banjo, bouzouki, fiddle, piano, and acoustic guitar, remind us that their roots are never far away. Lyrically, Électrique is political, poignant, and humorous. The duo believes the world needs a reminder that we are one big family, that singing together and dancing are stronger than any ideas about differences – voici l’éssence of this record.
In 2006, the neighbors, living in Quartier St-Roch, Québec City, started jamming together and performing electric-trad in small city venues. They began hosting Irish sessions in Portneuf County and did a mini-tour of Nova Scotia. The release of the folk-trad album Voici… Bette & Wallet in 2008 earned them nomination nods at the ECMAs for Traditional Group of the Year and Francophone Recording, and brought them to the international stage. The duo made four trips to France, and performed at major Canadian folk festivals in Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Joliette, Dawson City, Cambridge, and Lunenburg, and at major theatres such as Capitol Moncton and Theatre Outremont.
In 2012, Bette & Wallet were invited to perform at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival. Audience appreciation and on-stage collaborations at this historic festival were evidence that a final push was needed to finish the huge musicological project. At a distance, the duo recorded in their home studios, and Gabriel complete mixing and mastering in early 2014.
Électrique will be released on their own label, Saspooray, and distributed by Distribution Plages. The album will be available on-line and in stores on April 22, 2014.