La Force: October
Clear and haunting vocals and imaginative lyrics make this a mellow charmer.
By Kerry Doole
La Force - October (Secret City): Highly-regarded Montreal singer/songwriter Ariel Engle (aka La Force) releases a new album, XO Skeleton, on Sept. 29, with the second advance single and video, October, now out.
In a label press release, Engle describes the song this way: "October is a time of harvest here [in Montreal]. It’s a time when we settle into darkness and leaves drop from the trees. It’s a time when we turn inward into our clothing and protective shells. It’s a song about the voices we internalize. People we can no longer see but whose voices and words live on inside us and shape us. It’s a song about the uncanny. A song about the cycles of nature, the cycle of life. The song reminds us that despite our grand feelings, we are just like animals and plants, destined to be born, to live and to die.”
The mellow and sparse cut showcases Engle's clear and haunting voice and her imaginative lyrics (sample: "Memories folded like laundry, In dreams the dead and living are the same, Equal on the imaginary plane"). Reference points suggested by the track would include Feist and The Weather Station, though her body of work illuminates Engle as a strikingly original artist.
XO Skeleton was coproduced by La Force and Warren Spicer (Plants and Animals). “The theme of the album revealed itself in the making,” she explains, recalling how the title track is rooted in a telephone call with her life insurance broker—one everyday banality on the periphery of death. “At one point, she said, ‘God forbid you should die.’ I was gobsmacked. ‘Well, there’s one thing guaranteed: no god or goddess is going to keep me alive.’”
Engle earlier made a splash alongside personal and musical partner Andrew Whiteman (Apostle of Hustle, Broken Social Scene) in the band AroarA, which released the EP In the Pines in 2013, a longlisted nominee for the 2014 Polaris Music Prize.
Engle also appeared on Broken Social Scene's 2017 album Hug of Thunder. The following year, she released La Force, garnering a Polaris Music Prize long-list nomination and drawing attention from major publications, as well as The National’s Aaron Dessner, who recruited Engle to appear on the new Big Red Machine LP alongside Bon Iver, Taylor Swift, Fleet Foxes and Sharon Van Etten. Engle also contributed to the recent album of Patrick Watson, who used their collaboration as the lead single on 2022’s Better In The Shade.
La Force supports Patrick Watson on European dates in the fall and then in the US and Canada, Oct. through Dec. Check her itinerary here. Engle is a force to be reckoned with
Publicity: Jess Arcand, Take Aim Media
Management: Heather Kelly firstname.lastname@example.org
Booking (North America): Andre Guerette at Paquin email@example.com