Over the past couple of years, I’ve managed to spill quite a bit of virtual ink covering Québec-born and-based multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter and producer Josie Boivin, the creative mastermind behind the critically applauded recording project and JOVM mainstay act MUNYA.
When Boivin was asked to play at 2017’s Pop Montreal, she had only written one song. Ironically, at the time, Boivin never intended to pursue music full-time; but after playing at the festival, she quickly realized that music was what she was meant to do. So, Boivin quit her day job, moved in with her sister and turned their kitchen into a home recording studio, where she wrote every day. Those recordings would become part of an EP trilogy with each individual EP named after a significant place in Boivin’s life: Her debut North Hatley EP derived its name from one of Boivin’s favorite little Québecois villages. Her second EP, the critically applauded Delmano EP derived its name from Williamsburg, Brooklyn-based bar Hotel Delmano. The third and final EP of the trilogy, Blue Pinederived its name from the Blue Pine Mountains in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks.
Since the release of her critically applauded EP trilogy, the Québecois JOVM mainstay has released a string of singles including the Washed Out-like “Pour Toi,” a single centered around the aching and unfulfilled longing of being forced to speak to a loved one from a distance. Boivin has also been busy working on her highly-anticipated full-length debut Voyage to Mars.
With a background in opera and jazz, Boivin’s life has been centered around two big dreams: to be a musician — and to go to Mars. “I love space. I love aliens. I love thinking that we’re not alone in this big strange universe,” she says. “Those things give me hope.” Naturally, that hope led to Voyage to Mars, an album that derives its title from Georges Méliès’ classic silent film Le Voyage dans la Lune. Slated for a November 5, 2021 release through Luminelle Recordings, the album’s material feels beamed in from another, more beautiful and whimsical world.
Voyage to Mars‘ first single “Cocoa Beach” is named for a Florida town, located about 15 miles from the John F. Kennedy Space Center. Featuring a driving, funky bass line, four-on-the floor, squiggling Nile Rodgers-like guitar, glistening synth arpeggios, and Boivin’s dreamily coquettish vocals in English and French, the song is centered around the JOVM mainstay’s unerring knack for a razor sharp and infectious hook — and space-related imagery. “Cocoa Beach is a song about being fearless, about finding your inner force and embracing failure as your path to happiness,” Boivin explains in press notes. “It’s about pushing yourself over your limits and accomplishing the impossible through sheer force of will. It takes courage, dedication and many failures to reach your dreams…and that is the origin story of MUNYA.”
Co-directed by Ashley Benzwie and MUNYA, the recently released video is a direct follow-up to the video for “Pour Toi.” With the “Pour Toi,” video, we see the JOVM mainstay on the phone chatting with an unseen and distant loved one. With “Cocoa Beach,” we see who MUNYA was longing to be with — a humanoid alien, who has returned to Earth to reunite with Boivin. Hilariously, the pair spend time playing paddle ball, running on the beach and just hanging out like any other normal couple, except I’m pretty sure the phone bills would be expensive.