I’ve managed to spill a copious amount 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 over the past couple of years.
Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over that same period, you might recall that 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 that critically applauded EP trilogy, the Québec-born and-based JOVM mainstay has been busy: She 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. And she worked 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 Friday release through Luminelle Recordings, the album’s material often feels as though it were beamed in from another, more beautiful and whimsical world.
In the lead-up to the album’s release later this week I’ve written about two of the album’s previously released, official singles:
- Deriving its title from the name of a Florida town, located about 15 miles from the John F. Kennedy Space Center, “Cocoa Beach” features a driving and funky bass line, four-on-the-floor, squiggling Nile Rodgers-like guitar, glistening synth arpeggios and Boivin’s dreamily coquettish vocals singing lyrics in English and French. The song is centered around the JOVM mainstay’s unerring knack for crafting a razor sharp, infectious hook — and fittingly, a ton of space and space travel-related imagery.
- A slow-burning cover of The Smashing Pumpkins‘ “Tonight, Tonight” that sees the JOVM mainstay stripping some of the original’s bombast away for an intimate, bedroom pop-like production centered around shimmering and reverb drenched guitars and skittering beats paired with Boivin’s ethereal and plaintive vocals.
“Voyage,” Voyage to Mars‘ latest single is an upbeat bop centered around glistening synth arpeggios, squiggling rhythm guitar, a driving and funky bass line, handclap driven percussion and the JOVM mainstay’s ethereal cooing. Further cementing Boivin’s unerring knack for crafting infectious hooks paired with earnest songwriting, “Voyage” manages to tie the album’s themes together while being a celebration of the journey that led her to the release of the album. But it’s also about the importance of taking the time to enjoy your dreams as they — finally! — come true. “‘Voyage’ is about willing your seemingly impossible-to-achieve dreams to come true…like building a ship and traveling to space to meet up with an old friend on Mars,” the JOVM mainstay explains.
Directed by Ashley Benzwie and Boivin, the recently released and playful video for “Voyage” begins with Boivin reminiscing about her dear Martian friend. She then researches and builds a spaceship out of wood, reclaimed metal and other scraps to visit her friend. The video ends with Boivin blasting off towards her destination.