Marianne Dissard returns with seduction of "L'entredeux"
Marianne Dissard's lyrical elegance and blend of Southwestern-flavored Americana and European waltz has garnered adoration from critics and fans on both sides of the Atlantic.
Dissard recently returned from Europe where she toured behind her 2008 release, "L'entredeux," co-written and produced by Joey Burns of Calexico, and performed by a slew of recognizable names in her hometown of Tucson.
A native of France, Dissard moved to Arizona with her parents at the age of 16. She moved to Los Angeles a few years later, where she met up with Howe Gelb of Tucson's Giant Sand.
"It gave quite a slant to the rest of my American life. I ended up in Tucson because I wanted to perform with those guys. That was in '94, and I'm still here," Dissard said in a recent phone interview.
"L'entredeux" reveals a sophisticated effort characteristic of Dissard's romantic and poetic lyrical style, smoky vocals in French, and the Tex-Mex orchestral sparseness bearing Burns' signature work heard in Calexico.
"I was there to give him directions on some of the tones and styles and dramatic intentions. But, really, he was the one in the studio with all the toys, and I was wondering in amazement at the guy's creative juices," Dissard said of the sessions.
"Knowing what he had done with Calexico, it's not that far out (from my original intention). And it's got some of what I like best about Calexico. It's got that use of certain kinds of instruments. The violins work pretty well."
Growing up listening to bands such as the Smiths, Bauhaus and U2 that were popular in Europe and America, Dissard attributes much of her influence to the lyrical emphasis of French songwriters popular primarily in France.
"I was writing poetry, essentially. And then I switched to lyrics. I constantly go back to the great French lyricists, as far as the way they manage to blend poetry and lyrics," she said.
"It brings out the emotion of the sounds. You know, we go to clubs all the time and hear bands that speak English, and we have no idea what they're saying anyway. So it's all right to not understand what's going on."
Dissard performs 8 p.m. Saturday at the Raven in Prescott.