Aleksi Campagne announces bilingual album, For the Giving / Sans Rien Donner


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Aleksi Campagne honours both his English and French roots in his upcoming bilingual album

Montreal Fiddle-Singer Aleksi Campagne has announced that he will be launching his first, full-length bilingual album titled For the Giving / Sans Rien Donner.

The album features 10 songs, but 20 tracks—each of the 10 songs are fully translated to offer a full English and a full french version (on two discs in one sleeve). The first single, “Till I Get Home”/ “Je reviendrai vers toi” launched on July 7, both in English and in French, with all subsequent tracks being launched as singles every two weeks all summer long–coinciding with my cross-Canada summer tour.

And yet, singing in two languages is far from the most interesting aspect of his latest album. As a fiddle-singer, this indie-folk album offers a contemporary take on the fiddle singing tradition. Since the violin-voice combination is so rare, he realized that people often have to see it in order to believe that he is truly singing and playing at the same time. For this reason, he has also filmed 10 solo performance videos for each of the 10-tracks that will be launched alongside other bonus content to his mailing list here.

Watch the solo fiddle-singing version for the first single below, and find out more about Aleksi Campagne via our mini-interview.

First off, care to introduce yourself to our readers?

Hi, my name is Aleksi Campagne and I am an indie-folk, fiddle-singer from Montreal. I grew up on stage singing with my parents who are both folk singers. My mum likes to joke that if I’d been a rebel, I would have become an accountant, but alas, I studied classical and jazz violin in university and I now write my own folk songs.

You are launching your first bilingual full-length album, For the Giving / Sans Rien Donner, what can you tell us about the release?

Thematically, this album is about firsts. I sing about my apprehensions about leaving home for the first time and then about how I mourned having to move out of that first apartment. I sing about hustle culture and the expectation that young people need to grind at the beginning of their career. And, perhaps more predictably, I sing about first loves and first heartbreaks (particularly acute when it ends badly).

I also wrote the album in two languages because I grew up in two languages. My mother is anglophone and my father is francophone. I grew up in Montreal and I wanted to honour these two parts of my identity—I did not want to pick. So, the album features 10 songs, but 20 tracks—each of the 10 songs are fully translated to offer a full English and a full French version (on two discs in one sleeve). Listeners can pick which language they listen in, but every album comes with both discs.

You are unveiling singles one at a time, every two weeks all summer long, why did you decide to release the album this way?

Yes, believe it or not, I am launching each single for free by email first and then two weeks later the single goes public. This unusual type of release suited me because although it might seem antiquated, compared to the streaming platforms, I find email more personal. It’s one-to-one. I email listeners and they can write back directly. I get to feel connected with my audience again and after two years of COVID, I think it was my way of reconnecting with the folk community.

Launching each single one at a time by email also allows me to share more than just the singles. This is particularly important for me, as a fiddle-singer, because since the violin-voice combination is so unusual, I realized that people often have to see it to believe that I am truly singing and playing at the same time (no really, people have commented “fake” on my Facebook videos before). Because of this, along with each single, I am sending a live video version of the song, shot in a single take. Altogether, I’m calling this my visual album experience where listeners will receive the single in French and in English, the solo video version, and additional behind-the-scenes content—all for free.

Anyone interested in signing up for the visual album can do so here.

You have just unveiled the first single, “Till I Get Home”/ “Je reviendrai vers toi”, which is a song about Montreal. Can you give us more backstory on this release?

I started writing “Til I Get Home” on my last tour. I was playing a gig at the corner of no and where and as much as I love to play live music and connect with people at shows, I was homesick. Maybe it was because, before getting on the road, I had packed up my apartment to move (again)—this time, headed to NYC. Sitting backstage, I started daydreaming about the spiral staircase up to my old, Montreal apartment and suddenly, I had written most of the lyrics for “Til I Get Home”.

And it will be just like Montreal
Up the spiral metal stairs, away from it all
And we can make our home this way again
But until then…

Do you have any upcoming shows or festivals you’d like to tell us about?

Yes, thanks for asking. I am touring across Canada this summer. It all starts at the Mariposa Folk Festival this weekend (July 8-10). I’ll then play a pre-launch show with the new music in Montreal at Bar le Ritz (July 14th). I’m going to drive out to my family’s small music festival, FarmFest TerreFerme in Willow Bunch, Saskatchewan (July 22-24). And then we have Trout Forest Music Festival (August 12-14), followed by a show at Toronto’s Drom Taberna (August 18th) and then we end the tour at Summerfolk Festival in Owen Sound (August 19-21)

I am also still booking dates for the summer, so if you’re interested, you can visit my website for the latest. Mainly, I just can’t wait to get back to playing live!

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