Published Nov 28, 2011Béatrice Martin may record as Coeur de Pirate (aka, heart of a pirate), but her new album, Blonde, could be subtitled "Heart on Her Sleeve." At first listen, it's sunny-sounding, '60s-influenced, piano-based pop that builds on the winning formula of her 2008 eponymous debut: hooky keys, winking vocals and catchy choruses. But even her non-French speaking fans can't help but pick up on a few lyrical cues that something has made the 22-year-old blonde more than a little blue. "I was kind of invisible when I was a teenager," Martin says. "I didn't really have a lot of friends. I didn't feel like I belonged anywhere. Then all of a sudden I was releasing a record and everybody knew who I was, especially in Quebec. Suddenly everyone knows your story and it's so weird!"
That sudden fame brought its own strange loneliness, Martin says. On top of the innate learning curve of growing up from an 18-year-old into a 22-year-old, she says she didn't have a clue about boys or managing friendships. And then she had to deal with falling in and out of love in the public eye. "I started getting attached to people who could understand where I was coming from, and the bad part was I was falling in love with these people and I wanted to learn everything from them, and that pretty much set the tone for Blonde."
Martin's reluctant to name her heartbreak, but concedes that it's pretty obvious to whom she's referring: Jay Malinowski, the singer/guitarist for reggae-rock outfit Bedouin Soundclash, and Martin's collaborator on their short-lived indie pop band Armistice. "It's really just a tribute to him," Martin muses. "It was really complicated and I was just pushing him away all the time because I was so scared of being lonely. I really talk about that in the songs."
She laughingly says she's her own worst enemy, but she's working through her insecurities. "I cope with it through writing and that's really what happened [with Blonde]."