The highly-accomplished singer/composer Lisa Papineau releases her Sargent House debut, Red Trees this spring. The album is the second solo venture from the active collaborator known for her vocal contributions to Air and M83, as well as writing with The Mars Volta bassist Juan Alderete de la Peña in Big Sir. The ever-active Papineau also works with soundtrack composer Tyler Bates, Japanese artist Jun Miyake, The Anubian Lights, Bron Tieman’s Crooked Cowboy and countless other projects. Red Trees features guest vocals from singer/songwriters Matthieu Boogaerts and Mark Eitzel of American Music Club.
Listen to the MP3 for “White Leather Pants” HERE.
Remarkably, contending with multiple sclerosis in recent years hasn’t slowed down Papineau’s creative output. Relocating to France in the middle of the last decade, the myriad challenges she confronted served as inspiration to her muse. “Since I got sick,” she explains, “there have been times when I can’t speak, can’t see very well, can’t walk well, and am in pain that is so singular, there is no thinking that goes along with it, just being. It reminded me a little bit of what it was like when I first moved to France, of the very tunnel-like feeling I had not understanding most of what was being said, not being able to communicate in the flow in which I was normally accustomed. One leans harder into the connections with other people when you can’t take the modes of expression for granted.”
That sense of vulnerability helped inspire the sound and semi-lyrical approach of Red Trees. “I wanted to take a little leap off,” Papineau says. “Something that felt more like being a newcomer who doesn’t yet have the local language, or the person who struggles to get his tongue to work.”
Beginning in multimedia performance art, Papineau’s career has been filled with countless highlights. She relocated to Los Angeles from the east coast and soon began a collaboration with the composer Tyler Bates (soundtrack composer for Watchmen, 300). The project was lovingly dubbed Pet. Coming to the attention of Tori Amos and her manager/ collaborator Arthur Spivak, Pet was the first signing to their imprint label with Atlantic Records, Igloo. After considerable touring, critical acclaim and appearances on the soundtrack of The Crow II and, on the Rock For Choice benefit album Spirit of 73, Pet split up.
Papineau and Alderete formed Big Sir in ensuing months, issuing its self-titled debut album and a remix disc in 2000 and 2001 respectively. During this time, the two musicians continued their collaborations with other artists. Papineau lent her vocals to such diverse projects as the last two Air albums (10,000 Khertz, Talkie Walkie), P.O.D’s The Fundamental Elements of Southtown, Scapegoat Wax’s Okeeblow, Farflung’s Belief Module and NinePin Body, and the debut album of Summer at Shattercreek, while also rocking synths and mic for a Japanese tour of The Rentals. The year 2005 featured Papineau singing two tracks on the M83 Before the Dawn Heals Us release.
Around that time, Papineau moved to Paris and there, began to write the songs that were to be the body of her first solo album Night Moves. The album made its debut in the USA in July 2006, on LunaticWorks (Sony/BMG). Back and forth between France and the US, the past few years have found Papineau hard at work on several projects, and spending a good deal of time on the road performing live. In 2007, Big Sir released Und Die Scheiße Ändert Sich Immer via Gold Standard Labs.
The song “Rene Thomas” from Red Trees recently appeared on Brownswood Recording’s Brownswood Bubblers 4, the latest album in the compilation series assembled by BBC DJ Gilles Peterson to present his newest musical discoveries. In March 2009, she appeared performing ambient vocals on the Tyler Bates score soundtrack of the film Watchmen. Now writing and recording for the newest Big Sir album, Papineau has begun to create material for new collaborations with Jun Miyake, Tyler Bates, Matt Embree and her own newest solo album.
Red Trees will be released on May 4th, 2010 via Sargent House.