Gabrielle Papillon is no stranger to the Canadian indie music scene, having been active in the community since 2001 and having four prior albums under her belt. The Tempest of Old is her latest collection of folk-pop songs and is gaining ground online. She hails from Winnipeg, but her music is slowly branching out across the nation.
She describes a few of her influences as being The McGarrigle Sisters, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, The Beatles, Radiohead, and ‘90s punk and alternative, with a classical music panache – “in no particular order,” she says. When listening to her music, you can hear these notes she’s taken on.
The album has a sort of Florence and The Machine feeling to it, leading me to believe that the two bands drew from the same well of inspiration. Maybe Papillon was influenced by the English indie band.
‘Got Your Well’ is a great start to the album, establishing a stormy scene with its sullen notes and glum vocals. It has a bit of a folksy angle on it as well, carrying on to the other tracks.
It’s relaxing music with an underlying tension to save it from being boring. This album is certainly a journey, as cliché as that may sound. The vocal style is unique and constant throughout the tracks but no two songs are the same. Papillon shows that the folk scene has a broader range of sounds than naysayers may believe.
The doom and gloom at the beginning of the album doesn’t exhaust itself with the other songs, there are much more light-hearted songs throughout The Tempest of Old. There’s a balance between the easy-going and heavier songs in this collection, giving everyone something to get into. The album ends on something that sounds a little more unique than the other tracks: ‘Well Beneath’. With its quirks and the hypnotic rhythm, it makes for a perfect ending to this album.