by Fiona O'Connor
Montreal's premier French-language music festival, Les FrancoFolies de Montreal, is currently underway celebrating its 21st year in business. Featuring both established and renowned artists from around the French-speaking world, the summer festival is arguably the city's biggest next to its hard-to-beat Jazz Fest.
Tonight though, FrancoFolies shines the spotlight on some homegrown talent with Martha Wainright performing (mainly in French) at Théatre Maisonneuve. Of course, for those of you who know, it's rare for any talk of the sexy songstress to stray from a mention of the musical legacy unto which she was born...this post being no exception! But to pass the buck on drawing the inevitable connection, here's FrancoFolie's intro to Martha: "Daughter of two great songwriters, Loudon and Kate...sister of yet another...and entirely, absolutely her own artist."
Cliché but true, Martha is a songwriter and performer in her own right, transitioning seamlessly within her repertoire of English and French songs which reveal the influences of not only her own folky family roots (her mother is Kate McGarrigle of the famous duo Kate and Anna McGarrigle), but also iconic female singers such as Edith Piaf.
Check out Martha's music video for her 2008 single You Cheated Me here. The animated component of the video is the work of Montreal artist Kathleen Weldon, who, in collaboration with another local artist- Alex McLean- has lent her hauntingly beautiful illustrative style to several other Montreal musicians, including Patrick Watson and Lhasa de Sela.
The videos, true works of art rendered in a style rarely found in today's world of high-tech, high-production music videos, are well worth exploring. Be transported into their melancholy dream-world below, and good luck not shedding a tear...