“Let the sun come after the rain.”
The words drift to me through the speakers of my phone as I sit amidst a tranquil assertion of hope, delivered by French singer-songwriter Indolore. The lyric – found in the opening track of his newest album After the Rain – represents more than his mere desire for improved weather conditions; it’s his vow for better days after several months spent in anxiety and isolation. He knows we’ve been standing in the rain (some of us without an umbrella) for far too long, and it’s about time the clouds part and make way for the sun to shine through.
So what is Indolore’s idea of a sun-kissed world? Well, listeners can easily find out by means of his eloquent storytelling that consistently looks ahead in positivity, showing gratitude for new platonic and romantic relationships, as well as an appreciation for life’s smallest joys – a child’s laughter, or a bird’s sweet song. But above all, it’s the heated sunrays on your skin as you press play on your life again, finding your way back on track in order to finish the course.
Indolore first debuted his music via his 2014 Positive Girls EP, later releasing his full length album Love Letters From Eylenda that defined his introspective virtuosity. Like delicate porcelain, his songs rival a Sufjan Stevens lullaby, enhanced by subtle textures and a romantically melancholy state of mind. With calm optimism, Indolore intersperses soft and enchanting musical elements, the majority from the likes of his own hand, including guitar, keyboard, synth, sax, clarinet, and mellotron – all of which tenderly coil around your ears in a gentle caress.
Nothing about After the Rain is intrusive, or aggressive. In fact, the entire record is coated in a soothing composure, from the enticing sax solo in “Naive in Love” to the powerful crescendo build in “Dream On”. Though subdued in its compositions, the profound lyricism is nothing but, illuminating in unmistakeable wisdom and comfort. Not much is needed for Indolore to generate a responsive ache from his audience. And that’s a craft that needs to be treasured.
I had the opportunity to discuss further in depth with Indolore about himself, his album, and more.
When did you first become enamored with music, and when did you know you wanted to pursue a career in it?
I was immersed in music as a child thanks to my brother who discovered it before me, and who used to bring home records from The Beatles or The Police- not bad for a start. As for the love at first sight, it came later. It happened in a very unexpected way, in my mother’s car when I was 17. I had just bought a cassette tape (at the time) for my father’s birthday, a greatest hits from Charlie Parker whom I didn’t know then. Out of curiosity, I inserted it in the car radio, and there I was as if struck by lightning. I don’t really know when I got the desire to make a career out of it, but I knew from that moment on that I would express myself through music.
Your music has a generally quiet, calm mood throughout. Would you say those characteristics also represent who you are as a person?
Yes and no actually. I have been very agitated and quite angry in my life, at least internally. I started Indolore (meaning “painless” in French) at a time when I found myself alone. I had just gotten divorced, my previous band broke up, I changed jobs completely. A very big transition- difficult but necessary. I felt that I wanted peace, and that music could help me to approach it and to communicate it. So I launched myself into it. In front of microphones, on the road, wherever possible. And it has been one of the best decisions of my life.
When developing a song into its full production, what is your favorite part of the process?
I have two favorite moments. The first is when the melody comes to me, when the song takes shape quickly, without forcing it. It’s the kind of feeling you get when you meet a new person and you instantly feel good with her/him.The second one is the first day in the studio, the set-up of the mikes, the first take, the sound in the headphones. Each time, I find this process magical.
What do you believe is your greatest strength as an artist? Your greatest weakness?
I guess my main strength is my ability to never give up on a project. I’ve revealed that over time. Finishing an album, and being proud of it. It’s vital for me.
Concerning my weakness, there are several! I think I still have a little difficulty working with other musicians, or rather I still feel fragile in a band. But in this last album, I changed that. I invited great musicians with whom it went very well and that gave me confidence and desire. So finally, maybe I’ll put a band back together!
Is there a moment or two you’ve experienced that stands out as a pinnacle of your career so far?
As Indolore, being invited to play the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, was a great recognition and a fantastic adventure.
I could also tell you about this magical collaboration with British rock legend Terry Reid. This story started with a documentary I saw on TV one night about the very first Glastonbury festival that Terry opened with his band (featuring Alan White among others). He amazed me. I did everything I could to track him down. I finally succeeded in finding him in the Mojave Desert! Music makes miracles happen: a few months later, he landed in Paris and we recorded three tracks that I had composed for him. Terry is incredible. He is the greatest artist, and the nicest guy I have ever worked with. Please check him out. He’s still alive and kicking!
Moving on to your album: is there a specific motif to After the Rain that you could point out and explain more in depth?
I wrote several of these songs during the first lockdown. I was lucky enough to spend it in my childhood town in France, right on the Atlantic Ocean. Its name is as weird as its atmosphere is peaceful: Mimizan. And there, despite the situation, I felt almost renewed, hopeful. Little by little, this is what came out of the songs. I recorded them quickly afterwards in Paris, in the basement of Chopin’s house (true!)- it could only go well! After the Rain was the best title I could give to this album to symbolize the hope of a new life, not only for me, but for most of us.
How does this album compare to the rest of your discography?
It’s always hard to compare one’ s kid. 🙂 I think this album is the brightest of the three. Definitely the most optimistic.
What track or two off the record are you most proud of or might you be most excited for fans to hear?
There is one that is particularly close to my heart because, precisely, it is not about me or about my own emotions. This song is “Alicia Stone”. A few months ago, I came across a YouTube channel called Invisible People. It shows homeless people being interviewed in a very respectful way. They tell about their life, their story, their difficulties, their dreams, very sincerely. Among these videos, there is this interview of a homeless woman in Los Angeles, her name is Alicia (I decided to pronounce “Alicia” the European way in the song) She lives alone on the street, on the very same street where she used to live years before, where she had an apartment- a home. That really touched me, and that was the inspiration for the song. I hope that Alicia’s situation has improved since. I’m trying to get in touch with her.
What track was the most challenging to create?
I remember having some difficulties on “Oh Boy”. Which may explain the title. 🙂 The acoustic guitar part was quite demanding for me. And then we went to record the piano part far away from Paris at my friend’s place, on his own piano, in his own living room, and in the middle of the night. Well, we drank quite a lot that night, and it didn’t help, (hahaha) but we managed to do it and I’m very happy with this track. It sounds smooth and uplifting at the same time.
Are you planning to perform these songs live any time soon?
Yes, I can’t wait to go on stage again and to play everywhere possible, or better, where it is (almost) impossible or unusual. I’ve always loved going on adventures. With Indolore, I can afford it because I’m on my own. It’s a great feeling of freedom.
Any goals for the rest of the year?
I have this quite crazy project of touring the USA, but not necessarily in the most famous states. I want to hit the road from Cincinnati to Kansas City, with a stop in Nashville of course. 🙂 I want to meet locals, other musicians, and take the time to get to know the heart of this country. As soon as the health situation allows it, I will come!