Cool and with a touch of classic French chanson, Marie Davidson's heavy-lidded coldwave, synthpop and EBM has made her one of the year’s most talked-about emerging talents. Trained in classical violin, the French-Canadian artist fell hard for analogue electronic music in high school, dropping out to become a fixture on Montreal's thriving underground music scene.
Davidson's longest running project, the duo Essaie Pas, channels the noirish glamour and woozy mechanical groove of '80s-era synthpop across three albums. Notably, the pair’s hypnotic Demain Est Une Autre Nuit, released on vaunted New York label DFA, was longlisted for Canada’s prestigious Polaris Music Prize in 2016.
In 2012, Davidson also began recording under her own name, eschewing laptops and software in favour of a raft of analogue gear—synthesizers, drum machines, portable recorders, pedals. The resulting tracks, which layered French and English spoken word over spartan but muscular grooves, were collected onto a pair of EPs released via indie labels Holodeck and Weyrd Son—Perte D'Identité, in 2014, and Un Autre Voyage, in 2015. Her debut full-length, Adieux Au Dancefloor, arrived the following year. Imprinted with the DNA of techno, electro, dark Italo disco and synthpop, the album was a natural fit for Cititrax, the Minimal Wave offshoot headed by Veronica Vasicka. In an interview with The FADER, Davidson revealed that the Adieux Au Dancefloor was born out of a stint in Berlin and "a fascination for dance music and club culture as much as a disgust from it"—an album that spurned the destructive behaviors of club culture while playing into its fetish for analogue sleaze.
Davidson was a participant at the Red Bull Music Academy in Montreal in 2016.