Bleu Roi is a Basel, Switzerland-based indie pop quartet, named after the French expression for the color royal blue. Formed in 2016, they list illustrious names such as Bon Iver, Alt-J, Sigur Rós, and Daughter among the influences that led them towards shaping their own recognizable sound. On their social media, they claim that their music is ‘for the lost and the found‘, which might initially come across as being somewhat esoteric, but don’t worry, it’ll make perfect sense once we get to the reason we’re here today.
‘What’re you gonna do when you shake your despair?‘
“Onomatopoetry (Dark)” is the group’s latest single in anticipation of their of their upcoming record Dark/Light, due out on October 25 via Plus Plus Records. As its title suggests, the album is based around the concept of contrasts and differences. The song whose new music video we are premiering today is supposed to represent the darkest end of the sonic spectrum Bleu Roi tread on the record, doling out messages of necessary change and the fear (or rather the ill-begotten comfort) that might well prevent it – things we are sadly all too familiar within our world’s current socio-political climate – amongst resounding waves of foreboding synths.
Before I drone on any longer, here’s the official music video to “Onomatopoetry (Dark)” by Bleu Roi:
Music for the lost and the found. What might’ve sounded like nothing but a willfully meaningless self-description mere minutes ago has been filled with meaning upon witnessing this audio-visual combo. Bewilderment and a strange sense of comfort are suitable reactions to this song and video, as they elegantly carve this contrast out of their respective medium. “Onomatopoetry (Dark)” is based around composer/vocalist Jennifer Jans’ voice, ominous synth patterns (partially performed on a vintage Moog synthesizer), and a repetitive, almost ritualistic drum beat. It’s a rather minimalistic affair, but that only adds to the undertow-like effect it has. I’m particularly in awe of how well Jans’ vocal performance gels with the darkness that underlies the dark modernist instrumentation. This is indie pop taken into an almost dark wave or industrial direction, which is a welcome breath of fresh air in a genre plagued by an aggressive merchandising of everything that’s kitschy or twee about music.
‘What we dwell on in the present is what we become‘
Meanwhile, the visual portion of this musical one-two punch feeds into the dark aesthetic set by its parent song quite well. Filmed and conceived by Bleu Roi drummer Stefan Rüst, it places the band members (and some extras) in a few different settings that all contextually tie into one artistic whole. It’s all grace and tastefully shot, especially imagining what the budget must’ve been. The video’s quality really speaks for itself, and it makes for an intriguing companion to this single.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, Dark/Light will be out on October 25. It was recorded at Svenska Grammofon Studion, which has hosted recording sessions of artists like José Gonzalez, Madrugada, and Dark Tranquility in the past, to name but a recognizable few. The album is comprised of seven songs, all of which were composed by Jans in tandem with her sister Imogen (keys, backing vocals), as well as Rüst and his brother Axel (guitars). Three of these tracks have been released as singles so far, with “Crysanthemum (Dark)” and “Summer Calls (Light)” having come out before “Onomatopoetry (Dark)”.
A special little tidbit for our Swiss readership: Bleu Roi will be touring your parts come October/November! You can find the dates listed below:
03.10.2019 CH – Papiersaal, Zürich (w/ Flèche Love)
26.10.2019 CH – Coq d’Or, Olten
31.10.2019 CH – Neubad, Luzern
02.11.2019 CH – HörBar im Bloom, Winterthur
08.11.2019 CH – Träff Schötz, Luzern (w/ Vsitor)
23.11.2019 CH – Sommercasino, Basel (album release show)
‘We reshape our own reception of how we view ourselves‘
If you liked what you heard and saw above, please be sure to follow Bleu Roi on social media (Facebook | Twitter | YouTube), and keep an eye out for Dark/Light once it drops next month as well. I must admit that I was shamefully unfamiliar with the band going into this premiere, but after hearing what they are capable of, I’m definitely curious to see what else they have in store for us with their upcoming release!