Release Date: Oct 5, 2018
Record label: Ninja Tune
Dance music rarely pays the bills. If you're able to cobble together enough gigs to make a living, you're advised to suck up the indignities of a life lived in nightclubs and airports, because it's better than flipping burgers, right? Marie Davidson is well-placed to compare the work of electronic musicians to more ordinary pursuits--she worked as a waitress for ten years to support her art. On Working Class Woman, she places the touring musician's graft within a larger context.
The Montreal musician's fourth solo album is a stonking triumph. Make her Employee of the Month Someone give Marie Davidson a raise. Give her a new role or - more fittingly - employee of the month. Whatever it is, she absolutely deserves it, because her new album 'Working Class Woman' is a stonking triumph.
Marie Davidson's first album for Ninja Tune is far more outgoing than her previous releases, in addition to being more introspective. Earlier albums such as Perte D'Identité were filled with seductive, deadpan spoken lyrics in French and English over murky, lo-fi darkwave tracks, with the tempo significantly increasing on 2016's Adieux au Dancefloor, as well as the albums Essaie Pas (Davidson's duo with partner Pierre Guerineau) released on DFA. Working Class Woman continues in the direction of the Essaie Pas material as well as "Emails 2 Myself," Davidson's brutal, outstanding collaboration with Solitary Dancer.
Rating: NNNN "Do you really need to carry around all that gear with you?" Marie Davidson says on the opening track of her fourth album. "My god." Your Biggest Fan, the spoken-word opening track on her fourth and best solo album, is an internal dialogue between a faux-obsequious fan voice and an undermining internal voice of imposter syndrome. After three solo efforts and several releases with various other projects, the French-Canadian electronic musician is on the ascent.
As anyone who sat through The Handmaid's Tale knows, dystopian art can become self-inflicted punishment. There has been plenty of grindingly bleak music released recently, much of it impressively hostile if not exactly the stuff of repeat listens. Two recent albums have demonstrated how to reflect contemporary horror more effectively: Low's Double Negative tempers terror with empathy, while Québécois producer Marie Davidson's fourth solo album uses the blackest humour to subvert her nasty, tormented techno with its pointed clubbing critique.