Last week, we reviewed Dark/Light, the latest full-length record from Swiss project Bleu Roi – a stunning seven-song journey set in a somewhat dreamy, Scandinavian indie-pop aesthetic. The music this band makes is very blue and meandering, but in a very nourishing sort of a way. It might take you some time to absorb it all, but the effort will definitely pay off in the end. On the second or third spin you just might catch yourself reassessing your relationship with the idea of the duality of life. It’s not as simple as it seems, trust me. Bleu Roi are: singer / songwriter Jennifer Jans, guitarist Axel Rüst, Imogen Jans on keys and drummer Stefan Rüst.
To satisfy our growing curiosity about this project we spoke with band leader, vocalist Jennifer Jans.
Can you tell us a bit about the process of writing Light/Dark?
We started writing the songs for Dark/Light right after releasing our debut record, in the fall of 2016. It was during the process of writing these songs that we decided on the title of the record because we wanted to make the subject of contrasts the main focus of the album. I think the interesting thing about attributing something like Dark or Light to music is that it is very personal. A lot of people have given us this feedback that they would have divided the record up differently. But for us this sequencing is very much connected to the feelings we had while creating the songs.
Is it exhausting for you, as an artist, to deal with such a tumultuous emotional landscape while creating? There’s a lot going on here, a lot of big questions are being posed.
For me music has always been an outlet for emotions, and for processing and expressing things that might sometimes never come up in a conversation. It actually feels more cleansing than tumultuous. But of course those big questions are always there when you listen or play the song. For some artists this may be too heavy, for us it’s very meaningful to share this with the world.
What did it feel like to finish the record?
Since the process of releasing an album usually takes a very long time – in our case over a year since recording the songs – it definitely feels relieving to have it finally be out there in the world. And this is the point where you really get to enjoy all the work you’ve put into it, so we’re really happy about that.
What is your favourite moment on the record?
There are so many special and very personal moments on the record, but I think one of my favourite moments was recording the vocals for Onomatopoetry (Dark). This song is so emotionally loaded, and it was a real milestone for me to really be able to let go. I think you can hear all the emotion in my voice, so I enjoy listening back to it now and thinking back on this moment.
Generally, a creative undertaking of this scope is a transformative process, so how are you different now from who you were before embarking on this journey?
Creating music, and especially an album is always filled with so many different steps and transformations. There are so many ups and downs that you go through, also when it has more to do with decision making. I think we all learned a lot about ourselves, about our band, about the process of creating music and about the business side of things. All these experiences enrich what you do, and I’m sure that they will help us along on our journey.
Photography by Stefan Rüst