Folk music reminds us of where we came from and informs us about where we’re going –– or at least that’s the bracing ethos of Montreal-based band Rosier (formerly Les Poules a Colin). A group who spent their formative years wrapped in rich, untouched musical traditions, they are just as attuned to the present and the future, challenging and redefining their world through a modern lens. Rosier injects exuberant color into familiar folk sounds, taking the roots that they have grown from and spinning their foundations into a movement. The result is mature, well-controlled music filled with emotion and a surprising freshness relevant in today’s shifting climates.
Rosier –– “rosebush” –– is a recurring image in traditional music. A decade of playing together has shaped the band’s music and dictated its wide swath of sensibilities, from the “breathtakingly forlorn lyricism” (Toronto Music Report) of their 2014 album, Ste-Waves, to the “exotic, oddlyancient- sounding beats” (Songlines) of their most recent release, Morose (2017). Songlines praised the band for their “brave contemporary takes on traditional folk songs . . . Each track is a story in itself set to skilled arrangements that soar and weave with a timeless beauty while sweet melodies interplay with the unexpected rhythmic and instrumental verve of jazz.” Their upcoming release, Rosier (2019), features the band’s steadfast original lineup: front-woman Béatrix Méthé (lead vocals and fiddle), Colin Savoie-Levac (lap steel, banjo and foot percussion), Sarah Marchand (lead vocals and keys), Éléonore Pitre (acoustic and electric guitar) and Marie Savoie-Levac (bass); everyone helps out on background vocals.
The quintet has performed in major cities and small towns in Canada, the United States, Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia and Africa, amassing impressive international experience. Their first tour of New Zealand includes appearances at Auckland Folk Festival and Festival of Lights in Taranaki.