Michelle Blades Visitor

Release Date 03/29/2019

(Midnight Special)

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A self-taught multi-instrumentalist, Michelle Blades reveals a discography infused with multiple sounds as an extension of her nomadic life spent between Panama, where she was born; Mexico, land of her mother’s family; Florida where she escaped from Manuel Noriega’s dictatorship, Arizona, where the young woman met Phoenix's  underground and alternative culture and France to make up a music career spanning over ten years.

Shaping a multifaceted artistic universe

Michelle Blades gleans unique sounds from her journeys, experiences and environments she lives in. Her curiosity drove her to journalism, skateboarding, filmmaking and of course to music, all while linking a strong cultural heritage. She grew up to a family of salsa pioneers in Central America; her uncle Rubén is a monument of the genre, her father a producer and composer, her grandmother was a Cuban pianist and singer… but event if music is omnipresent in her genes, it’s at the age of 16 years old that she allowed herself to speak the universal language. She learned to play guitar, bass, drums, keys, learned to play with her voice and to create variations and personify some characters in song.Michelle Blades’ universe creates a unique perception mixed with high mastery of the instruments she plays and arranges for.  Rigorous and creative, she manipulates her music, experiments and allows herself total freedom in her creation, making her art evolve with her ideas and her passion, blending intensity, precision and gentleness.


Inevitably, travel, her past, her ideals, questions on identity, interpersonal rapports are centerpieces in Blades' work. She confesses a predisposition to the 70s, a decade she perceives as a parallel to what we lives at this time: sexual liberation, feminism, racial and class struggles,  an evolving society playing tug of war with the past generations, revolutionary ideas… many aspects that open possibilities and aesthetic to musicians. It makes one think of Frank Zappa and his completely free posture to creation, of David Byrne and his taste for deconstruction and social absurdity. She discovered this priceless freedom in Phoenix at 18 where she made friends with DIY culture. In 2010, she landed in France for the first time with a debut folk EP she would present al around the country. In 2012, Michelle Blades came back to the country where she met the Midnight Special Records family, a milestone in her career, working with and releasing all her material on the independent label thereafter. Composer, singer and director (« Retien mon désir » or « Château perdu » for CléaVincent), solo or with a band, her name and signature have started to circulate. Between 2015 and 2016 she released the album Ataraxia and two Eps: Nah See Ya and Polylust. By this time, she was playing bass with Fishbach all around the world and still finding her time to record the intimate EP Premature Love Songs. Michelle Blades’s new album Visitor will be out on March 29th, with Midnight Special Records.

Featuring such tracks    such    as “Ring,” “Kiss Me on  the  Mouth,” and  “Politic!”, Michelle  Blade’s Visitoris the product of several writing periods,  a  desire to create a coherent   album, all while  allowing every possibility for creative freedom. It was in this spirit that the prolific artist composed and  wrote  the  11  tracks  of Visitor, which were   then   recorded   during   an   intensive month of touring in which she accompanied Fishbach on bass.

Grounds for exploration and adventure

Michelle  Blades  crosses  over  boundaries  of genre,    combining    the    philosophy    and practices  of  a  Frank  Zappa  in  her  liberty  of creation; of David Byrne and Mort Garson in terms   of   musical   experimentation.   Thus unclassifiable,   and   with   indubitable   ease, Michelle   Blades   satisfies   her   thirst   for musical exploration by playing with texture, language  tones,  and  wordplay,  resulting  in this intense, gracious ensemble. The themes that inspire the artist -such as time gone by, travel, soul-searching, or the complexities of a   personality -are   often   drawn   from elements  of  her  own  life  spent  between Panama, Mexico, Florida and France.The remainder takes form during the month of   September  2017   atStudio   Vega   with Bertrand  Fresel  (Tony  Allen,  Katerine),  an analogue   recording   on   tape   and   mixing console similar to those used by Abbey Road Studios. The process requires more time and an implacable precision: “That’s when the album started making sense as such; that’s when I found the title. I started to formulate the  concept,  an  idea  that  combines  many different things,” explains  Michelle  Blades. She  continues:  “They  are  interpersonal songs, but it’s above all a conscious effort made  for  each  musical  texture.  Nothing  is left     to     chance,     there     is     a     lot     of experimentation  and  freedom.”  She acknowledges the enormous work undertaken    by    Victor    Peynichou    (bass, guitar),   Alexandre   Bourit   (guitar),   Marius Duflot (synth, piano, vibraphone, percussion), Pierre-Louis    Vizioz (drums), Edouard  Pons  (piano, vibraphone),  Daniel Hart (violin) and Manfred Kovacic (saxophone), who    give    the    album    an inimitable sound


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