The Heart Breaks is the latest album from French songstress Pauline Andrès due for release tomorrow (15 April). The album delves into the ache of a broken heart amongst a musical landscape between French Chanson and Bakersfield Outlaw Country after a short stop in Tijuana. Although it is not just about heartbreak in the classic sense, it’s about all the little cracks in the heart and everything the heart breaks around itself too.
Unlike Andres’ first album, The Heart Breaks confesses a raw vulnerability, with every sharp stabbing, heart-crushing blow exposed. And in contrast to the dark lyrical content, a colorful mixture of places, people and sounds involving musicians from around the world thinly veil the cultural context where it took place. In Nashville, Andy Ellison’s pedal steel delivers a soul splitting lonesome cry to ignite Andres’ aching, smoke tinged vocals. Stefano Chiappo’s trumpet brings a lightness, much like a Fellini movie with all the nuances and depth that come with great Italian pop culture; while his melodica infuses an Eastern sound representative of Andres’s personal heritage in the East of Hungary and Slovenia and a coal miner’s town near the German border. The listener is taken along on this multi-cultural joyride, as it elicits images of driving alongside an old train track, flicking a lit cigarette out of a 1969 Mustang with Andres’ sultry vocals as the main soundtrack.
A restless bass line, retro organ and rebellious spirit surround the first single, “Drive Like Steve McQueen.” Written after a huge fight with an ex-love, the song embodies the anti-hero attitude of actor Steve McQueen in the height of the 1960s counterculture. Andres says, “It’s almost like dreaming of being a superhero, or in this case a superstar, and fixing things easily, with class, driving the most gorgeous car in town.” “Drive Like Steve McQueen” doesn’t look at a world through rose-colored lenses, but is an honest confession of wanting to be somebody stronger.