Helena Deland releases her first studio album on Friday, the very intimate Someone New. Our reporter met the Montreal artist, and together they talked about paranoia, human relationships, horoscopes and music, of course.
The appointment is given at Jeanne-Mance Park, a fresh and bright afternoon. The meeting with Helena Deland begins with the sound of passing birds. “I love all the seasons in Montreal,” she enthuses. The city, thanks to its difficult winters, would be conducive to introspection, it seems …
Eight years spent here and as many long periods of reflection will have benefited, for the better, the creative process of the singer-songwriter from Quebec City. The result, Someone New, dazzles with its lucidity and finesse.
“How much do we have to compromise what we want to say to be able to live from it?” Is it worth it?” Helena Deland wondered when she was starting to write the album. “I’m sure there are people out there who just need to get started, and it’s happening. But for me it was a little more complicated. “
Asking oneself a lot of questions can sometimes prove to be laborious… This enabled Helena Deland to critically question her relationship to the constant search for validation and the discomfort between the way in which one experiences oneself and the perception of others. These themes that prevail when listening to her album evoke “something paranoid”, she says.
“I was waiting for the moment when something was going to happen that would allow me to be myself. My life could then begin. But during that time, there are all our days that pass, ”says Helena Deland who speaks without restraint of her insecurities.
But wouldn’t it all be a fantasy after all? “I wanted to know why I wasn’t more comfortable with myself”. The answer, the musician found it in the way she defined herself in relation to the male gaze, to seduction, to desire. “I told myself that there was perhaps too much compromise at this level and I really felt erased in the romantic relationships”, confesses the young woman close to her emotions.
Now – probably because the record helped her become someone new – that anxiety has faded. Perhaps also that the bewitching Blade will have had a therapeutic effect, exorcising confusion and frustrations related to male gauze.
Helena Deland nevertheless thinks that we are “in a crisis of femininity and masculinity”. “We were taught that in order to socialize we had to look for a nuclear family. The great love story that has always been presented to us in children’s and adult films causes a lot of pressure and disappointment, ”she blows.
Social networks and horoscopes
For the artist, the place that catalyzes paranoia the most is the sphere of social networks. “We talk about it a lot but everyone on social media is creating a persona and for me it’s hard to understand this funny world governed by performance and numbers. Wanting to be loved at all costs has become too normal. “
“I am more self-conscious, but I had a kind of pattern attachment that is a little problematic, ”continues Helena Deland. “You can be paranoid about your social performance on social networks and even beyond.”
Do not depend on the other and their gaze, and especially not be taken for granted, the Montrealer speaks very well in the excellent song Dog, “Which uses the metaphor of the popular dog in music”, and that Metro was able to listen in preview.
“It’s all really written in my horoscope!” She jokes. Even though the subjects she covers in Someone New reflect a certain seriousness in which a whole generation can recognize themselves, Helena Deland does not lose her sense of humor.
Amused, she says: “My moon is in cancer, so it seems that I often feel that I am being taken advantage of or being ripped off. It fits into the general paranoia of the album. “
According to her, astrology is a “pleasant and poetic” way of talking about oneself and of perceiving interpersonal relationships. “It’s good to ask others what represents them best. Want, don’t want, there is always something that comes out of the horoscope. And then, that excuses us for certain personality traits, ”she explains, laughing.
Another way also to frame the human test, “which is otherwise so multiple and difficult”, says Helena Deland.