No song, no spell, no madrigal (2015)



No Song, No Spell, No Madrigal
Looking for Another Town
Black Ribbons
Twenty One
The House That We Once Lived In
September Skies
Please, Don't Say Remember
Swap Places

Those are words many Apartments fans have restlessly waited to hear, for a long time now. For many years. Soon, in the early months of 2015, this will be for real. These words will turn into music... and into words again.Yet, No Song, No Spell, No Madrigal is not just another record in The Apartments' discography. It's an album that exists now yet once might never have been. It's an album filled with fifteen years of deep history. It's a way back to the world of music. In its own way, it's a miracle.

Titres instrumentaux offerts en téléchargement après souscription auprès du label Microcultures :

01 - No song, no spell, no madrigal (instrumental)

02 - Twenty-one (instrumental)


Le clip promotionnel de "21" :



"Please don't say remember" :








I’ll begin on a positive note—I apologise for taking longer than anticipated to get this album to you. And I know I should have written earlier to say this but look, procrastination is what sets us apart from the animals, isn’t it?

When the American poet Galway Kinnell died last year, this line of his was suddenly everywhere...“ To me, poetry is somebody standing up, so to speak, and saying, with as little concealment as possible, what it is for him or her to be on earth at this moment.” For the longest time, I was convinced that no new year could ever bring with it a new Apartments album. That the past was a door I would not go through. When one century ended and another began, I was in no shape at all for beginnings. Years of silence followed and those years can, I suppose, be found in the songs. Other than this, no explaining is needed.

I’d like to be able to tell you that I came to the point of making another record having watched the sun rise a ribbon at a time—but it wouldn’t be true. Most of the time I've been shot like a pinball between conflicting emotions about whether to put these songs out into the world or not. Songs are a way of remembering but they're also a way of saying goodbye. I went ahead with the album after I spoke to Wayne Connolly, the producer, about recording. He convinced me to just make the date. I found that once you've done that you can get to the other side, just because you’ve turned up.

It was a September to September affair, though the Septembers were many years apart. There are songs I wrote long ago, some ​I began ​in the dead heart of September '99, some like the title track No Song, No Spell, No Madrigal were written only at the last minute. But that was in ​another September, a month before we went into the studio to begin recording in late 2013.

This is all sounding a bit like a trigger warning. It's not.

It's interesting for me that every Apartments album has its loyalists. Not everyone likes the same ones with the same passion, but each of them has found a place in someone's lives. I'd hope that's how it goes for No Song, No Spell, No Madrigal too. If ever the strongest currents in your life get to be remembrance and regret, it might even be something to lean on.Songs are never just one person's story. And a song has never been only a song for me, but a way of leading us through the dark towards what we hold in the light. On to what counts, with ​gratitude for it.

This far down the road, musicians tend to live in a world of lost or ​last chances—​I've had both—​ especially if you haven't followed show business's strict rules. So it's impossible for me to take this album finding a release for granted.

I owe my entire career to a love of writing songs, a love that began for me so long ago, when I was 15. Love never lost. For this LP, more than any before, I got an avalanche of advice. Some of it I even listened to. But I had been out of the game so long I was wary of my instincts that had once served me so well. There were other opinions I respected so I asked for​ them​. People like Antoine and AB, Donat, El, Kate and Natasha but particularly Wayne “County Fair” Connolly who, after I'd sat at the piano ​with some of these songs no one else had heard before because I wasn't sure I could keep it together enough to play them, said simply I have some time in October. Let's do it and he set it all going. ​These debts live on for me.

But I owe this third act of a chaotic​ally coincidental career in which No Song, No Spell, No Madrigal now comes to you from Paris, ​both ​to the tenacious faith of the French and to one man who insisted I see for myself just ​what that​meant—Emmanuel Tellier. The great Parisian graphic artist, Pascal Blua,who'd worked for the Bibliothèque du Film on the art direction and design of several French Film Noir poster collections that dealt with crime, fugitive lovers and femmes fatales was drawn ​also ​to the world of No Song, No Spell, No Madrigal. Pascal too has ​been integral to this record reaching you.

These guys lit the road that led to Microcultures, whose Jean-Charles and Guillaume I also thank. Microcultures led to you. As Holly looks back she says “Anyone who ever gave you confidence, you owe them a lot.” You, all the people who ignored the old warning to never bet against the house and went ahead and bet against the house on this ​LP, I owe you​ a lot.

Thank you and good night.


message envoyé aux souscripteurs du projet Microcultures


Drift (1993)

Le deuxième disque des Apartments. Après huit ans d'absence.


The goodbye train        
On every corner    
Mad cow    
Nothing stops it        
Knowing you were loved    
Places where the night is long        
All his stupid friends    
Could I hide here? (A little while)    
What's left of your nerve


Lire la suite...


The evening visits... and stays for years (1985)


Le premier disque des Apartments.


Sunset hotel        
Mr. Somewhere        
What's the morning for?        
All the birthdays        
Great fool        
Speechless with tuesday        
Cannot tell the days apart        
Lazarus, Lazarus        
The black road shines


Lire la suite...


A life full of farewells (1995)

Le troisième disque des Apartments, plus apaisé et lumineux.


Things you'll keep        
The failure of love is a brick wall (You prayed for me to hit it)
You became my big excuse        
End of some fear        
Not every clown can be in the circus        
Thank you for making me beg        
Paint the days white        
She sings to forget you       
All the time in the world


Lire la suite...


Fête foraine (1996)

Disque sorti en édition limitée en VPC. Une relecture dépouillée des chansons.


What's the morning for?        
Knowing you were loved        
Not every clown can be in the circus        
On every corner        
Sunset hotel        
End of some fear        
Thank you for making me beg        
Things you'll keep        
Paint the days white / Great Fool


Lire la suite...


Apart (1997)

 "Apart" le bien nommé. Dernier disque avant une nouvelle et longue éclipse.


No hurry        
Breakdown in Vera Cruz        
To live for        
Welcome to Walsh world        
Your ambulance ride        
Friday rich/Saturday poor        
World of liars        
Place of bones        
Everything is given to be taken away


Lire la suite...