Liner notes: Varsovie - Coups et blessures

Features - 11 May 2018

Liner notes: Varsovie - Coups et blessures

Liner notes: Varsovie - Coups et blessures


Written by: Arnault Destal

  1. Coups et blessures

    The album's name and the opening song "Coups et blessures" means "blows and wounds" in the literal sense, and is also a legal term for when someone has been assaulted and hurt in France.

    The song is a reference to all the wounds and blows we have to take in life, which are in turn treated with a kind of coldness, a certain distance, as if we didn't try to avoid them anymore, by abstractly listing them, like an inventory, a collection of events recurring with more or less intensity.

    There is also the notion of facing the trials of life, and standing amongst the ruins, keeping writing through times of mourning, and loss of ideals, and through renunciations, and other psychological traumas.

    At the beginning of 2017, when I finished writing the lyrics and the vocal parts, and when Greg had a first shot at singing them, it became immediately clear to us that this song would be the title of the album. Maybe a good summary of our mood at that time.

    It's more or less all that I said when I talked to Rytis Titas before he made the first video in Lithuania. I just wanted to give him some key ideas, not a script. The video is his own vision of the song, based on those ideas, and I find that it fits perfectly to the inner atmosphere.

    Varsovie - Coups et blessures (Official Video)
  2. Revers de l'aube

    This song conveys a mix of bitterness, urgency, electricity and disillusion. The title can mean both "other side of the dawn" and "setbacks of the dawn". "Revers de l'aube" is part of the three "night songs" of the album alongside "Killing Anna" and "Le Lac", where the feel of vertigo through the night dominates. The song addresses the deception involved in cynicism and pose. Someone warns someone else. Something tragic is near. There's the idea of pitfall with an ironic allusion to Satori in Paris by Jack Kerouac. There's something about the reign of the fake and the global anesthesia of our time... An attempt to give a tragic dimension to a common and pathetic story. This song was the first written for this album.

  3. Va dire à Sparte

    Go tell Sparta. A song that, maybe, encapsulates Varsovie's spirit. It was written at two different times: the music was created effortlessly, and did not need any modifications, then, a few months later, I wrote the lyrics and the vocal parts, all in one go. The first time we played the final version with Greg was very intense, violently emotional. Maybe because of the mix of images created by the lyrics and the hypnotic progression of the music, and their possible connections to our experiences in life and to the path we have naturally taken. I don't want to explain everything but there are a lot of ideas and symbols in this song. There's the idea of transmission. The idea of a last journey. It sounds like a bitter analysis. A deep impact. There's also the idea of carrying on in spite of this bitter analysis, with the help of a registration in a kind of legacy that escapes us. It's a question too: what have we done?

  4. Killing Anna

    This is the second "night-song". This time, the lyrics were written a long time before the music. There's a menacing feeling here and a notion of cold revenge. A woman who uses the name Anna K. to sign - that seems not to be a real name, but a name taken from Tolstoy's novel Anna Karenina. We know that Anna Karenina committed suicide by throwing herself under a train. All the way through the song there's an idea of extreme tension and urgency as if the night was decisive. Someone is close to doing something violent. There's a Film Noir spirit in this song.

    Anna Karenina (1935)

    And the light by which she had read the book filled with troubles, falsehoods, sorrow, and evil, flared up more brightly than ever before, lighted up for her all that had been in darkness, flickered, began to grow dim, and was quenched forever.
    - Tolstoy, L. (1877). Anna Karenina. Part Seven.

  5. Le Lac

    The Lake... First single of the album and the third "night-song". As I've already explained during the promotion campaign: It is about blackout during a strangely disturbing night. The song follows this arc rhythmically, heightening a sense of emergency, mirroring the dizzying tension of the game, with a final slowdown embodying abdication, giving up and drowning. The protagonist seems to be falling apart, pulling an interlocutor so far into his downfall that one is unable to tell if it's a criminal issue, a story of love or sex, or a combination of all three.

    The guitar riff of the chorus was the first element of the song. I was totally captivated by the dark feeling of this riff when Greg played it for the first time in 2014. I played those kind of rolling drums over it and Greg added nervous guitars and arpeggios. Later, I wrote the lyrics and the vocal melody and accidentally found this bass line for the chorus that seems to play out of the drums rhythm, but actually just plays in the middle of the beat - something that maybe accentuates the eerie discrepancy.

    A video will come too - from Portugal this time.

    Varsovie - Le Lac (Official Video)
  6. Intersections

    This song sounds a bit like our first songs - like the "Varsovie" song in our first EP Neuf millimètres. We wanted to write a rather simple and direct song. A song that evokes the way people feel when they don't have any affinity with their time and the modern world. Something between regret and a fight to the finish. A kind of anthem for those, alone, who struggle not to kill themselves, not to betray what they are and not to fall in spite of the tides and the trends. A kind of broken anthem.

    Varsovie - Varsovie (2006)
  7. Discipline

    One of our slowest songs. A feverish wandering through the darkest sides of a relationship. And a reflection about the inability to attain happiness... Or serenity... In spite of a certain discipline. Low cloud ceiling and bleak landscapes. But not only.

  8. Chevaux échappés

    This song, almost instrumental, was the opening song to a lot of our concerts for years. An old song that we finally wanted to record. We like its feeling. We love to play it, but now we don't know if we'll have enough time to include it to our new setlists. We can also say that at least eight different bass players played it live... The title refers to Yukio Mishima's Runaway Horses (奔馬).

    Yukio Mishima; Tokyo, Japan. 1970
  9. Feux

    Fires. A progressive song in three parts, like a growing wildfire watched from a window parallel to an inner fire. A sort of burning echo to the "Art of dying beautifully", by Paul Verlaine, and a way to take aim at our failures, our frustrations and all the things we never did. Fire!