“I like diptychs”, confesses to AFP the big winner of the Victoires de la musique 2021, met in Paris. He is also seated in the same position on the covers of “Grand Prix” (the artist is a fan of Formula 1) and “Saint-Clair”, 10th album scheduled for Friday, with the name taken from Mont Saint-Clair, period culmination of Sète.

After the Argentinian cycle of the one who also owns a house in Buenos Aires (the albums “Palermo Hollywood” and “Volver”) here is the second part of an electric period where the love of guitar groups like The Strokes oozes.

This rock energy was amplified by the frustration born of the health crisis, between the postponement of the release of “Grand Prix” and the cancellation of the first tour planned to defend it on stage.

“Feeling out of the game triggered a survival instinct as I started to want to redo songs”, dissects the singer-songwriter, soon to be 50 years old.

The time spent rehearsing with his stage musicians in residence and then playing when the concerts finally resumed, pushed “BB” to adorn the intensity of live on the new songs born in the studio for “Saint-Clair”.

– “Create power” –

“After 18 months of break, a guitarist is timid when he returns to the studio; when we are on tour, we have a particular sound, so in the studio we can create power without problem; my voice, for example, is warm, muscular”.

“Saint-Clair” is rich in riffs, starting with “Les Joues Roses”. So much for the form. For the background, the charm of Sète, “this spectacular city, with a very strong identity”, colors part of the texts.

“It’s no coincidence that this city has created so many artists, Georges Brassens, Paul Valéry, Jean Vilar, Agnès Varda — Sétoise by adoption — Demi Portion — a rapper I adore — the brothers Di Rosa, Combas, born in Lyon, but raised in Sète”, unfolds Biolay.

On the cover of “Saint-Clair”, in addition to the followers of the nautical jousting of Sète (with spears and shields), we see a statue which refers to “Sainte-Rita”, one of the pieces. “She is the patron saint of desperate causes, the most solicited in thoughts and prayers since the health crisis”, he slips, still furious at the lack of mention of the night sector in official speeches during confinements. .

– “Censorship no stake” –

About saint, “Santa Clara” is a beautiful duet with Clara Luciani evoking “an end of summer between adults”. Because at Biolay, reflections on faith rub shoulders with its assumed “pagan” side.

If the tandem with Clara Luciani is sensual, other songs are rawer, like “Rends l’Amour!” or “Magic Numbers”.

“For the texts, censorship was not appropriate on this album if we wanted something frontal, rock, sweaty”, describes the artist.

“Numéros Magiques” also stands out with retro-futuristic keyboards capable of transforming concert halls into nightclubs. A sort of extension of Iggy Pop’s “Nightclubbing”.

There are also always delicate miniatures at Biolay, as on the title “(Un) Ravel”. The opportunity to pay tribute in an interview to the classical composers “Fauré, Debussy, Ravel, Poulenc who were the Beatles of France in the 19th-20th centuries”.

And for the rest, in what setting could the next album be planted? There are several tracks. But sometimes, when Biolay is lounging on a beach in Sète and his thoughts wander, Mont Saint-Clair takes on the appearance of “Sugar Loaf in Rio”. “If I want to do something there, I have to wait until Bolsonaro releases so that my Brazilian musician friends come back to Rio, because they are exiled in Los Angeles”, he concludes.