ORGAN THING: Multidisciplinary Breton artist Émilie Tiersen has released a new single today ahead of the release of her debut album as Quinquis, hear the single here…

Organ Thing of the Day – Multidisciplinary Breton artist Émilie Tiersen has released a new single today ahead of the release of her debut album as Quinquis. Her album, SEIM is out on May 22nd. Netra Ken’ features a spoken word introduction, in Welsh, by the writer and endurance cyclist Emily Chappell. The text, capturing Chappell’s determination and resilience, is mirrored in English by Gareth Jones later in the track.

Talking about the languages used on the album, Émilie, who sings throughout in Breton – the Celtic language of Brittany – explains, “I think languages are a living way of telling people’s mind and culture, their diversity brings us closer and helps us understand better. That’s why I was happy to have Welsh and Faroese along with Breton in the record… they are somehow cultures that seem close to mine.”

Over two albums Émilie recorded and released as Tiny Feet but the recent name change, which pays homage to her personal and family history by referencing her maiden name, represents a fresh start musically. QUINQUIS [pronounced kɛ̃kis], signed to Mute and released ‘Adkrog’ (which aptly translates as ‘Start Again’) late last year, followed by the singles ‘Setu’ and ‘Run’.

Émilie began exploring new musical terrain – forging a deeper connection to her own culture, history and identity – over a period of significant personal change and the birth of her first child. She explains, “To have a son has answered many questions I had about life and roots, the first step to a very deep discovery. I’m raising my child in the Breton language, so there has been this kind of rebooting of the whole system.” 

Whilst on tour with her husband and baby, Émilie saw her musical expression as a journey and began work on a new idea in each city. Characters – some from her own life, others rooted in the history of Breton culture – began to join Émilie on this journey, coming alive in song ideas. 

Once these ideas began to mutate into something more musical, she connected with producer and artist Gareth Jones (Sunroof, Liars, Depeche Mode and Apparat). Initially he was going to play synth but their partnership grew into something more collaborative. “The record revealed itself in the back-and-forth Gareth and I had,” she says. “It was really unexpected because Gareth and I are quite the opposite – he was the light to my darkness.”

This sense of interconnectedness leads to the album being a multifaceted one. It is deeply personal and introspective yet also collaborative and expansive. It is rooted in both historical and modern stories. It is an album that connects worlds while being entirely its own. “There is something cosmic about it,” says Émilie. “I don’t know how to explain that but the way it happened with Gareth, and the way everything just suddenly all came together feels like cosmic harmony.

The result is an album that merges sparse electronics, immersive atmospherics, and deft melodies, carried by Émilie’s tender yet quietly soaring vocals, which are all sung in Breton.

A number or tracks ca nbe heard in advance and order details ca nbe found on Bandcamp


QUINQUIS will embark on a European tour as very special guest of Algiers in May, stopping off in Totnes for an appearance at Sea Change Festival before returning as part of a European tour with Yann Tiersen in the autumn, full dates below:

16 May – Munich (DE), Strom – with Algiers
18 May – Berlin (DE), Lido – with Algiers
20 May – Stockholm (SE), Nalen Klubb – with Algiers
21 May – Oslo (NO), Revolver – with Algiers
22 May – Copenhagen (DK),Stengade – with Algiers
23 May – Hamburg (DE), Knust – with Algiers
29 May – Totnes (UK), Sea Change Festival
10 July – Milan (IT), Teatro Arcimboldi
11 July – Rome (IT), Cavea Auditorium Parco della Musica (Luglio Suona Bene)
12 July – Martina Franca (IT), Bosco delle Pianelle
13 July – Bologna (IT), Parco Caserme Rosse (Sequoie Music Park)
14 July – Turin (IT), Parco Certosa Collegno (Flower Festival)
16 July – Barcelona (ES), Festival Jardins de Pedralbes
21 July – Cascais (PT), EDP CoolJazz
4 September – Geneva (CH), Alhambra – with Yann Tiersen
7 September – Brussels (BE), Cirque Royale – with Yann Tiersen
8 September – London (UK), Roundhouse – with Yann Tiersen
10 September – Berlin (DE), Tempodrom – with Yann Tiersen
12 September – Malmo (SE), Malmo Concert Hall – with Yann Tiersen
13 September – Gothenburg (SE), Pustervik – with Yann Tiersen
15 September – Stockholm (SE), Filadelfia – with Yann Tiersen
18 September – Paris (FR), La Gaîté Lyrique – with Yann Tiersen
19 September – Paris (FR), La Gaîté Lyrique – with Yann Tiersen
21 September – Roubaix (FR), La Colisee – with Yann Tiersen
22 September – Rouen (FR), Le 106 – with Yann Tiersen
23 September – Nancy (FR), L’autre Canal – with Yann Tiersen
24 September – Dijon (FR), La Vapeur – with Yann Tiersen
27 September – La Rochelle (FR), La Sirene – with Yann Tiersen
28 September – Bordeaux (FR), Krakatoa – with Yann Tiersen
29 September – Toulouse (FR), Le Bikini – with Yann Tiersen
30 September – Clermont-Ferrand (FR), Cooperative de Mai – with Yann Tiersen
1 October – Marseille (FR), Le Moulin – with Yann Tiersen
4 October – Tours (FR), Le Temps Machine – with Yann Tiersen
5 October – Grenoble (FR), La Belle Electrique – with Yann Tiersen
6 October – Strasbourg (FR), La Laiterie – with Yann Tiersen

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