Winter, on the whole, is awful. It’s dark at 5 pm (earlier if you live more northerly), your skin loses all semblance of moisture, the persistent cold drains your energy and then, of course, there’s the snow. Snow makes the outside world a mountainous death trap that slowly turns into the putrid, grey slush that you have to slog through until April. But sometimes the same snow that you curse arrives in a way — slowly and gently, as if somebody is picking away at the sky like they would old paint — that makes winter so beautiful that you briefly forget the season’s faults.
The space that Sarah Toussaint-Léveillé’s EP La solitude des flocons occupies echoes winter’s quiet beauty. The soft plodding piano melodies of the EP’s bookends, “Haïku” and “Les vieux chats”, map the course of a single snowflake gracefully tumbling from the sky and when things become frenzied, “Flocon” is a blurred loop of indistinct tones and “Lalala” swirls with sadness, Toussaint-Léveillé’s gentle voice is a consistently soft bed to land on.
“Says He,” the lone track in English on La solitude des flocons, is a bummer Christmas song that will hit particularly hard for those who never quite get into the spirit of the season. “I don’t care about Christmas,” Toussaint-Léveillé mutters over a synth’s sonorous tolls. By the end of the song, Toussaint-Léveillé sloughs off the man disrupting her life and vows to never lose herself again. And the falling snow starts to wash the misery away.