Prendre congé

Independent • 2022

Marie-Ange crafts gentle and playful piano melodies that encourage repose.

There’s a joke that gets thrown around the internet whenever the calendar claims that a new season has begun, but mother nature has other plans. The joke is basically [insert-city-name-here] actually has [a number more than 4] seasons, and then there’s a list of seasons that capture how it feels to go from wearing a winter coat to shorts in the span of two weeks [“winter, fake spring, second winter, actual spring” etc.].

On day two of a headache caused by a 20-degree temperature swing that made it briefly feel like summer before dipping down to cooler spring weather, I turned to Marie-Ange’s Prendre congé for some relief. In the follow-up to her 2020 folk-pop EP, Le plein de réconfort, Marie-Ange improvises minimalist solo piano pieces. It felt like kismet to discover that the album’s opening track is entitled “Premier printemps,” as if Marie-Ange is in on the joke nature plays on us. Another wink: Prendre congé ends with a piece called “Saison douce.” On both tracks, Marie-Ange crafts gentle and playful piano melodies that encourage repose.

This feeling extends across Prendre congé. Marie-Ange never gets impatient and allows each song to take up the space she deems necessary. Like an affirmation, Marie-Ange returns to a walking melody on “Laisser aller,” the longest piece of the album because letting go has no set timeline. “Câlin” is one of the shortest and feels like quickly squeezing a loved one before running out the door in the morning. 

I first listened to Prendre congé because I wanted to feel better, and that’s what Marie-Ange wants it to do. She welcomes you to treat her record as a soundtrack to wellness and even uses the Bandcamp tag “yoga meditation.” Whatever your day holds, Prendre congé is for all seasons.

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