Band of the Week: Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble

Band of the Week: Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble
Photo by Olia Eichenbaum

MEET THE BAND: Laetitia Sadier (vocals, keyboards), Emmanuel Mario (drums), Xavi Munoz (bass), Phil M FU (keys, synths and electronics)

AND THEN THERE WERE FOUR: Formerly of the avant garde indie electronic pop act Stereolab, singer-keyboardist Laetitia Sadier performed as a trio under her own name for several years, but she released her latest album, Finding Me Finding You, as Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble to reflect the fact that the group has expanded to a four-piece. "This year, we took a new member on, Phil M FU, who plays keyboards and also sings with us," Sadier explains. "That makes four of us now, and we realized we needed to call us something. One morning, the name came up, and we became the Source Ensemble, which I feel more comfortable with. I do still perform solo as well."

FINDING SONGS: Sadier says the songwriting process is an organic one, and when it came time to write the songs for Finding Me Finding You, she let the tunes come to her. "Things come to you naturally when you need them — as if by magic," she says. "I've learned to trust that process. When it's time to write an album, I go to my bag of ideas and then start developing them." While it might not seem like it on the surface, several songs address social and cultural changes that have recently taken place. "Committed," a tune that opens with a spoken-word segment before the shimmering synthesizers and cooing vocals kick in, provides a good example. "It's about the idea of organizing society in a different way," says Sadier. "I view society as a body. Just like a body, it has layers of functioning. It's not like a machine with mechanical parts. It's more than that. Look at Brexit. After it passed, the British pound was worth 15-percent less, and businesses are leaving. It hasn't even happened yet. There's a reaction. This is a song about organizing ourselves with this in mind and thinking of the duration and thinking about spirit rather than just numbers and figures."

WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM: Album opener "Undying Love" features a mesmerizing combination of percolating synthesizers and seemingly random bleeps and blips, and the somber "Love Captive" includes vocals courtesy of Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor. "Some years ago, we toured briefly with Hot Chip in America," says Sadier of the collaboration with Taylor. "We did maybe five shows. I befriended Alexis, and we kept in touch. I always wanted to sing a duet with him. Now, I finally had a song about free love and about a couple interrogating themselves about their feelings toward one another."


WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble performs with Nicholas Krgovich and Uno Lady at 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 1, at the Grog Shop.

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Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected].
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