Ambroise Willaume knows himself well. In these few words, he sums up what seems to be the exceptional force behind his career to date : A young man constantly looking for the fresh and original, a rejection of all that is repetition. Nine years ago, he created the group Revolver; after years of singing in classical choirs, he discovered the unequivocal pop universe. The band, who are currently on a break, have an impressive CV with two gold albums and hundreds of concerts performed both nationally and internationally.
Now a solo artist at the helm of his piano and several electronic machines, he has evolved. Using the pseudonym SAGE, derived from Sagittarius, he brings us a brand new repertoire, that reaches an even higher dimension, with unexpected arrangements, jumping between classical and digital genres. His first EP came out at the end of 2014 and was co-produced by himself and Benjamin Lebeau, one of the infamous halves of French musical duo The Shoes, who he had met whilst playing on Woodkid’s album. If they hardly knew each other then, they knew at least that the other’s artistic approach would be a unique opportunity to play around with opposing musical atmospheres as well as unlearning everything else they had done up until now.
Sage’s compositions have the instant charm of a pop song but the collaboration with Benjamin takes them to a whole new level, combining traditional song-writing with a futurist production ethic. In 2015, Ambroise returned to the studio along-side Benjamin. After several months in closed confinement, the debut eponymous album SAGE is here. Ten sophisticated tracks, glowing with the exchange of unusual sounds and elegant melodies.
The album opens with “One Last Star, ” probably the most intense song encapsulating hypnotic beats and soaring vocals. A little later the mesmerizing modern ballad “Only Children’ comes, and then things pick up pace with “August in Paris, ’ with its rich rhythmic qualities throwing us forward into the summer, and feelings of exclusion in one’s home town. “Time Never Lies” leads the softer note of the second half of the album with the intimate solo recordings of Ambroise at his piano. The album comes to it’s cosmic finale with the complex “Focus” and finishes delicately with “Eyes Closed.”