Out January 26, 2024

cabane records

cabane is the project of Belgian musician and photographer thomas jean henri. Your may already know him from his former work of the composer and performer on Soy Un Caballo records or, in another life, the first albums of the group Venus where he played behind the drums. After a first album by cabane (Grande Est la Maison) acclaimed by both the public and the press, thomas jean henri returns today with the second part of a work that he constructs like a triptych. The second cabane album brings together the voices of the English Kate Stables (This Is The Kit) and Sam Genders (Tunng). A casting that thomas jean henri has dreamed of for a long time and which is dedicated to songs on the borders of folk and orchestral pop. Far from the moods of the world, « Brulée » will be a shelter for lovers of Nick Drake and Vashti Bunyan or for all those touched by the delicacy of Mark Hollis, Sufjan Stevens or Robert Wyatt.


In 2015 that thomas jean henri laid the foundations of cabane, a transdisciplinary project where he combines music, photography and video. Over the course of two 7 inches, Sangokaku / La Gomera in 2015 and Wooden Home / Here in the Wind in 2017, the contours of a classy collaboration still in motion today were outlined:


Will Oldham (aka Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy) and Kate Stables (This Is The Kit) are on vocals while Sean O’Hagan (The High Llamas) provides string arrangements for the songs written and composed by Thomas. Ash Workman (Metronomy, Rozi Plain, Baxter Dury) takes care of the mixing.


We find the same casting on the first cabin album, Grande Est la Maison. Ten delicate songs that do without a rhythm section to better curl around the voices of Will Oldham and Kate Stables. An acoustic guitar, a string quartet, a vibraphone and some choral parts complete the picture. Performed by the five singers of the Bost Gehio ensemble, the choral arrangements function like a Greek choir which punctuates the dialogue between the two voices with its “considerations on love”.


“I often had this image of Will and Kate passing each other in the middle of a river, struggling to cross it on foot. Everyone started on their own and they found themselves in the middle, a little embarrassed (the water was a little cold though). The choir is on the shore and takes a step back from the situation,” explains Thomas. Time and the slowness of forgetting are at the heart of the cabin project which is crossed by this question: “What do we do with what we have in our hands? « .


Grande Est la Maison is one of those albums with a slow and sure seduction, whose beauty is revealed a little more each day. Melodies, singing, arrangements, everything is elegance and fragility, in restraint and light. It is a large and welcoming home, as were the shelters built by Nick Drake, Vashti Bunyan, Sufjan Stevens and Cardinal.


It is also a refuge for thomas jean henri, who creates a work that is deeply personal and at the same time eminently collaborative. A sense of friendship set to music, a hug, which also embraces the Frenchwoman Caroline Gabard and the Englishman Sam Genders (Tunng), who co-wrote the texts, while « Tu ne joueras plus à l’amour » and « By the Sea » were co-composed with Sean O’Hagan.


This same team is embarking today on « Brulée », the second cabane setting, with strings also arranged in the company of Sean O’Hagan and mixed by the essential Ash Workman.


thomas jean henri sings there again, and perhaps more than ever, about loves… delicate, expected, disappointed, renounced, burned… on words assembled with finesse and gentleness in collaboration with Sam Genders and with the support of Caroline Gabard (Cavalier Montanari) for which Thomas also produced the first album (Sea Songs) in 2023.


The single « Today », carried by the warm and deep voice of Sam Genders, was sent out in April 2023 and was accompanied by an exhibition housing and amplifying the clip for this first extract from the album. « Rien ne change à part peut-être le temps » (Nothing changes except perhaps the time) was therefore welcomed by the gallery dedicated to photography, L’Enfant Sauvage, in Brussels. Thomas presented the 365 photos which, edited end to end, day after day, constitute the Today clip.


“From Sunday January 9, 2022 to Monday January 9, 2023, I carried out a photographic ritual by going every day to Place Poelaert in Brussels, 3.8 km from my home, to photograph the sky there with my film camera medium format. «  We all live the same days… but do we keep the same memories? « . thomas offered his visitors the chance to leave with a photo, in exchange for a souvenir written in their own hand.


To keep us waiting, Thomas has distilled for us throughout the fall of 2023 a series of unreleased tracks from the recording sessions for his first album (the unreleased series Pt.1).Today it is time for « Brulée » (unveiled during a few listening sessions in 2023 across France and Belgium) to see the light, take flight and… land, finally, at home!