Limited LP: Sunburst Orange Vinyl
Josie Boivin’s dream has always been to be a musician. Well, that and to go to Mars. “I love space. I love aliens. I love thinking that we’re not alone in this big strange universe,” says the Montreal-based singer and multi-instrumentalist who records as MUNYA.
“Those things give me hope.” Both the longing to make music and the desire for interplanetary travel come together in Boivin’s new album, Voyage to Mars. Named for Georges Méliès’ classic silent film Le Voyage dans la Lune, the record feels beamed in from another planet, suffused with an otherworldly light. It’s music that looks out to great darkness of the sky and the stars beyond for the inspiration to pursue your dreams. Born the youngest of a large family in a small Quebec town, Boivin’s path to music was a wandering one.
After a high school teacher discovered she could sing opera, Boivin spent years in the opera world, before switching to jazz in college. It wasn’t until moving to Montreal that she began to hone her unique musical vision. After releasing a trilogy of EPs on Luminelle Records in 2018, Voyage to Mars marks MUNYA’s official full-length debut. “Yes, there is music or art that has a special power to take you somewhere else,” she says. “A certain emotion they give you. Sometimes you can’t put a finger on it, but you know it’s there, and it affects you. That’s what I wanted to do.”
Voyage to Mars was entirely recorded in Boivin’s apartment during the past year. The longing to for exploration is palpable throughout the album, each one a shimmering rocket sent skyward. It’s an expansive record that finds the wonder and vastness of outer space in the midst of the struggles of everyday life. “I always have the same process,” says Boivin. “I have my little toys, my keyboard, and my guitar. My songs are always written by myself in my bubble with my little things.”
But for the songs to find their truest potential, Boivin reached out to her friends scattered across the continent, sending songs back and forth until they were finished. “I missed being in a room with other people, but it wasn’t an option, so I changed my mindset. There was a pandemic and I wanted to make a record, so that’s what we did.” Boivin reached out to several friends, including Kainalu, P.O. Rioux, and Gabriel Lambert, for guitar, bass, and synth tracks, Sandy Davis on bass, and Mike Thies for additional drums.
The resulting album is very much Boivin’s own. Lush synthesizers lend depth to the minimalist guitar, bass, and drums setup, adding a breezy quality that is both danceable and thoughtful at the same time. The lightness belies a sincerity to the lyrics, Boivin’s vocals heartfelt without ever seeming heavy or weighted down by the world.
2. Boca Chica
3. Tonight Tonight
4. Cocoa Beach
5. Pour Toi
7. Life Is A Dream
10. Captain Ron
11. Perfect Day