Today we welcome Goodbye Karelle to the 444% roster, with the release of her first single “Moonroad.” Goodbye Karelle is the project of Montreal-based actor, singer-songwriter and poet Karelle Tremblay and the first release from her forthcoming 2023 debut release Hugh Greene & the Lucies Made Me.
The music invokes the hushed tones of spoken word icons like Leonard Cohen or Tom Waits but sits inside sharper, more modern production associated with contemporary artists like Mitski or Japanese Breakfast.
The journey to the LP has been a long one, starting years back when the artist began to reconceive their artistic goals and voice.
Our relationship with Karelle started at the end of a long, snowy road in January 2022, when we drove to Hawkesbury, Ontario, along the Quebec border, to visit the studio where she was finalizing the music with co-writer and producer Jean-Philippe Levac.
There, in an old farmhouse-turned studio, we sat and discussed the ambitions for her music and the pivot from a career on-screen to that of a recording artist.
Amid a cold snap, looking out over acres of frozen farmland, the vision for her music was clear to us. Still, it’s best described in the artist’s own words: “I am coming to the end, after almost three years, of my first album as a singer-songwriter. Having no professional training in music, but having practised this art since my childhood, I drew my inspiration from the simplest details of the vagaries of the heart, as well as from the most complex experiences I have had throughout my young adult life.”
The project is thematically driven by the award winning actor ending a lifelong career in film and television to pursue her musical talent, amidst a new desire for personal expression.
Conflicts in gender, sexuality, and relationships form a unique and deeply expressive world for the listener. Goodbye Karelle emerges as storyteller and protagonist, a new voice in the musical wilderness.
An official music video for “Moonroad” accompanies today’s release, and was co-directed by Tremblay and Léa Taillefer.
“I found it funny to extrapolate from a feeling I had and make it into a fantasy, a bit like a dream, but exaggerated. That’s what I tried to do with this clip. I come from a Nordic country and I always want to escape the cold, but for this clip, I wanted to embrace it,” explains Karelle.
“My goal was to gather this album around the beautiful and painful complexity of the emotional relationships that have marked me in recent years. I want to use this opportunity to solidify my narrative and add more pages to the story I want to tell. I don’t want to take any intellectual shortcuts: this is not a side project. This is Goodbye Karelle.”