The best advice one could give a happy wanderer to pinpoint Nina Savary's universe on a map would be to proceed by elimination. Look for where she is not rather than where she actually is ; for her place of residency is in the exact opposite direction of the current state of emergency. And omitting to indulge in a tired eulogy for idleness, sloth or rest, we can be sure that the French singer, dancer and actress diligently steers clear from the pangs of chaos.
"To go there or stay where I am rejected / To stay there and there or go where I project myself" she sings on 'Par Millions', one of the tracks from her debut album Next Level Soap Opera. This doppelgänger both uprooted and yearning for great escape, sums up Nina. One foot in, one foot out.
In, because of her upbringing ; in many ways, Nina Savary can be seen as a born entertainer, always in her element. She made her start at la Scala in Milan age 4, learned the ropes behind the scenes on tour with her parents' theater company, the untamed, anarchic Grand Magic Circus.
Out, because she purposefully produces music in closed circles, with road companions like Marker Starling, Laetitia Sadier or Julien Gasc, as well as her partner producer Emmanuel Mario (Astrobal) with whom she formed the band Institut (with Arnaud Dumatin) and the project Vivre ! in 2020.
Next Level Soap Opera is the result of many years of friendship, encounters and collaborations. It is a record that sensitively features aspects of herself and close relationships. It also speaks of companionship and camaraderie, as well as addressing themes drawing on a certain idea of utopia. Recreating a society on a human scale where everyone writes, composes, plays.
Next Level Soap Opera sung both in English and French is an extension of Nina's past life, but also her way to emancipation. It allows her to shine as she steps out through the curtains shooting all her artistic arrows right on target. This record will speak to people uprooted within their homeland, to fans of orchestral pop and library music, to Lewis Caroll aficionados and others keen on surreal cinematic atmospheres.
Lost in the Corbières in the South of France, La Bergerie as it is known to dwellers and visitors alike, the sheep farm where Next Level Soap Opera was recorded is a place of residency, work, celebration, leisure and encounters. Many artists come by to record with Emmanuel Mario and they are not the only ones to visit this old family house that ghosts of the past also inhabit. It is an ideal setting to make DIY video clips (the video of 'Second Guessing' was made by director Lucie Bourdeu, Nina’s cousin), where daydreams are crafted carefully.
Listening to Next Level Soap Opera in that very special environment, we understand that Nina Savary doesn’t choose between the verse " Anywhere out of the world" by Baudelaire and a quote "There's no place like home" from The Wizard of Oz. She operates on both levels.
released September 24, 2021
ARRANGED, MIXED AND PRODUCED BY ASTROBAL
(except “Second guessing” arranged by David Thayer and Astrobal, “Par millions” arranged by Vincent Guyot and Astrobal, “On dit que je ne suis pas sage” arranged by Eddy Crampes and Astrobal, “Next level soap opera” arranged by David Thayer)
ALL VOCALS BY NINA SAVARY
SECOND GUESSING: Chris A. Cummings plays RMI Electra-Piano, Xavi Munoz plays bass guitar, David Thayer plays flutes, Crumar organ, Pianoline and sings backing vocals, Armelle Pioline and Julie Gasnier sing backing vocals, Astrobal plays drums, piano, Armon organ, Casio CZ1 and Prophet.
CONTEMPLATING WELLS: Jens Bosteen plays acoustic guitar, Julien Gasc plays bass guitar, Raz Ullah plays magic analogic waves, Roland SH01, SH09 and Casio, David Thayer plays flute, Extravoice, Hammond organ and Pianoline, Astrobal plays drums, percussion, piano, Mellotron and Armon organ.
PAR MILLIONS: Vincent Guyot plays electric guitar, melodic bass guitar, organ and electric piano, Eddy Crampes plays bass guitar, Armelle Pioline and Michel Peteau play acoustic guitars, Michel Peteau plays electric guitar, Armelle Pioline, Julie Gasnier and Michel Peteau sing backing vocals, Astrobal plays drums, Organelle, Juno and Casio CZ1.
LES REGARDS: Julien Gasc plays Crumar, piano and sings backing vocals, Joe Carvell plays bass guitar, Astrobal plays drums, percussion, harmonium, Mellotron, Armon organ, Casio CZ1 and sings backing vocals.
HOW WAS YOUR DAY: Tom Terrien plays Wurlitzer and Roland SH02 bass, Mocke Depret plays electric guitar, Astrobal plays drums, bass guitar, Roland SH02, Casio CZ1, Armon organ, Omnichord and Mellotron.
THAT’S JUST THE WAY I WANT TO BE: Xavi Munoz plays acoustic bass guitar, Dorian Wood plays Gaveau piano, Alexander Noice plays electric guitar, Jens Bosteen plays acoustic guitar, Astrobal plays drums, percussion, acoustic guitar, Mellotron, Solina and sings backing vocals.
ON DIT QUE JE NE SUIS PAS SAGE: Eddy Crampes plays Armon organ, Stéphane Bellity kindly helped with backing vocals, Astrobal plays CR78 drum machine, percussion, Armon organ, DX7 and Crumar.
LES PASSIONS TRISTES: Eddy Crampes plays electric guitar and sings backing vocals, Nina Savary plays Mellotron, Astrobal plays drums, bass guitar, piano, Armon organ and Organelle.
PRÈS DE LA FENÊTRE: Eddy Crampes plays Armon organ, Astrobal plays drums, Mellotron, Organelle and Casio MT240.
LUNDI: Armelle Pioline plays acoustic guitar, Günther Janssen plays piano and percussion, Astrobal plays Fender Rhodes, Casio MT240 and hi hat.
NEXT LEVEL SOAP OPERA: Laetitia Sadier plays electric guitar and piano, Xavi Munoz plays bass guitar, David Thayer plays flutes, Hammond organ and ExtraVoice, Astrobal plays drums and percussion.
Recorded by Astrobal at La Bergerie in the south of France.
Mastering by Bo Kondren at Calyx.
Artwork by Sébastien Trihan.
Cover pictures by Astrobal.
Inner sleeve pictures by Lucie Bourdeu.
Special thanks to: Emmanuel Mario, Armelle Pioline, Julien Gasc, Jens Bosteen, Chris A. Cummings, Laetitia Sadier, Eddy Crampes, Xavi Munoz, Raz Ullah, Michel Peteau, Vincent Guyot, David Thayer, Joe Carvell, Mocke Depret, Tom Terrien, Dorian Wood, Alexander Noice, Ricky Hollywood, Günter Janssen, Julie Gasnier, Audrey Ginestet, Benjamin Glibert, Sébastien Trihan, Richard Guy, Lucie Bourdeu, Olia Eichenbaum, Louis Decamps, Jeanne Gary, BJ Rubin, Guillaume Soulard, Manon Savary, Mona Heftre, Evelyne Heftre, Gwenaël Marteau, David Chambriard, François Ditch, Bo Kondren