Xarah Dion is a Montreal native that quickly left her mark in the synthwave scene with her experimental sound filled with both conceptual and instrumental contrasts.

A first listen to Le Mal Nécessaire, could immediately recall Badalamenti’s original soundtrack for David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, if only Julee Cruise was rougher. However, this first impression completely changed midway through my listening of the album. Not only did the instrumentals change tone completely, but so did Xarah Dion’s vocal approach.

The fifth track on the album, Du Désert au Jardin, is a clear rupture from the initial atmosphere created by the first four tracks. But then, just as Thélème (the sixth track) begins, the album’s witchy atmosphere is restored, albeit with a much more mystical touch (mainly due to the vocals). And yet, each single track is very different from the one that follows it.

Throughout the entire album, just a few things remain constant, namely the clear 80s vibe that permeates all eight tracks, as well as a dark and cold-cut “industrialness” to the sound.

Xarah Dion’s Le Mal Nécessaire isn’t a mood album at all. Each track is its own musical experiment, and there’s a clear distinction between each and every one of them. There’s no blending of sound and smooth transition from one piece to the next, there’s no full immersion into an imaginary world created by sounds and sounds alone. Each track on Dion’s album forces you to think of it as a separate entity, in spite of the few stylistic elements they all share.

Xarah Dion has another album out entitled Fugitive, as well as a single 7” split with Automelodi, both released in 2016 with Canadian record label Visage Musique.

Tracklist:

A1. Fait Divers
A2. L'Asphalte Chaude
A3. XXX
A4. Le Fruit De Siam
B5. Du Désert Au Jardin
B6. Thélème
B7. Le Mal Nécessaire
B8. Sottises