As a solo artist and as one half of Essaie Pas, Montreal-based musician Marie Davidson creates cold, hypnotic minimal wave with analog synthesizers and drum machines, showcasing her intimate yet detached lyrics that are more often spoken than sung.
Making her solo debut with a hazy, lo-fi self-titled EP in 2012, her music became significantly more danceable on 2016's Adieux au Dancefloor, while still maintaining a dark, suspenseful atmosphere. Following two well-received Essaie Pas albums for DFA, Davidson's highly introspective solo album Working Class Woman was released by Ninja Tune in 2018.
Davidson first became known for her work with Xarah Dion as Les Momies de Palerme. The duo began releasing material in 2007, and Constellation released their full-length Brûlez Ce Coeur in 2012. Davidson was also a part of Sam Shalabi's experimental orchestra Land of Kush, which also released albums on Constellation, and she appeared on Matana Roberts' debut album for the label, Coin Coin Chapter One: Gens de Couleur Libres. She formed Essaie Pas with Pierre Guerineau in 2010, and the duo began releasing cassettes the following year. Davidson also collaborated with Canadian electronic music veteran David Kristian under the name DKMD, debuting with the 2012 EP On the Other Side.
Davidson made her solo debut in 2012 with a self-titled digital EP. Austin-based label HoloDeck, home to Troller and S U R V I V E, issued it on cassette in 2013. Weyrd Son Records released Davidson's debut solo album, Perte d'Identité, in 2014. She returned to HoloDeck for her second album, 2015's Un Autre Voyage. In 2016, Essaie Pas' full-length Demain Est une Autre Nuit was released by DFA, and Cititrax issued Davidson's solo effort Adieux au Dancefloor. Collaborations with Solitary Dancer, Not Waving, and Invisible Church all appeared in 2017. Following DFA's release of Essaie Pas' New Path in 2018, Davidson signed to Ninja Tune. "So Right," easily her poppiest song to date, was released as a single, and the full-length Working Class Woman appeared soon afterward. ~ Paul Simpson, Rovi