A pirate in Minneapolis

Quebecoise pop singer Cœur de pirate pays a visit from north of the border.

Beatrice Martin, best known as Coeur de pirate, is an award-winning singer and songwriter from Quebec. Martin performs at the Cedar Cultural Center tonight at 7:30 p.m.

Photo courtesy of Force Field PR

Beatrice Martin, best known as Coeur de pirate, is an award-winning singer and songwriter from Quebec. Martin performs at the Cedar Cultural Center tonight at 7:30 p.m.

by Brenda Tran

Canadian singer-songwriter Beatrice Martin has become a pop star on both sides of the Atlantic. 
Performing under the moniker CÅìur de pirate, the Quebec native will make her Minneapolis debut Thursday at the Cedar Cultural Center.
Martin was only 3 years old when she started playing piano. At 9, her mother sent her to a music conservatory. At 14, she called it quits and decided to write her own music. 
With the help of MySpace, it wasn’t long before she was noticed by a label in Montreal and was signed. What began as a creative outlet became a blossoming musical career. 
“I was really just doing it because I needed a way to express myself and not have too much anger,” Martin said. “I never thought it would be something I would do professionally; that’s for sure.”
The name CÅìur de pirate — which means “pirate’s heart” in French — is an interesting story in itself. 
“I had an ex-boyfriend that had a solo project called ‘Songs for Sailors.’ He once told me I wouldn’t be able to do anything with my life,” Martin said. “I did a reply project under ‘A pirate’s heart’ and put it up on MySpace, so that was my reply to him.”
Following the release of her eponymous album, Martin was met with overwhelming success. Her initial local celebrity status turned into widespread recognition in Canada and France.
“CÅìur de pirate” was nominated for Francophone Album of the Year at the 2009 Juno Awards and even climbed up to the top ten of the French albums chart for several weeks. 
Her sophomore album “Blonde” also proved successful, winning her another Juno Award nomination and Favorite Francophone Artist of the Year at the 2012 Canadian Independent Music Awards. 
A wide range of influences can be heard in CÅìur de pirate’s catalogue. From somber melodies and gorgeous piano arrangements to cheerful pop tunes, Martin’s influences are all over the board. Martin has cited music from Feist and Nick Cave to Wes Anderson soundtrack picks as inspiration. 
She released her latest album, “Roses,” last August. The album is an intimate, honest reflection on difficult times. Martin conveys waves of emotions through rich textures and elaborate arrangements. She even dabbles in unexplored territory, infusing elements of synth pop and R&B to her style — her track, “I Don’t Want to Break Your Heart,” is a collaboration with local rapper Allan Kingdom.
Another thing that sets “Roses” apart from Martin’s previous works is that it’s predominantly in English. The move was an attempt to bring her out of her comfort zone and reach out to English-speaking audiences. 
“It’s my first effort going outside of the French language,” Martin said. “I wanted to give myself a challenge and offer something to the fans that don’t necessarily speak French.”
The album comes seven years after the release of Martin’s debut album at age 18. The difference in style between then and now is striking. While Martin’s older releases are marked by pessimism, “Roses” indicates a more optimistic outlook. She said these changes were brought on by the wisdom that comes with age, as well as motherhood. 
“I used to be so angry at everything in my previous work. You know, like the early Taylor Swift vibe thing going on. I had to take jabs at ex-boyfriends,” Martin said. “[Now] … it has more positivity.”
CÅìur de pirate
Where Cedar Cultural Center, 416 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis
When 7:30 p.m. Thursday
Cost $20