Bleu Roi is a Swiss quartet made up of Jennifer Jans (vocals, keyboards, songwriter), her sister Imogen (keybaords, backing vocals), Axel Rüst (guitar, backing vocals) and Stefan Rüst (drums). Citing bands like Bon Iver, Daughter and Sigur Ros as influences, the band are working on a follow up to the debut Of Inner Cities album and have released the beautiful Darkest Hour as an appetiser.
A cinematic yet personal take on dreampop, Darkest Hour has a hint of melancholy to it but refuses to drift off in to moments of absorbed self-reflection. It’s a confident, sensitive song, taking some very expansive elements such as the backing choir and using them to inspire a sense of awe.
It chooses to do this not by overpowering the listener, but by applying the deftest of touches to a very delicate hymnal arrangement. Jennifer Jans’ heartfelt vocals and lyrics add another layer of intimacy, leaving the listener feeling reassured that even in the darkest moments, light will always return.
Jennifer Jens has this to say about the song: ‘Darkest Hour has many different levels for me. I wrote it for our album release show in December of 2016 where we performed it for the first time together with my sister Imogen’s choir. She surprised me there with having a big part of the audience; all of our friends, family, and local musicians join in with singing. It was one of the most amazing moments in my life, as the content of the song means so much to me. We decided it would be the perfect song to follow the album which is why we went to record it in a studio last February, together with our Swedish producer György Barocsai’.
Speaking about the lyrics and video she adds: ‘On the one hand the lyrics deal with processing events of our society, with the question of what hope and fear means to us, and on the other hand with very personal issues I have been dealing with for a big part of my life. The video depicts these different levels and shows how the different ‘worlds’ are just as much part of our lives, as are the others. It also makes a reference to the elements ‘light and ‘darkness’ which will be the central theme for our upcoming EP (to be recorded in Gothenburg this summer). Our drummer, Stefan Rüst, went to do the landscape filming in Scotland in March, being inspired and touched by the amazing scenery. The more introverted scenes are of me, and the daughter of dear friends of ours, who in this moment depicts my ‘inner child’. In the end my sister joins in, who is expecting her first child in the summer. So, it is loaded with a lot of emotional content for us. We are so fortunate to have so many possibilities but it’s very important to stay aware of how they will affect upcoming generations’.