French Singer and Songwriter Pomme Moves Through Musical ‘Seasons’ on Fourth Album, Including ‘Winter’ with Aaron Dessner, Sets North American Tour

In 2020, French singer and songwriter Claire Pommet, who goes by Pomme, briefly released a “quarantine” EP, a collection of “short, simple, descriptive” songs to help get her through the pandemic, which she thought would only last several weeks. Off her EP of songs, Pomme released one lost track, “weird,” in May 2024. Sung in English, Pomme notes some fairly universal sentiments during the pandemic on the tender ballad: All of this is weird / All of this is scary / And I don’t know when it will end.

“When I was a teen, I always wrote in English ’cause it helped me express the things that I was afraid to tell in French,” shared Pomme of “weird” in a statement. “I tried to find that feeling of playfulness and innocence that we all have when we are kids.”

As the weeks turned into months and nearly two mostly remote years, Pomme started thinking of the seasons of her life, in song. She compiled her ruminations into four acts, for her fourth album Saisons (Seasons). Written by Pomme in between living in France and Canada during the pandemic, the 12 tracks of Saisons are broken down into four three-song orchestral chamber-folk acts beginning in spring and more romanticized sensations with “_mar le temps des fleurs” (“The time of the flowers”), and continuing into April and May (“_apr les temps des fleurs,” “_may les temps des fleurs”).

“Creating an ode to seasons was a way for me to try to slow down a bit,” Pomme tells American Songwriter, “to take a moment to observe and appreciate the beauty of nature that I tend to forget.”

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Composed with producer Malvina Meinier—who produced Pomme’s orchestral concerts in 2023—Saisons continues through summer (“_jun perseides,” “_jul perseides,” “_aug perseides”) and fall (“_sept magie mauve,” “_oct magie mauve,” “_nov magie mauve”), featuring French singer and songwriter Flavien Berger before concluding in winter (hiver), with three more songs: “_dec carte de noël,” “_jan carte de noël,” and “_feb carte de noël.” The final installment was co-written and produced by The National’s Aaron Dessner, already known for his work with Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Michael Stipe, and more.  

Accompanying Saisons is a collection of short films set to the music of three of Pomme’s seasons: Saisons, le film: printemps, Saisons, le film: automne, and Saisons, le film: hiver. All were an on-screen continuation for Pomme, who made her film debut in the 2023 Héléna Klotz-directed drama LaVénus d’Argent.

Pomme took American Songwriter through each of the seasons of her album and talked about acting, publishing a follow-up to her 2022 children’s book Sous les paupières, and her dream of becoming a “sexy farmer.”

American Songwriter: How did Saisons start piecing together for you after (third album) Consolation (2020)?

Pomme: The idea of Saisons came to my mind because it had been months (years) that I felt like I was always running, without really knowing what I was trying to run after or reach. Particularly after [the pandemic], I felt like I was desperately trying to catch up on all that time spent waiting for concerts and live music to exist again. I think I was a bit traumatized by that. I mean obviously, I’m not a nurse nor a doctor, but the pandemic questioned a lot of things about what I was meant to be and wanted to be. Creating an ode to seasons was a way for me to try to slow down a bit, to take a moment to observe and appreciate the beauty of nature that I tend to forget.

I remember the idea was born around March 23 during a small writing residency on my own, and all the songs were written in a three-month period. It was pretty quick. I wrote the winter song in March, the spring song in April, the fall song in May, and then the summer song in June. Malvina Meinier] composed all the orchestral parts in the summer and we were in the studio at the end of August. 

Pomme (Photo: Lawrence Fafard)

AS: Everything is broken down by saisons, or seasons. Were there any other underlying threads between each that you started to uncover as you worked on the album? 

P: A lot of underlying threads. Firstly, the fact that I associate very specific things with each season. on summer and winter, I’m directly addressing people who remind me of those seasons: someone that I fell in love with in the summer, and someone who ghosted and represented the coldness and darkness of winter in Canada. 

[Get Tickets to See Pomme During Her 2024 North American Tour at StubHub]

On the other hand, for fall and spring, the songs were more like simple celebrations, romantic poems, literally, like the romantic era in literature: lyricism, nature as a person. Music-wise, the vibe, and atmosphere really changes from season to season. Spring is light and woody, guitar and strings. Summer is more extravagant, with only guitar and brass, no strings.

Then fall and winter are more experimental, synthetic, and mysterious. The textures are totally different and represent the diversity of nature in all its states. Also, for each season, I wanted to associate an object or symbol. I shot four pictures of me as an allegory of the season, holding that symbol in my hands: a vintage kitsch grandma-style plate for spring, a swan for summer, my golden retriever Pizzaghetti for fall, and a snowball for winter. 

I feel like nature is like love: universal yet so personal and intimate. 

AS: Sonically, lyrically what did you want to capture with Saisons and the movement between each “season” of songs?

P: I wanted to capture that universal, intimate feeling, the micro and the macro details, and also collective feelings. I wanted to create a space for people to contemplate, slow down, celebrate, and cherish nature. There’s obviously also a part of me that wants to protect and save it. 

AS: How did working with Aaron Dessner help you achieve this within the Hiver (Winter) act?

P: It was so nice to get in the studio with a new person, as I am a creature of habits and not a fan of collaborating with people that I don’t know. He was the perfect person to produce the winter act with, he is so creative and special. I told him to improvise on what winter means to him and it was so beautiful to create with him. 

AS: It’s been a few years since your first two albums—À peu près (2017) and Les Failles (2019). Do you feel like the same songwriter you were then?

P: I feel like I’ve always been the same, as a person and a creator. I’ve just gained experience and a better relationship with myself. As years pass, I try to reconnect more and more with my inner child and be true to that person. I feel like a lot of answers on what I want to do, be, achieve are from the depths of my childhood, who I was at that time, and who I wanted to become. 

Album-speaking, on À peu près, I wasn’t as free artistically as I am now, and wasn’t allowed to express my true self because of a shitty label contract. So I’m definitely more at ease and more free with my music now. On Les Failles, I took back control of my path in writing, composing, co-producing, and everything—also taking control of all the visuals, album covers, directing clips … I feel like I now know exactly what I want and have the right conditions to achieve it, but it’s been a very long path. I’ve been signed to a label for almost 10 years. I was very young at the beginning and absolutely not ready to be out in the world with my music ’cause I didn’t know all the outlines and borders of my own creativity. 

I feel really lucky ’cause for me creating has always been so natural and necessary, on the same level as eating and sleeping. I need it, for my whole life. I’ve been writing and singing many emotions because I’m so bad at talking about it otherwise. I have my own ways, I still write and compose (music/lyrics). At the same time, I need to be alone. I need nature. 

It’s always been like that. I’ve just gained confidence and certainty. I’ve learned to connect to my inner compass and I now know that I need to be the only person who’s in control of the artistic aspects of all this. The only tricky thing that I have to play with is that I now know that people are actually listening to my stuff, which is a huge privilege but can also be a pressure and sometimes takes me away from my intuition and inner compass. 

AS: Creatively, do music and acting complement each other for you?

P: Acting has been a blessing for the over-controlling part of myself. It has helped a lot in managing not to look at myself too much when I perform. I’d love to do it more even though it’s not my top priority.

AS: You also published Sous les paupières in 2022. Is there a desire to write more children’s or other books?

P: I’d love to publish a collection of letters in the near future. but next year I plan on resting a bit for the first time in a decade. Even though I know that I’ll stay creative, I want to make space for more life, creating without a goal, gardening, taking care of the people that I love, cooking, and fostering animals. Being a sexy farmer is a secret dream I’ve been cherishing.

Photos: Lawrence Fafard / Courtesy of Gold Atlas

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