It’s been around three years since I last connected with Michael Rault. The pair of us met while he was living in Toronto after returning from a European tour and we had become fast friends. Rault had been going through a transition in his life with a lot of changes happening around him. He had just ended a relationship with his long-term partner, and had severed ties with his management and band. Born and raised in Edmonton, Rault is the kind of guy who wears his heart on his sleeve. He was experiencing a time of healing while also not yet realizing he was learning the art of patience. There were beautiful things coming his way, things that would alter his future in the best way possible.
After a short stint in Toronto, Rault headed to Montreal and tried to settle into a normal life. It was there that he began to write more concentratedly and started to piece together the pieces of what would become his new self-titled album. “When I went back to Montreal, I kind of discovered a bunch of stuff, including a handful of demos that I had left from the tailend of writing for the previous record.”
It was those songs that would become the nucleus for a lot of tracks on his new album. But while being back in Montreal was working ok for him, Rault would soon realize there were aspects of his life that hadn’t caught up with him. He started questioning what his purpose of living in Montreal was. “It’s like one chapter had ended and for a while the other one hadn’t really begun just yet. I was just there making a record and wondering why I was even living there.”
During his time of uncertainty, Rault found himself connecting with artist Pearl Charles. The pair’s gravitation to one another was a unique spark, sharing a bond and love for the 70s era. This beaming relationship eventually led him to following Charles to Los Angeles. “I had been thinking about going to LA for awhile and then I met Pearl and came down here to hangout with her.” Shortly after this union, Rault decided to make the leap and relocate.
Throughout Rault’s transition to LA, he continued chipping away on the final details of his album. “A lot of the record was written before I came down to LA. When Pearl would go on tour I would go back to Edmonton to record and make up new songs. That was all pretty easy and for the most part I was still 100% focused on my music.” The album was nearly on its way to being finished before covid struck, resulting in the delay of his return. During his wait for things to pick back up, Rault started exploring other artistic avenues by joining Pearl’s band, along with other familiar LA names PAINT, Drug Dealer, and Witch. “It didn’t take away from my thing; my thing just got put on hold for so long that I had all this time to do other stuff. I figured I would just explore it all and see what came of it while I waited to put this record out.”
Rault’s latest album is a compilation of emotions and feelings from this period of his life. “It’s pretty autobiographical. There’s some stuff that’s pretty open emotionally about that time. I definitely had a lot to talk about.” The first single, “Neither Love Nor Money,” is a track that stands out due to its groovy bassline and powerful horn section while exploring Rault’s in-between narrative. Even while speaking on lonely moments, he somehow finds a joyful way to bop through feelings. The song echoes the idea of a new chapter and keeps that classic Michael Rault sound alive while also showcasing fresh new elements. “I was really excited about it. I felt like it was a totally new style and vibe for me and it kind of just came together so magically without me really knowing what was happening until it was there.” Through its core lyricism and vibrant approach, it became the perfect introduction to a new phase of music for Rault.
The album’s 10 tracks ooze in disco-pop flare, a triumphant musical avenue that sees Rault shine. While exploring other 70s elements, Michael also wanted to experiment with the idea of choruses, something he hadn’t been able to do with previous releases. “I was thinking about the fact that I wanted to keep exploring that same level of sophisticated musical pockets throughout the album and little moments of unique arrangement and composition, but I also wanted it to have more choruses and pop oriented stuff.” It was a concept he struggled with; the idea of a repetitive section that could be deemed as annoying or something branded overly catchy with potentially nothing interesting about it. He wanted to find a way to create something pleasing, something he could build up to be more impactful. “At least I hope I achieved that!”