Arts

Madeleine Peyroux Sings ‘Secular Hymns’ In New Album

Madeleine Peyroux and her trio recently released a live album called "Secular Hymns."
Madeleine Peyroux and her trio recently released a live album called "Secular Hymns."
Credit Shervin Lainez

 

After playing at a Michelin-starred restaurant, Madeleine Peyroux and her band stumbled into a 12th-century French church.

“It had this immediate effect on me,” said Peyroux in an interview with Lois Reitzes. “You don’t have the opportunity to go in a 12th-century church in America.”

Oddly enough, it was living internationally that led to her appreciation of American music – from Billie Holiday to Bob Dylan.

Born in Athens, Georgia, Madeleine Peyroux, her mother and brother moved to Brooklyn when she was about 5. Then, the trio moved to Paris, where Madeleine spent her adolescence.

“Getting out of the United States, you can learn about this country from an outside perspective,” said Peyroux. “And music, that’s our greatest gift to the world.”

Peyroux always wanted to sing while growing up, and she debuted on the international music scene with her 1996 album, “Dreamlands.”

Now, 20 years later, she’s released her seventh solo album, “Secular Hymns.” And Peyroux and her trio recorded the album live in that 12th century church.

“I find it odd that people have segregated music, as if it’s not okay to enjoy music that doesn’t have the right mention of a certain god in it,” said Peyroux. “But I do believe we can have a beautiful, secular, morally important life without that.”

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