Coeur Machant are an experimental duo split between Portland, OR and Olympia, WA. Composed of Jess Gulbranson (formerly of Joys Of Oil, Numinous Knot, and others) and folkstress Shreya Bollock, the two eschew conventional ‘band’ paradigms such as rehearsals, frequent touring, and socializing that are part of the normal experience for band members in the same state. This is just part of the overall mystery that makes up Coeur Machant’s strange and difficult aesthetic. Added to this are both participant’s backgrounds: Bollock at college studying Jung and the death archetype, Gulbranson a blog music critic and releasing a series of novels, and both of them with a history in acting, visual arts, and mythology.
The name of the band is perhaps the most persistent puzzle for many. It is taken from an Art Nouveau poster series that Gulbranson started in 2007, the phrases being taken from a book on lexicology, and actually misspelled. As found in the book, the French means “biting heart.” The original phrase coeur mechant has a curious history, according to the Maven’s WOTD on the Random House web site:
“If you look up curmudgeon in Samuel Johnson’s 1755 Dictionary of the English Language, you will find the following in parentheses before the definition: “It is a vitious manner of pronouncing coeur mechant, Fr. an unknown correspondent.” Coeur means ‘heart’, and mechant means ‘bad’.