In 2018, Ariel Engle shared her self-titled debut as La Force. While underrated, La Force introduced Engle as a musically omnivorous singer-songwriter with restless tracks that seemed to push against the imposing musical legacy of Broken Social Scene, the band that the Montreal-based musician joined in 2016. Soon after the record's release she was working on projects from Aaron Dessner and Patrick Watson, and formed an experimental drone duo with Godspeed You! Black Emperor's Efrim Manuel Menuck called ALL_HANDS_MAKE_LIGHT. On September 29, the world will get a second chance to catch on to Engle's talents with XO Skeleton, her sophomore solo project.
Today, The FADER is premiering the music video for "how do you love a man," the song's third single. Engle delivers a singular and spectral version of R&B, laced with the sparseness of Young Marble Giants with catharsis and yearning bursting from every note of her immaculate vocals.
"how do you love a man" is "a swan song to a dead man," Engle said in an email, expanding further: "How do you continue to give and receive love when the person you love is dead? It’s about loving into a void. It’s about loving and communing with the spirit of a dead atheist who didn’t believe in spirit.”
Engle co-directs the song's music video, streaming below, with Ali Vanderkruyk and Caely White. It plays with sparse, black-and-white portraiture that's both ghostly and unmistakeably corporeal. A press statement describes how the video is a close extension of the song's themes: "It explores a desire to change shape in order to connect with a soul that is no longer embodied."
Watch the video below, followed by a list of La Force's upcoming tour dates across Europe, North America, and the U.K.
La Force 2023 tour dates
September 8 - Cork, IE - SFSH Festival
September 12 - London, UK - Slaughtered Lamb
September 16 - Paris, FR - Café de la Danse** SOLD OUT
September 17 - Paris, FR - Café de la Danse** SOLD OUT
September 22 - Paris, FR - Cafe de la Danse** SOLD OUT
September 23 - Paris, FR - Cafe de la Danse** SOLD OUT
September 25 - Utrecht, NL - Tivoli Grote Zaal**
September 27 - Leuven, BE - Het Depot**
September 28 - Leuven, BE - Het Depot**
September 30 - Geneva, CH - Antigel Festival (L’Alhambra)**
October 12 - Philadelphia, PA - Music Hall at World Café Live **
October 13 - Burlington, VT - Higher Ground **
November 16 - Los Angeles, CA - The Moroccan Lounge
November 22 - Montreal, QC - Centre PHI (XO Skeleton Performance Series)
November 24 - Toronto, ON - TD Music Hall (XO Skeleton Performance Series)
November 25 - Ottawa, ON - Fourth Stage NAC (XO Skeleton Performance Series)
December 11 - Southwest, DC - Union Stage **
December 12 - Cambridge, MA - The Sinclair **
December 13 - New York, NY - Webster Hall **
** - with Patrick Watson