Now Is Not A Good Time

by The Keys

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Pour son neuvième album, « Now Is Not A Good Time », le songwriter Français Boris Paillard a parcouru l’Amérique du Nord en Megabus entre 2014 et 2015 pour partir à la rencontre de plus de vingt musiciens à Los Angeles, Providence, Denver et sa ville adoptive de l’époque : Toronto.

Il ressort de ces différentes sessions en studio une dizaine de chansons riches et variées, souvent bricolées en quelques jours lors d’un processus bousculé par l’urgence de séjours éphémères. Cordes, cuivres et choeurs sont comme toujours au rendez-vous, et les chansons s’ornent aussi pour la première fois de pianos, d’orgues et de guitares électriques. Les paroles restent au centre du propos de l’artiste, alternant entre explorations introspectives et commentaires sociaux.

L’album sort en CD pressé dans un format inédit : un livre-objet regroupant paroles, crédits, photos de studios et collages originaux de l’auteur-compositeur, agrémenté d’une couverture sérigraphiée artisanale


released November 11, 2016

All songs written, composed & produced by Boris Paillard
(lead vocals, guitars, alto sax, accordion, percussions)

Derric McGuire : electric bass, mandolin, ukulele, backing vocals
Maya Dank : backing vocals, melodica
Sam Schild : backing vocals, washboard

Ternell Cooksey : drums
Adam Edwards : electric bass, trumpet
Joanna Millane : viola
Matt Knapil : alto & tenor sax
Alexander Bradley : cello
Matthew Proffitt : trombone
Talia Post : violin, backing vocals

Matthew Dubé : drums, piano
Derek Dubé : electric bass
Kathryn Zuromski & Kate Venturini : backing vocals
Jason Ball : hammond organ, percussions

Charlotte Cornfield : drums, backing vocals
Ben Harney : drums, backing vocals
Jason Ball : piano, hammond organ, wurlitzer
Shelby Lamb, Denise Anderson & Andrew Merzetti : backing vocals
Andrew Barker : lapsteel guitar



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The Keys France

Born and raised in several France locations, Boris Paillard a.k.a The Keys has found a new home on stage, winning audiences across Europe and America with raw talent and ample doses of charm.

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Track Name: You Of All People
today, I woke up late so I could skip a meal
a trick that always feels like a good deal
in a city where there’s no way to tell
if you’re in for heaven or for hell

then I had a pizza slice in the shade
in a park downtown when some big parade
came, I stood up and said
« oh man, something’s up in Disneyland »

and the mobsters sang:
« you of all people should know
that you cannot sit front row
and expect us to lay low »

then everywhere I turned my head
were people giving attitude
fed up yet begging to be fed
with love, money or food

and as I listened to slogans from the mob
I thought about my brand new full-time job
I’ve been getting used to luxury
but the joke may be on me…

the bitter choir sang:
« you of all people should know
that our ranting’s not for show,
there’s no line you need to toe,
there’s no lawn you need to mow,
enough of the middle-class hero »

I feel all grown up with my salary
I can now afford things that I craved
during my salad years of artistery
when I’d spend way more than I’d saved
I was even given a credit card
to feel much richer than I am
what’s been sold to me as a reward
may very well just be a scam

oh I barely escaped poverty
and I’m already chased by the man
my banker wants me to buy land
and look into owning property
what sounds like such a wiser plan
is likely to be a fuckery

the senior financial advisor said:
« you of all people should know
that your capital needs to grow,
that the cashflow needs to flow »

now let’s get back to this big parade
when I was having pizza in the shade
well, it soon turned into razorblades,
police and barricades
and angry crowds chanted in my ears
about some work that didn’t pay
about tax money that had disappeared
about scandals breaking everyday
and what else, again? anyway, they said:
« this may not be what you want to hear
but this is what we have to say »

and the S.W.A.T. team sang:
« you of all people should know
that it’s all about who you know
if you went to school with so and so
or if you slept with so and so
then you may be good to go »
Track Name: God Knows I Tried (To Believe In Him)
when my great-grandmother died
I sang a song at the service while everyone cried
and since then, God knows I tried, God knows I tried to believe in Him
in the grocery store or at the gym

I’ve prayed in empty restaurants and in empty hotels
I went down on my knees to go up stairwells
I still see millions buying it but I can’t reach the one who sells

when I realized that adults lied
that was the end of me caring, I started stealing and swearing (« fuck! »)
regardless, God knows I tried, God knows I tried to believe in God
listening to the Bible on my iPod

I’ve prayed in empty buses and in empty bars
for Him to heal the wounds and remove the scars
but the only sound I heard in answer was the sound of passing cars

when my next friend or relative dies
I just won’t sing no song, it would feel so wrong
oh God, why do we try so hard to believe
in you when we grieve, it’s true…
Track Name: Dying To Know
I just can’t find someone to talk to
so I have to settle with people to drink with
hear how they feel and what they do (« for a living! »)
and what a shame it all is

we laugh at things that we can’t understand
and cry ‘bout stuff that we know too well
oh, failure then feels so close at hand
and suicide is not that tough of a sell

we’d stay up late to discuss death
which left us liking life a little more
a safe distance from their whisky breath
I’d talk until my jaw was sore

with saliva we’d quench our thirst
for knowledge on what it’s all for
one said: « life seems unfair at first
but it is harmless at its core »

I’m dying… to know… who’s running… the show…

now the wind blows through my saxophone
playing a B-flat that sounds so eerie
quite like the ring of the telephone
everytime they hang up on me

all healthy options have disappeared
I’m left to face who and what I feared
go where my fingers are leading me
write all my songs in the minor key

had I known then what I know now…
Track Name: Calling It Quits
one time is all it takes
to hear the sound that a promise makes
(when it breaks)

I’m calling it quits
it’s been way more misses than hits

one shot is all I’ve got
to prove that I was no afterthought
(I was not)

I’m calling it a night
it’s time to get out of sight
Track Name: Up To Speed
I’ve been saying things just to see how they sound
I’ve been doing things just to see how they feel
It has cost me in dollars, in euros and pounds
but it always turned out being a good enough deal

I thought I left my mark but it was just a stain
just a shot in the dark, just a silly stage name

if I could have it my way, if only I had a say
I’d be considered cool ten times a day
but life’s often like that if you don’t take heed
until some hipster brings you up to speed

I thought I had a shot but I guess I had not
I was twenty-something when living in the aughts
Track Name: If Not You Then Who
waiting all night for my friends to be drunk enough to dance
looking all day for a reason to move right back to France

aren’t they all supposed to care and if not them, then who?
how can I root myself where there’s no one to turn to?

did I cross this cruel country for nothing more than crumbs of love?
bus seats have worn out jeans coming apart at the seams
I’ve been drifting in and out of dreams

now I’m too heavy to swim, you’re too heavy to fly
friends have been calling me grim when I was just being shy
Track Name: Evil That's A First
the daylight comes to remind me how ugly I am
what started as a mild strain has turned into a full-blown pain
I’m now almost half of a proper man

with the sting of the morning on eyelids coated with crust
a song for drifters to sing seems to rise up from my guts

the Internet comes to remind me how lazy we are
I sure like entertainment but it got taken way too far
I’m now almost half of a decent dude
addicted to screens and to solitude

if spit has cleansing values, then why don’t I just take a shot?
the world could probably use some of the anger that I’ve got

the moonlight comes to remind me how lonely life is
should I curl up in a shelter or find someone to spend it with?
and become what they call a married man
in a condo that’s worth half a grand

even doorknobs don’t want to hold a hand forever cursed
I’ve been called careless and cold, but evil… that’s a first
Track Name: She Goes Without Saying
she goes without saying…
a word about
her whereabouts
in this fucking town

she talks for two…
and she is part
of every story
that are crazy but true
Track Name: Nothing To Write Home About
nothing to write home about
really nothing worth a call
just the shadow of a doubt
creeping up an office wall
where the cool air from a whirring fan
is blowing on my trucker’s tan…
I need a master plan

I’ve been dreaming about work
feels like unpaid extra-time
my lover calls me a jerk
should I take that as a sign…

that I’ve been enough of a stranger
and had my fair share of miles
every city was a one-hit wonder
and all their stories were lies
the world holds no surprise

the road goes on till you stop
or till the car engine dies
or until your body drops
or when you run out of smiles

I’ve been enough of a stranger
with no belongings or ties
every country was a one-hit wonder
where boredom and French fries
come in endless supplies
nothing to write home about
Track Name: Something To Be Said
no, I won’t show up at their « wine and dine » and we both know that it’s just fine
‘cause smiles and lies go hand in hand, on that I don’t need to expand (or do I?)
and when they say they make « 90K a year », it almost fills my eyes with tears

I’m expected to impress them with the little I’ve got
but when I look at who « has it », I am glad I have not

I’m done with friends with short-attention spans who flake out just because they can
and now the only things I hold in my hand are lyrics from a broken band
about a hundred songs in the minor key where my fingers tend to lead me

all night I wait for my friends to be drunk enough to dance
and all day I look for a reason to be moving back to France

I was wailing away in windswept Wales dreading a new career in sales
strolling through a thousand stores bursting with bandits and bores
no one wanted to be acting weird so I gladly volunteered

I brought water for your flowers and you brought bullets for my gun
oh, there’s something to be said about having too much fun
now when I look in the mirror I see my own back turned
life lessons have been learned and they have quickly been unlearned