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Pierre Kwenders

21/10/2014

Very, very impressed by the debut album of this man, Pierre Kwenders. His music and his voice have nothing to do with the soft sighing girls that are usually posted here. But hey, you do not eat boeuf bourguignon every night, do you? Pierre was born in Congo, now lives in Quebec and is influenced by 40s Congolse rumba, 80s African pop and current electronic music Read an interview with PK here.

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Olivier Juprelle featuring Coralie Clément

09/10/2014

Coralie-Clement-retrouve-de-sa-superbe_article_landscape_pm_v8Missed this in April, when Olivier Juprelle released his album Le bruit et la fureur. The Belgian guitarplayer, former member of Mud Flow, duets with several fragile filles, including ‘our’ Coralie. Cythère is a very cool track, Gainsbourgian with big guitar solo’s. Also on that album are duets with Auryn and Li-Lo, singers I’d never heard of before. Auryn is really a nice discovery. Juprelle’s album is on Bandcamp, and worth a listen too. By the way, Mud Flow is also the band of Vincent Liben, who has a knack of duetting with FS favorites too.

Olivier Juprelle & Coralie Clément – Cythère

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Noémie & Adrienne Pauly video

08/10/2014

(Which Martin Scorsese movie was used?)

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New Spinshots EP

06/10/2014

The Amsterdam-based Spinshots, featuring the superlovely miss Flora Dolores, have graced this blog more than a few times. Because of their wonderful Gainsbourg-cover, because of that duet Flora recorded with mr A Balladeer, because of their brooding French track and, well, because of Flora’s unescapable charm, really.
Last Saturday, The Spinshots presented their new EP. Shame I couldn’t be there, but all tracks are up on Bandcamp. You can hear their enriched sound on tracks like this one:

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New Coralie Clément album

06/10/2014

FINALLY, the new Coralie Clément album is here. CC (or Coralie Biolay, if you prefer her real name) took some time to give birth to daughter Iris, getting a divorce from Iris’ dad, recording a children’s songbook and appearing on various tributes. She did write her own songs during the years, but up until recently didn’t find the time to record them. With help from brother Benjamin Biolay and Etienne Daho, ‘La Belle Affaire’ is a sweet, sticky and sunny album – one that helps you get through the coming fall.
It is not as jazzy as her (still beautiful) début, it’s not as rock-y as her (still great) sophomore album and not as exotic (or should I say quixotic, given that it was recorded with a lot of toy instruments) as her last effort. La Belle Affaire is FillesSourires-music as we like it. Prominent plopping bass, gentle guitar-strumming, some piano, ukelele and bells. Brigitte Bardot, early Françoise Hardy, early Jane Birkin, the most recent Elodie Frégé album, that’s the spirit here.
Four songs really stick out: ‘Trois fois rien’, with it’s tender bells, the twangy ‘Eléphant Noir’ (this twangin’ guitar pops up a lot on the album, which is good), the tango of ‘Sur mes yeux’ and the superbreathy ‘Tes nuits pâles’, the best track on the album. The video above is for ‘A demi mot’, also on the album.
There’s a by-the-numbers ‘reprise’ of ‘Mon Amie la Rose’ (Hardy) that, apart from it’s country-waltzy tempo, doesn’t add anything to the original. Really bad (badbadnotgood) is the cover of Depeche Mode’s Enjoy the Silence. The Franglais isn’t charming, the arrangement rather dull. If you ask me, it’s a stain on a highly charming, breathy and sexy album.

Coralie Clément – Les nuits pâles

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Salomé, Ariane, Isabelle

02/10/2014

Canadian label Audiogram decided to celebrate it’s 30th birthday by asking it’s roster to re-record their bestest song in an intimate setting. The result, a double album, is accompanied by black and white videos. We cherry picked our faves:

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Elsa Kopf covers Bardot

29/09/2014

BRILLIANT reprise of Brigitte Bardot’s Une histoire de plage, by Elsa Kopf (with help from Pierre ‘Peppermoon’ Faa!)

More covers of this song:

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Fusée Dorée covers Johnny Kidd & the Pirates

29/09/2014

French-born, Amsterdam-based Emmanuelle Ornon, aka Fusée Dorée, surprises us with a twangy electro-cover of one of my favourite 60s tracks, Shakin’ All Over by Johnny Kidd & the Pirates:

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Brigitte Bardot is 80

27/09/2014

Wonderful-BB-brigitte-bardot-18654561-548-650Brigitte Bardot, who celebrates her 80th birthday tomorrow, was in her heyday a fine popular singer. She made some good records between 1962 and 1970, and was offered songs by top writers. She had been a screen actress for several years before she first recorded at the age of 28. Her acting experience ensured that lip-synching on camera and making good pop videos was no problem for her, and she could fully match Sylvie Vartan and France Gall when she wanted.

A good example of this talent is BB doing the twist with ‘L’Appareil à sous’ (1963):

Bardot’s greatest collaboration was with the writing duo Jean-Max Rivière and Gérard Bourgeois, who later gave Françoise Hardy two of her best-loved sixties songs, ‘Rendez-vous d’automne’ and ‘L’Amitié’. Here is BB performing their ‘C’est rigolo’, carefully-choreographed for TV

In 1967, for the film ‘A Coeur joie’ in which she starred, she recorded the beautiful ‘A la fin de l’été’, (also written by Rivière and Bourgeois) played against an autumn beach scene in the film.

Serge Gainsbourg, taken with the film ‘Bonny and Clyde’ wrote a French song about the story for himself and BB and produced this stylish video in 1968.

If that today looks very much of its time, BB’s recording of Marcel Zanini’s ‘Tu veux ou tu veux pas’ is as refreshing today as when it came out in 1970.

And it has taken until today to be matched, by the modern pop seductress Elodie Frégé in 2013.

But of all her songs, Brigitte Bardot deserves to be remembered forever for ‘La Madrague’. Une madrague is a fishing net used in the Mediterranean to catch tuna, and she bought her famous seaside house at Saint-Tropez of that name in 1958. This perfect light song was written for her and her house by Jean-Max Rivière and Gérard Bourgeois in 1963. Here is BB on TV in the 60s, and in a video filmed at ‘La Madrague’ in 1968.

The English translation here (over a somewhat distorted photo of BB) shows how ‘La Madrague’ succeeds as a classic by its simplicity.

And ‘La Madrague’ perhaps more than any other Bardot song gave us something else. When she first came to our attention in 2009, and was asked what past singers she had learned from, Béatrice Martin (Coeur de Pirate) said that she was influenced by Brigitte Bardot and Françoise Hardy; and interestingly more by BB than by Françoise. This puzzled those who did not know of BB’s recordings. But listening to ‘La Madrague’ it all becomes clear. The light, high voice of Bardot seems a prototype of Béatrice’s, and one can imagine how she realised that she could do what BB had done, and take it so much further because she could add her own writing and piano skills to her unique voice. ‘La Madrague’ is Coeur de Pirate in embryo.

God created woman, as the 1956 film that made Bardot’s name tells us, but Brigitte Bardot’s own voice and singing style was a major inspiration to Béatrice Martin. BB created CdP. Now that is a legacy.

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Fanny Bloom album

24/09/2014

Pan, the new album by kooky Quebecoise Fanny Bloom is out now (see on Bandcamp). To be honest, I’m still a bit shaken by the sheer quality of Salomé Leclerc’s sophomore offering, so no review of FB yet. The first track, tho, sounds good to me: