Archive for the ‘Video’ Category


Pierre Kwenders


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.


Noémie & Adrienne Pauly video


(Which Martin Scorsese movie was used?)


New Spinshots EP


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:


New Coralie Clément album


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


Salomé, Ariane, Isabelle


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:


Elsa Kopf covers Bardot


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

More covers of this song:


Brigitte Bardot is 80


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.


Coeur de Pirate – Béatrice Martin 25


Béatrice Martin is 25 years old today. Congrats! Mark Sullivan sings her praise (again):
Béatrice Martin, whose ‘project’ Coeur de Pirate has become so successful that it is carrying her towards a new bilingual pop career, was born on 22 September 1989. She early on told interviewers how important her years from 18 to 25 were going to be, and that they would set her direction for the rest of her life. Now she has reached the horizon she set for herself. It is worth reviewing her exceptional career, and see where she may go next.

Filles Sourires has a particular interest in the blonde with tattooes from Montreal, for we spotted her right at the start, in Autumn 2008, before any other English-language blog, and before she was known in France. Béatrice was number 1 on the FS 2008 Year List :
‘And suddenly there she was, as could be expected from une fille fragile, whispers sweet words in your ear, and the songs will stay there, they won’t go away; they are forever, like a tattoo.’

Béatrice, who had started at the piano at the age of 3, launched her first album in Montreal as she reached 19, in September 2008, here with ‘Ensemble’

Right from the start this was something unusual – a girl at a piano with a backing band, with live performances as fine as her recordings. The video of ‘Comme des enfants’ soon followed and by January 2009 she was in France recording her music afresh. See her in the studio playing ‘C’est salement romantique’, one of her best early compositions.

Her international fame began though with the use of her track ‘Ensemble’ by a father in Quebec to go with as time-lapse film of his son playing on the floor over several hours – the famous ‘Vachon baby’ film which received publicity in the US and France. After this she was invited several times onto the CBC televised chat-show ‘Q’ at which she sang in French and talked in English. Here on ‘Q’ in September 2009 is the very first film of CdP performing her classic ‘Place de la République’, which she wrote after completing her original album, but did not record for another 2 years.

In 2010 Béatrice found herself conquering France, with sell-out concerts and at Les Victoires de la Musique. Scrutiny from amateur film-recorders became intense. Film of her on Youtube piled up. The video of ‘Pour un infidèle’ sung with French pop heart-throb Julien Doré was fun. Her first album by then was on the way to selling 500,000 and she had really arrived.

In 2010 the Quebec time-travel TV series ‘Les Rescapés’ (a reverse version of the British TV series ‘Life on Mars’) chose modern singers to perform hits from the 1960-64 period from which the characters had come, to be played over the end credits. Coeur de Pirate was chosen to sing best-known of all Francophone pop songs of that time, Françoise Hardy’s ‘Tous les garçons et les filles’.

Endlessly argued over for its comparison with the original, the film of this live performance has notched up 1.8 million hits on Youtube in 4 years.

Meanwhile CdP showed that she could better the originals with covers of well-known songs in English, as in 2010 with Phoenix’s ‘Lasso’.
This fine version is on no album yet. Also, check her duet with Jay Malinowski, on the EP they made together as Armistice.

The second album, the long-awaited ‘Blonde’, appeared in October 2011, and was immediately acclaimed as perfect. See the Filles Sourires full review here.
Béatrice then set out on a major tour with two albums to perform (and thus no longer a shortage of songs). Here she is at L’Ancienne Belgique on 4 December 2011.

And her first appearance in the United States followed, with four concerts – including a terrific one in New York in which she showed her bilingual skills in introducing every song… and the memorable line for monolingual Americans, ‘For those who don’t know me, I’m Coeur de Pirate, or Corda Pyrit…’ to huge laughter.

After her US concerts, Béatrice announced that she was pregnant and would not be able to complete her tour. But she continued well into the summer, perhaps the one top singer in the world who would do this. See her well-wrapped-up on a cold evening in April 2012 at the open-air Théâtre de Verdure in Nice performing ‘Les amours dévouées’ from ‘Blonde’.

A feature of CdP concerts is the scale of singing along with her songs. She has described in the past how her fans ‘know every word of all the songs’. Proof of this comes from this film of her final song, piano-only, ‘Adieu’, at Avignon in March 2012.

Béatrice’s baby, Romy, was born in September 2012, she having married Alex Peyrat in the summer. By the end of 2012 she was easing herself back into performances, including at a Montreal Christmas charity event a rather good version of Wham’s ‘Last Christmas’; and then back in France showing her dominance in duets such as with Roch Voisine here.

CdP’s more recent career, including her sell-out solo 12-concert tour in Europe in April 2013, and her 2014 album of English-language covers, ‘Trauma’, has been well-reported on Filles Sourires, here, her music for the ‘Child of Light’ video game here, and her interpretation of Renaud’s ‘Mistral gagnant’, where there is also discussion of her exceptional ‘Taratata’ appearance on 28 February 2014.

What can we look forward to? Film of her fascinating interview with Jian Ghomeshi on CBC’s ‘Q’ in March 2014 can now be watched.
Her skill and intelligence matched with frankness and humour is even more impressive than before.
Béatrice tells us how she works and that we can look forward next to a new album of her own songs – some in English. As she said to a music website Noisey on the release of ‘Child of Light’ in May 2014, “I always have music in my head from being in the conservatory early on and playing a lot of classical music. I have a lot of melodies that are just there and I record them all the time on my iPhone.”

But to really understand the Coeur de Pirate phenomenon, it seems right to mark her six years of success by showing her before her fans in several huge French concerts in 2010. She used to end her concerts performing ‘Francis’ solo at the piano, after the band had left the stage. Renaud Bastien, the senior musician in her band, filmed ‘Francis’ from the back of the stage several times. He put clips together in one 5-minute film. It’s worth watching.


New Zaz video


Original version:


New Mina Tindle video