Archive for the ‘Musique’ Category

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Slowdance

25/11/2014

Guestpost! Joris Stereo on Slowdance:
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It’s always a bit disappointing when you think you’ve found a brand new band to get all excited about and then it turns out they’ve broken up already. And I wás getting pretty excited by Slowdance and their wave-y indiepop. They hail – or maybe rather: hailed – from Brooklyn but have a Filles Sourires-worthy singer in Quay Quinn-Settel (pictured). Even though they are no longer a band they still put out a self-titled debutalbum recently. In fact, they are giving it away for free HERE. The two songs especially relevant in the current context, the only two sung in French, are Trio and Disco D’ete. The latter being my current favourite. You can see the band do a third French-language song that’s slightly older and not on the record, called Les Loups, HERE.

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Catherine Valéry

24/11/2014

20141123 Catherine Valery ArtworkCatherine Valéry is yet another graduate from the production line that is Quebec’s l’École Nationale de la Chanson de Granby (Laura Babin, Véronique Bilodeau and Geneviève Racette have all featured in this very blog) who released her eponymous EP through Bandcamp back in May.

The EP is short and sweet (there’s only four songs here) but it’s full of beautifully crafted and seemingly effortless sensual, bitter-sweet chansons that are a perfect vehicle for Catherine’s crystalline yet velvety smooth voice, as the video for the haunting “Dors” shows.

In her native Quebec, Catherine is already beginning attract favourable reviews for her music. Hopefully Francophone Europe will begin to take notice.

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A-Marie

24/11/2014

20141123 A-Marie ArtworkAnne-Marie Pelletier (who goes by the name A-Marie) is an aspiring blues singer from Québec who recently released three tracks via Bandcamp that serve as a taster for her debut album, scheduled for release in the spring of next year.

The trio of tracks features two blues-influenced numbers “L’envie” and “Mon nord est au sud”, both of which enable A-Marie to demonstrate her rasping, honeyed vocals that I suspect were honed on the old whiskey and razor gargle trick.

The third song, “Maintenant” is very much in the slow-rock vein, the type of song that should allow a singer to highlight and flex their vocal muscles. It’s a test that A-Marie passes with considerable ease as the song is perfectly arranged for her voice, allowing her again to demonstrate her vocal dynamics and effortlessly ability hold a note during the soaring refrains.

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Le Pop 8

19/11/2014

4018939273323_600Hurrah! The new (eight) volume of über-cool French pop compilation Le Pop is out. ‘Le Pop is not so much about France as such, but about great music with lyrics which just happen to be in French, music by artists that can also, of course, come from Canada, Belgium, even England’, Le Pop-compilers Rolf and Oliver write in their introduction, explaining why there are no baguettes, Eiffel Towers or basque caps on the cover. ‘The secret of the chanson is how it uses the sound and rhythm of a language to offer up very special melodies’, they continue. And that’s certainly well executed on this volume.
It features chansons by FS-faves like Maissiat, Fredda, Benjamin Schoos featuring Laetitia Sadier and a brandspanking new track by Sammy Decoster (yay!).
A real discovery is Parisian singer Anna Jean, who records with Juniore. They sound like early Stereolab, which is never a bad thing to me. Le Pop 8 chose ‘Christine’, but I think Dans le noir is better song. Alas, that’s not on Bandcamp (but is on Spotify):

See the new video for Juniore’s La fin du monde HERE.

Also new to me is Liz de Lux. You might know her from an earlier Le Pop compilation, when one of her songs was covered by Olive & Moi. I really dig the Nancy Sinatra-influence on this new track. And have you spotted which iconic album cover they channel?

More on Le Pop 8 HERE.
Oh, and did you know that Le Pop branched out to selling lingerie?! Oh la la! HERE

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Brigitte

17/11/2014

The new Brigitte album is out!
Here are two brand new songs:

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Pierre Faa/Peppermoon

13/11/2014

Peppermoon‘s back in Holland, our Parisian friends play a few promotional gigs. Tomorrow, Friday November 14, they play RTV Rijnmond’s Live uit Lloyd. Saturday, they’re at Omroep Friesland, and later on at Dit Is Dit De Dag, to be broadcasted on Dutch Radio 1. This is because the album of both Peppermoon and Pierre Faa (Peppermoon’s principal song writer) are officially released on cd.

My guess is that they don’t bring Elisa Point along, to sing this nice track with Pierre:

Listen to Peppermoon most recent album via Spotify, HERE

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Je t’aime plus Paris

10/11/2014

So, the new ZAZ album is out, featuring classic songs about the City of Light. Sous le ciel de paris, Le Parisienne and this superhit:

It’s a cool album, lots of manouche- and swing-influences, Quincy Jones (yes!) did a wonderful job producing, and Zaz shines.
All songs are from waaaay back, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but there are of course very good French songs written about Paris from the more recent past. Like these:

Do you know other, better, more recent French songs (not older than, say, 20 years) about Paris? I made a Spotify-list, you can add to that. Or in the comments below!

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Stéphanie Lapointe

04/11/2014

Montréal-based sirene Stéphanie Lapointe released a new album, that has the spirit of early Françoise Hardy and Jane Birkin written all over it. Which is a good thing. This is the first single:

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Fanny Bloom

02/11/2014

20141101 Fanny Bloom Artwork

It’s probably safe to say that your team were filled with just a little trepidation when it came to reviewing Fanny Bloom’s sophomore album “Pan,” the follow-up to 2012’s universally acclaimed “Apprentie guerrière.” Firstly, there was the small matter of the appearance with Montréal rappers Loud Lary Ajust, not to mention the album’s teaser “Piscine.”

Fanny Bloom, we are not worthy…

After just one spin it’s fairly obvious that with “Pan” Fanny Bloom has created is an irresistible pop album which can be divided into two distinct sides. Firstly there’s the dance-floor fillers; “Blanc,” with it’s deceptively simple piano solo, a few soothing bars of pan flute (which given the album’s title probably isn’t coincidence), before erupting into a glorious chorus of multi-tracked vocals, percussion and keys… The Europop infused “Danse,” resplendent with tell-tale synths and beats which leads neatly to the pop sensation of the Québec summer that was “Piscine.”

However, it’s after “Évidemment” – another upbeat number, resplendent with synths, bright brass, percussion and a plinking piano keyboard that the album has a complete change of mood.

“Sammy, Sammy” sees a welcome reappearance of the pan flute before giving way to piano and guitar as Fanny launches into a heartfelt and powerful ballad, complete with yet another seemingly effortless and immediately catchy chorus and filled with bittersweet refrains. From the few interviews I’ve read, this is an incredibly personal song (apparently named after an ex) and you can sense the emotion in the voice. Just as “Blanc” sets the pace for the first part of the album so this song sets the tone for the second part.

“Mélodie” is for the most part a simple two piece composition of voice and piano; the song’s gentle melody is incredibly relaxing (helped, it has to be said, by the hypnotic – at times child-like – quality of Fanny’s ravishing vocals). “Dead birds” and “Il faudra” (the former an unreleased La Patère Rose demo) both fit seamlessly with the structure of this album’s more tranquil and trance-like side. And while “Pan” threatens to disturb the tranquility with it’s heavily distorted guitar and pounding drums, the soothing pan flute again ensures the tranquillity isn’t disturbed. The album’s closer, “Mémo” is yet another beautifully moving two-piece – a simple piano accompaniment to the most bewitching of vocals, the sound of running water and birdsong add to the air of absolute calm… Indeed it’s this album’s slower numbers that force you to reflect upon the quality of Fanny Bloom’s song-writing and composing skills (the singing part of this holy trinity goes without saying).

FANNY BLOOM – DANSE from Laurence Morais (Baz) on Vimeo.

However, this album’s crowning moment has to be “Drama queens” – named after the posthumously published novel by Vickie Gendreau (who tragically died of a brain tumour aged just 24), it’s a dark and deeply moving masterpiece and one which I can’t even begin to find the words that would do justice to the sheer majesty of this song.

With “Pan” Fanny has crafted an unashamed pop album that amply demonstrates that she is more than capable of turning her hand to dance-floor fillers as she can heart moving and incredible personal ballads. In the process she’s provided us with as good a contemporary pop album as will be released in English or French this or any year.

This is nailed-on for a Year-list appearance

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New ZAZ video

29/10/2014

From her upcoming album, this is a cover of a Marie Paule Belle song: