Rachida Brakni

Guestpost! Theo M. writes:
Prophet+Premiere+2009+Cannes+Film+Festival+-mCiP1gzjoclRecently Filles Sourires featured the “La chanson d’Hélène” version by Sophie Hunger. She recorded that cover with famous French footballeur Eric Cantona. Well whaddayaknow, Eric’s wife is an actress and singer in her own right. Rachida Brakni sounds almost as saucy on her debut (which was released in 2011) as her husband does in his duet with Hunger. Brakni, who’s of Algerian descent, delivers her songs with a dark mystique. On the album’s opening track ‘Je Danse et je Ris’ (try it on Spotify), and in ‘Terre Fatale’ she proves she masters the Gainsbourgian ‘Sprechgesang’ as well as her husband. Hopefully we will hear more of Mrs. Cantona very soon!

Céline Tolosa

(This guestpost was originally published on the wonderful Lie in the Sound-blog, and written by Christoph/SomeVapourTrails)

Every country has it’s own musical charm, in France it’s the ‘airy Chic’ that’s sprinkled onto songs by chanteuses from every generation. The graceful members of this guild can either sing saucy or sentimental, but in any case the singing floats at least a foot above all earthly things. As is proven by Parisienne Céline Tolosa, whose début-EP was released recently. The four delicate songs on the EP channel the charm from 60s French pop. Even the title track Covergirl precipitates as graceful as profound. Tolosa embodies a cover girl, either a Lolita or Femme Fatale from any glamour magazine. But behind the glittering façade of the Fashion Business lurks the realization that they will one day be replaced, when a slimmer model comes along.
The nice, for predestined humming melody follows with Rue Mansart, a rather moody piano chanson. It includes that special sophisticated French perspective, which is located somewhere between daydream, still lifes and tears in a buttonhole. Tu est fantastique is an airy number full of retro charm. Every French musical stereotype is confirmed here in distinctive ways.
Fais-moi souffrir is more moody. Céline Tolosa is singing with tender melancholy. Can’t wait to hear mme Tolosa on a full length album. Because, honestly, don’t we all need some disarming French lightness from time to time? I know I can.

Paul van Eersel & Stella Zekri

You know Ry Cooder. You might know Ali Farka Touré. You should listen to their marvelous album Talkin’ Timbuktu. Belgian Paul van Eersel owns this moniker, the Belgian guitar player Paul van Eersel sounds like a love child of Cooder and Farka Touré. Folk Afro-Belge is what he makes, indeed he incorporates folk and african influences. In 2012, he released an EP, featuring a VERY cool duet with one Stella Zekri. A song to see the sun set in the Serengeti. I bumped into Paul via Ivan Tirtiaux (see below).
In a few weeks, Paul releases a full album. Check his Facebook for more details. See a teaser clip HERE

Paul just released this video for ‘Du temps’

Blondy Brownie

Blondy Brownie: A blonde and a brown-haired girl from Belgium, making post-rock tinged music. In French. With John McEntire (Tortoise). And Antoine Wielemans (Girls in Hawaii). And more guests, on an upcoming album. If this sounds promising, wait ’til you hear the music by Aurélie Muller (V.O., Soy Un Caballo, The Tellers, Melon Galia…) and Catherine De Biasio (Mièle, Kris Dane, Ici Baba, Le Yéti…).

More? HERE


Adrian writes:

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from the marvellous Arnaud Fleurent-Didier, “Le grand dandy français”, whose last album, La Reproduction, we all took to our hearts. Is it really five years ago? Surely not. Now, it would appear, he’s back, with an amusing teaser for a new record in the style of a 1960s film trailer for Un homme, deux femmes. Singer Dorothée de Koon is still on board, thankfully, and it sounds simply wonderful. So sit back, enjoy the flight, and the stewardesses will be along with cocktails when the ‘fasten seatbelt’ signs are off…

Sally Folk

462394874_640Sally Folk, remember her from this post? She has a new album out. Mark Sullivan writes:

Sally Folk’s trade-mark dark seductress looks matched her original francophone single ‘Heureux infidèles’ which remains as enjoyable as ever.
Now she has a new album ‘Deuxième acte’ just one year after her first, eponymous venture in French. Film of her at the ‘Lancement’at Club Soda in Montreal in March is here.

The lead song is ‘Les heures de visite’

and Sally live at Montreal Radio Station Rythme 105.7 two weeks ago

For Anglophones, one advantage Sally offers is wonderful diction – you can almost learn French off these songs. ‘Révolver’ on her previous album is rather fast, but the lyrics are on the screen in this Youtube film.

And for comparison, listen to Sally in English, from 2011, with ‘Oh Cheri’, and ‘The Line’ .

Bastien Lallemant, Vincent Liben

Not often do we feature male singers on this blog, but when it comes to Bastien Lallemant and Vincent Liben, sheer quality urges us to urge you to take note. Plus the fact that they duet with some lovely filles.

Bastien Lallemant takes his time when he records – La Maison Haute follows 2010’s Le Verger. Musically, he’s on par with Dominiqu Ané and Bertrand Belin – carefully crafted chansons with hints of Americana. Think of a stripped down, late-night Calexico. French reviews of La Maison Haute mention Gainsbourg’s masterpiece Melody Nelson – apparently, La Maison Haute is his take on L’Hotel Particulier. Hear the lush strings in Un million d’Années (below) to get a taste, but no mention of underaged redheads ran over by Rolls Royces, tho. Lallemant made this album with help from a string of likeminded artists: JP Nataf, Seb Martel, Katel, Maissiat, Albin de la Simone and Francoiz Breut. The latter sings a beautiful duet (Le Vieil Amour) that’s not on Soundcloud or YouTube alas, check Spotify and/or Deezer.
This lead track is also quite nice:

Belgian counterpart Vincent Liben has a thing for Serge G. as well. Animalé is his second solo-album (he was member of Mud Flow), the first album featured a great duet with Berry (clip). This time, girlfriend Lisza backs him up on the gorgeous (and very Gainsbourgian) L’ennui. Animalé has lush strings as well (Sous les draps, Lila) and has more ‘oomph’ than Lallemant’s offering – just a fact, not a value judgement. Both are great albums.
VL’s album is on Youtube, some tracks are on Soundcloud.