fin_finale_ny

For over ten years, this blog sang the praise of girls, singing in French. Plus the occassional guy, singing in French. Mostly.

It ends today. French music is alive and kicking, there’s not shortage of soft sighing girls, and thank heaven for them.
Merci for all the comments, guest-posts, tips and whatnot over the years. Thanks to Steve, Sky, FransS, David, Mark and Maks for keeping this blog up and running for so long.

If you want to keep up to date on French music, follow my Spotify playlist HERE, or check Steve’s blog regularly.

Music is forever. I’d like it very much if you would post your favourite track(s) of the past ten years of FillesSourires in the comments.
This would be mine, obviously:

Written by guuzbourg

French girls, singing. No, sighing. Making me sigh. Ah.

This article has 23 comments

  1. Pepijn

    Dank voor al het moois. Ik heb er van genoten! Een van mijn favorieten was Striptease gezongen door Nico. En het droeve lied van Romy Schneider. Prachtig.

  2. Adrian Arratoon

    Oh no! First Bowie, then this 😉 FS was such a great and enthusiastic resource, if Guuzbourg said ‘You should listen to this’ then you pretty much had to. Elodie Fregé, that dodgy Carla Bruni cover of Absolute Beginners (!), Fôret, Keren Ann, so many great artists I now love because of this blog. Merci et adieu! xx

  3. Valentino

    If it wasn’t for your blog, many gems would have slipped under my radar. Thank you for your time and efforts, indeed. FS would be missed and I hope you’ll come back again..

  4. Dan

    Thanks for all the stuff you’ve posted (esp Mlle Sane). I shall miss this blog.

  5. Mark Sullivan

    DIX CHANTEUSES – ADIEU FILLES SOURIRES WITH A TOP TEN

    Mark Sullivan’s choice. The last six years have produced some of the world’s best popular music sung in French. All these songs have been written or recorded between 2009 and 2015. Five French, five Canadians. Without Filles Sourires, there would be little in English about them. FS has filled a huge gap, and long may it stay on the web to be read.

    Les Françaises:

    LA GRANDE SOPHIE
    ‘Ne m’oublie pas’ – Belle et Bum Montreal 2012
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_dsgxEqiNc
    and FNAC Concert Paris 2012. LGS is superb at festivals – just look at this:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJbS2lThP44

    BARBARA CARLOTTI
    ‘Message personnel’ – the only 21st century singer who can manage Françoise Hardy’s classic
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G25rcBODdG0
    And here’s the original, from what Françoise called her ‘belle epoque’, 1973
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZW3he1fp0o

    ÉLODIE FRÉGÉ
    France’s great seductress-singer
    ‘Une plage’, Le Figaro Le Live 2013
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1UCS_MS3oo
    and at the Été Côté Saône festival 2014, a coat over her dress – truly atmospheric
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNu_jpuW-aE
    and a new unknown song of 2015, ‘L’amour à trois’
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OflZSii-B7Q
    The bassist is the elegant Liset Alea of the band Nouvelle Vague.

    ZAZ
    ‘Si jamais j’oublie’ new hit Autumn 2015, at
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZDsCJ4rGD4 (official video)
    and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCLRNXRqFQE (live in Grand Studio RTL)
    See lyrics plus my translation below
    And here’s Zaz in Agadir, Morocco in 2015 looking unusually glammed-up!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHEnVTlPr2U
    Bonus – ‘Je veux’ at Francofolies de La Rochelle 2014 with lyrics and Spanish and English subtitles. See how Edith Piaf’s 21st Century successor dominates her stage.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4pWgY3CM0E

    SYLVIE VARTAN
    ‘Signé Sagan’ at the Paris Olympia, 2009 – Only Sylvie could sing a song about her contemporary the ‘enfant terrible’ writer Françoise Sagan. Perfection from one of France’s longest-serving stars. Will Béatrice Martin look like this at 65?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0Qp_r5tJdc

    Les Canadiennes:

    COEUR DE PIRATE
    To show six years of success, here is first the suddenly-discovered Béatrice Martin recording a solo version of ‘C’était salement romantique’ on her first visit to France, January 2009 – all the skills are there from the start.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpORlgJS9YI
    And compare with her latest masterpiece, ‘Crier tout bas’, France 2 TV, 2015 – the dance movement skills taught to her by the former ballerina Wynn Holmes has created her new style on stage.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLfbX5AJDZ4

    LAURENCE HÉLIE
    Canada’s best country-folk creator, such a great voice yet so little seen – here filmed at Monckton NB in Autumn 2014. ‘ ‘De tout et de rien’.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tIxMOqhbtg
    And a very new live film, Laurence in a black dress looking irrestible, singing ‘Quand j’aime une fois c’est pour toujours’ in duet with a male singer (you needn’t look at him).
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HREjQWqDqM0

    LISA LEBLANC (she’s not from Québec, but Acadie in New Brunswick)
    Lisa’s modern classic, ‘Lignes d’Hydro’, referencing the power lines of Hydro-Québec, sadly little filmed. The best live performance we have at Spa. Belgium in 2012.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=maz6gftZUvM
    And a close-up film of her left hand setting the chords right through the song – a brilliant demonstration of her skill
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zQjdgTqVT8

    CATHERINE MAJOR
    The Quebec piano-meister somewhat in CdP’s shadow, but with some brilliant numbers. ‘Saturn sans anneaux’ live at Festivoix, Trois-Rivières, in 2012, showing her in close-up and commanding the stage. Look for her wiggle near the beginning and making eyes are her guitarist.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYUmNdhuXMM
    And here’s a long new interview with some new songs – Catherine speaking French French (I’ve never heard her speak English). Béatrice must be having an influence as CM’s gone blonde!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9QT1FPIDdg
    and one of the new tracks, ‘Toi’ –
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcX7PE7b9Fo

    SALOMÉ LECLERC
    The most advanced pop creator and performer of her generation. Is Salomé 20 years ahead of her time ? Watch ‘Arlon’ at the Fête National du Quebec, summer 2015:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGKWrU-eda8
    and 12 minutes of solo Salomé at France-Inter some months earlier
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyjYzkGCHpk
    Having seen her solo live, there’s no one else in the world like Salomé.

    And a late bonus :
    La Grande Sophie’s ‘Hanoi’ is a true classic. Here she is live in Hanoi itself in December 2015. I have posted the lyrics and my translation in the comments below.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eM2WvV_f2r8
    And here’s the official video that shows the city as it is.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggEfvsgr-ok

    ADIEU FRANCOISE
    And what we didn’t know until 2015, when she said she will record no more tracks, is that Françoise Hardy’s very last song is the adieu song on her 2012 Album ‘L’amour fou’ – ‘Rendez-vous dans une autre vie’, live in the studio.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xa6nBOgwFE0

    And see my presentation of the song, with slides of Françoise and her ‘heritières’, the singers that carry on her tradition today. No surprise who they are. The lyrics and a translation are included here below the film. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtjxOGfi3Ho

    What a great way to finish the career that inspired Filles Sourires – Françoise is the greatest Fille of all.

  6. uliis

    Aw, shucks. I’ve discovered so much good music thanks to you and this blog. Some favorite tracks:

    Helsinki – Melanie Pain
    Etrange – Dobacaracol
    Pas fragile – Buridane

    Thanks for all the music!

  7. uliis

    Aw, shucks. Thanks for a great 10+ years. I forget when I started reading but have discovered so much good music thanks to you and this blog. Some favorite tracks – Helsinki – Melanie Pain, Etrange – Dobacaracol, Pas fragile – Buridane. Thanks again!

  8. Philipp

    Thank you for everything! You are closing and so all my fears come true! I wanna thank you especially for discovering Francoiz Breut. Without your recommendations over the last years my music life would be very, very different.
    Instead of tears and as goodbye i wanna post the link of Breut’s newest concert available via Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWDot0cp2mM
    Enjoy it!

  9. SteveinSoCal

    I think I said this before, but thanks for not only kindling my love for all things French, especially when sung in a soft, slight accent (or maybe even after gargling with Jack D’s and a razor blade – see Marianne Dissard for example); for introducing me to a host of unheard artists who are now firm favourites and allowing me to share my prejudices here.

    Ten years of favourite tracks? Where to start?

    A deep cut:
    Keren Ann’s “Dimanche en hiver” – living in Switzerland, a colleague lent me her albums. I’ve been enamoured ever since…

    Les grandes filles:
    La Grande Sophie “Hanoï”
    Axelle Red “Rouge ardent”
    Mylène Farmer “Point de suture” (sorry Guuz)

    For making me realise that even in The States, Les filles were still close…
    Marie-Pierre Arthur “Pourquoi”
    Ariane Moffatt “Hiver mile-end” the night I feel hopelessly in love with Ariane…
    CÅ“ur de pirate “Place de la Républic” because I can never, ever thank you enough…
    Salomé Leclerc “Arlon” ‘Nuff said (Version “Trente”)

    And finally, I might as well bang my own drum…
    Les sÅ“urs Boulay “Mappemonde” because girls singing in French make me sigh…

    But to paraphrase the words of my favourite license plate tag:

    “Files Sourires. Je me souviens…”

  10. Sami

    I was about to send you my favorite french music from 2015 and noticed that you didn’t do any year end list, so i’m not surprised that you stop now.

    Thank you so much for all these amazing discoveries, each time i was looking for a new french artist i always checked if you had’nt covered her before and most of the time you already did.

    Chosing one of hundred tracks ain’t easy but my choice goes to :

    http://youtu.be/byIPt0IzuMs

    and

    http://youtu.be/sfSJZtWNMTw

  11. keune

    I can’t remember how I discovered this blog (was it via elbo.ws – the legendary music blog aggregator?), but it introduced me to some magnificent bands and singers – Zaz, Coeur de pirate, La femme (they weren’t so famous back then), Claire Denamur, Barbara Lune, Pendentif, Le A and of course Lescop. I think his “La Foret” was the best thing I’ve found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Njpw2PVb1c0

  12. mordi

    this is awful news!!!!!!!!!
    what am i going to do now?! – where will i go to keep up with current french voices?
    without you i’d never have discovered Berry or Alka

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iPGvsRijrc

    i took a break from my blog for a while and came back refreshed – perhaps you will do the same…?
    thanks for everything

    mordi x

  13. Lewis Francis

    Oh man! I came here first after falling in love with Françoise Hardy and looking for more; while I didn’t find all of my french pop from you, I did find *most* of it through this blog and I’ll dearly miss it. Thanks so much for turning me on to Françoise Breut, Coeur de pirate, Berry, Cecile Hercule, Emily Loizeau, Stéphanie Lapointe, Pendentif, Mademoiselle Nineteen, Alka, Marie Warnant, Vanessa Paradis, Babet, Éléphant, Exotica, Hôtel Morphée, Lisa Portelli, Pony, The Spinshots, and no doubt many more, all of which I now treasure — merci!

  14. David Gibbs

    Merci, bonne chance et au revoir!

  15. Maks

    Thanks Guuz (and friends) for pointing me out to all the great music the past ten years and giving me the opportunity to participate in FS!
    I’ll never forget The Filles, especially this one
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=te1MrpK_yuE
    and this one
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7k1zoj1DxY
    and this one
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wkOEFRcKpY
    and this one
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrZvXrcoUVs
    and this one
    https://vimeo.com/38370260
    and this one
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjQtJ34w-xQ
    and, and… (starts weeping)

  16. Norbert

    Austine – Rhume natuurlijk.

    Geniet van je FF-pensioen!

  17. Calle falksten

    Don t know if its a definitive favorite track or artist from your blog since there has been many good ones but the discovery of Marie Pierre arthur for me is just a prime example of what kind of musicdiscoveries this blog has unerarthed for me. No other musicmagazine or blog in the western hempisphere i believe would have opened up my ears to such pearls. And for that,merci !
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqw9u3eG5jw

  18. Myles Corcoran

    Thank you for ten years of smashing music.