Heidelinde Weis

You can just as easily make a sexy record in German as you can in French. We’ve proved that before, now let’s prove it again. I recently stumbled upon the first album of Austrian-born actress Heidelinde Weis, released in the 70s. From a biography: “The music world was quite amazed when in 1975 the first album from Heidelinde Weis was placed on the market. Extremely laid back, jazzy bossa nova took turns with slick 70s funk, and above it sizzling, lascivious vocals with often blatant erotic lyrics. This album wasn’t just a major commercial success, but also immediately received the German award from the Phonoakademie.” Weis appeared in several German ‘krimi’s’, like Derrick and Der Alte. With the description above in mind, you’d really wanna see this clip (skip to 00,25 sec). A selection of her albums was put together for this cd, I bought the 1975 debut on vinyl. That one features the song posted here.

Heidelinde Weis – Ich will dich


Juliette Nourredine is releasing records since 1992, but this is her first feature on this blog. Because she’s covering Gainsbourg. Juliette’s hardly a fragile fille, and her style is more reminiscent of old chanson which is probably why I never really paid attention. But her cover of Serge’s Les dessous chics is good. The song’s about the effect of jarretelles, stockings and other fine lingerie. What are they hiding, and why? Serge wrote it for Jane, she recorded it on her Baby Alone in Babylone album. He himself did a live-version on the Zénith album (that fake audience gets me every time). It was covered a few times, I really like the Daho-Birkin duet-version.

Juliette – Les dessous chics
Serge Gainsbourg – Les dessous chics
Jane Birkin – Les dessous chics
Etienne Daho & Jane Birkin – Les dessous chics
Diane Dufresne – Les dessous chics
Garou – Les desssous chics

In other, Gainsbourg-related news: Parisian rapper/producer Saneyes made a very fine rework of Serge’s Manon. Go HERE to listen and/or download.

Carly Sings

Carly Blackman, the girl with the hazel eyes, kind of promised that on her next album she’d sing a few French songs. But if you go here, you can listen to the next album in progress. But no French songs. FransS, who provides me and you with great French music, filed an official complaint. And Carly gave in. She writes: “Hey your friend convinced me to send you this French song after lamenting the absence of any on my new demo album, on Soundcloud. So here is this demo i made, in 2009 called “J’ai Envie”. It was produced by Remi Alexandre, who plays guitar for the French band Syd Matters. And it was inspired by a famous songwriter who i cannot mention!” Now, who do you think that ‘famous songwriter’ is?

Carly Sings – J’ai envie

Ariane Brunet

Canadian singers named Ariane, we have a thing for them here at FillesSourires. Ariane Brunet is 19 years old, started playing piano at the tender age of 8, started singing lessons a year later and won prizes at concours at 10. She has a very pleasant, sultry voice (bit like Emma Daumas and Coeur de Pirate) and has a thing for short skirts and pants. See for instance this (very out of focus) video of her singing a Boris Vian song. Or these pictures (flickr-link) of her album release party. The obvious single from her album is Dimanche (see video), but I like the sensual Bien avec toi more.

Ariane Brunet – Bien avec toi

La Fiancée

Cover-albums. Usually a sign of artistic fatigue (like the double live album), but Claire La Fiancée is just starting. And because the songs on her first two EP’s (especially the first one, that ended high in the FS Yearlist in 2009; see here) were fresh and sensual, we believe her when Claire states that on Trois she’s covering the songs she loves, her way. Songs by Benjamin Biolay (Bien Avant), It’s Immaterial (Driving away from home, a duet with original singer John J. Campbell), The Zombies (Smokey Day, that now sounds like something Serge could’ve written for Jane in the 70s), Etienne Daho (Ouverture), Brigitte Bardot (Une histoire de plage, see Claire do a live version here) and Jil Caplan (Tout ce qui nous separé). Interesting choices, very nice result. She really gave the songs a La Fiancée makeover.

La Fiancée – Tout ce qui nous separé

The Mouth of Serge

Pietro Marcello’s movie La Bocca del Lupo, shown at the 2010 Berlin Film Festival, features the urban underbelly of Genua, rugged Italian individuals, the amore between a long-time con and a transsexual, and Serge’s L’eau à la bouche. Merci à Matthias.

Nicolas Comment

Serge Gainsbourg, produced by Martin Hannett, of Joy Division-fame. An apt description of the songs on Nicolas Comment‘s second album, Nous Etions Dieu. That was actually produced by Marc Colling, of Nouvelle Vague-fame. Nicolas is a photographer too, several books with his works were published. See examples here. Where you also can read that he worked with Rodolphe Burger and Jacques Higelin, and that Comment made a book-plus-cd in 2008. See/listen to a track from that album here.  I listened to Nous Etions Dieu several times now. The Gainsbourg-influence is easy to spot, first song Je te veux sounds like a Melody Nelson-outtake. Closing song Comme d’une foret la hache is more in the Tête de chou-vain. First single and title track Nous étions Dieu is haunting, catchy, retro-chic song with a great video (posted that one earlier, here). L’Attendue is very strong too. Jerome Attal made a similar sounding album a few years back, he didn’t cross-over to non-French-speaking countries. But I can see Nicolas step over the border.

Nicolas Comment – Nous étions Dieu

Allez Vanessa!

Vanessa Contenay-QuinonesNo extensive introduction on Vanessa Contenay-Quinones here at FS anymore. Regular visitors already know the cool seduction on high heels with the beautiful, sultry voice and misty eyes for a while now. Her 60’s influenced French popmusic was already around here a few times. Same goes for the music of her band Vanessa and the O’s (about to release a new album soon too, the site stated), but we never had a topic on her first band Espiritu, with whom she recorded two albums from 1993 to 1997. The best was then yet to come.
Inbetween 2008 and 2010 Vanessa recorded several tracks for her project called Allez Pop! Some of them ended up on compilation albums like Filles Fragiles 2 and Musique Fantastique, one track (Bon Bon Bon) even made it to the OST of the action-comedy Killers with Ashton Kutcher, Tom Selleck and Katherine Heigl. So it was about time to put all the recordings together and release Allez Pop! A superb idea. The tracks are seductive, fresh, quirky and tributary of course to Gainsbourg and Bardot, Dutronc and Hardy to name but a few. An unpretentious candy with attitude. Highly recommended.

And for those who might start thinking that Vanessa can’t do any wrong… just wait and see her with a bizarre performance as Vanessa St. James in collaboration with Lou Reed (!) on a weird kinda dance version of Velvet Undergrounds ‘Sunday Morning’. Not even a sin of her youth, as this Italian show (starts at 02.30) is from 2004. But some can’t do wrong, right?

Vanessa Contenay-Quinones – Odyssée
(see the video)