Vincent Liben + Berry

Vincent Liben‘s solo-album was championed on this blog in 2009. Tout va disparaitre was a great way for Liben to let out his inner unshaven, smoking French guy. One of the best songs on the album was Mademoiselle Liberté, a duet with the lovely Stephanie Croibien (see video HERE). The song is also on the Musique Fantastique cd I compiled. As a teaser for the upcoming album (out in May), Vincent re-recorded Mademoiselle Liberté with none other than Berry. But this time, Liben sings the parts of Croibien, and Berry sings his parts. Intersting version, great to hear Berry again. Looking forward to her new stuff as well.

Liben & Berry – Mademoiselle Liberté

Lise, Nach

I think Cole Porter said it best, when he wrote: ‘I love Paris every moment, Every moment of the year, I love Paris, why oh why do I love Paris? Because my love is here’. Many, many songs were written about Paris, and two upcoming filles added their own: Lise and Nach. Sidenote: what is it with these young artists choosing hard to trace, or confusing monikers? Is this the influence of witch house? It took me some time to figure out that this Nach (see a video of her here) isn’t this Nach. And Lise? It’s this girl, pictured on the left. Both released EP’s, Nach’s has slightly more songs. I think I like Lise’s Paris-ode best, because of the Camille-like vocals, not because of that English part. Her cover of 50 Cent’s P.I.M.P. is quite funny. Once. Maybe twice. But that video of her Paris song makes me want to jump behind the wheel and race down south. To be near, my love.

Lise – Paris
Nach – Ce soir, Paris


Etienne Daho is one of the impressive list of French performers who are paying tribute to Denis Quilliard, best known to the world als Jacno. Once part of the Stinky Toys, later Elli & Jacno and writer of several French classics like Amoureux Solitaires and Je t’aime tant. The album is called Jacno Future, it will be released June 6 and sports covers by Daho, Thomas Dutronc, Dominique A,  Miossec and Stereo Total, among others. The first single is Amoureux Solitaires, a duet between Daho and Calypso Valois, Jacno’s daughter. Who made her recording debut last year on an EP by Alexandre Chatelard, who sounds a lot like Daho and Jacno. With added Gainsbourg and Francis Lai-touches. Ssso seductive.

Listen to a remix van Daho and Valois’ version of Amoureux Solitaire HERE. See the video HERE.

Alexandre Chatelard & Calypso Valois – Reconstitution


Anna Järvinen

Lolita-voiced Anna Järvinen was born in Finland, but lives in Stockholm and sings in Swedish. Not French, no. But her music (third album is coming up) is very much inspired by Gainsbourg and the like, especially when you hear the gorgeous new single Lilla Anna. That church organ, that fat bass, those strings, the drumbreak – it’s a wonderful take on Je t’aime…, Slogan and other late 60s Serge. But it’s not a gimmick (ok, maybe the bird is), this is genuinely sexy. Video here.

Anna Järvinen – Lilla Anna

Le Grand Bateau

A girl singing a folksy tune in French, with added Hammond, clavinet, rockabilly-guitar and a nod to Yves Montand’s A Bicyclette. That you gotta hear, right? The girl’s called Aster van Vaerenbergh, who’s a very talented cartoon-artist as well (she made a graphic novel about Elizabeth Bathory). She made the drawings on and in the debut album of Belgium-based Le Grand Bateau, named after cruiseships that sailed the seven seas and had bands on board to entertain the well-dressed holiday-makers. LGB is influenced by classic chanson, tango, folk, 60s pop and whatnot. You can hear these are experienced musicians (pianist Yves Meersschaert was part of many bands, he also conducts the Propere Fanfere, counting 100 members! But LGB keeps it more intimate, just the way we like it over here.

Le Grand Bateau – Vava



Yelle‘s new album is out now, featuring the great singles La Musique and Que veux-tu (both remixed to further brilliance, go here to listen). It’s even more 80s than the now classic debut, though no covers. As far as I know. Mon Pays, that sounds something straight out of the Vince Clarke vault of never-before released gems, is my fave from the album.

Yelle – Mon pays

Arnaud Fleurent-Didier

Guestpost! Adrian of DCR on Arnaud Fleurent-Didier:

The worst interview I ever did was with a famous US comedienne who, at the time, was huge in the UK. It was over the phone and she was talking on a mobile, in the back of a car, being driven to a concert somewhere on Britain’s motorway network. It was terrible. Every other sentence was lost in a haze of horrific static and buzzing. I managed to salvage a piece out of it but, really, it was awful.
French pop star Arnaud Fleurent-Didier had warned me that his phone line was ”a bit noisy”, but I wasn’t really prepared for the sound of a swarm of bees that hit when I called him. But whereas other interviewees might have shrugged and said ‘forget about it’, he legged it along the road, found a landline and called me back. And all this the evening before he was due to fly to China for a fortnight of shows. Chapeau!
He turned out to be an engaging interviewee. Speaking in English, he talked about playing in China to Chinese people, rather than to an audience of French expats (“that would be terrible!”), playing all the instruments on his most recent album La Reproduction himself (“apart from the flute”) and the trouble you encounter by having a beautiful woman as a drummer.
You can listen to the whole interview in You and the Night and the Music on Different Class Radio.

Arnaud Fleurent-Didier – France Culture


Don’t you just love sexy French vocals over chilled electro-beats? Jaime (who looks like the lovechild of Ron Maell and Boris Blank) and the superlovely Patricia of Souvenir made a new album, and they’re serving just that: husky female sighing over robotic music. Travelogues features English and French songs, music-wise it’s a little rougher (colder, if you like) ’round the edges. Lo-fi Italo, if that’s possible. Music for sunglasses at night.

Souvenir – Coup de coeur