Stéphanie Crayencour & Mélanie Pain

Belgian beauty Stéphanie Crayencour, who acted in an Eric Rohmer film, sang on a single with folksters Suarez, and soon after released her solosingle. Another song ended up on this compilation as well. Finally her album dropped, an upbeat affair with playful, sweet songs on which she gets help from Saule and Sacha Toorop. One of the highlights is a duet with Mélanie Pain, a song (as I understand it) that answers the age-old question ‘what are girls talking about when they’re amongst each other?’ See a clip of Saule and Steph together here.

Stephanie Crayencour & Melanie Pain – Duo de filles


A 21-year old voluptuous redhead pretending to be a dominatrix – ooh la la. Luce Brunet won tv-talenthunt Nouvelle Star last year, and none other then (Philippe Katerine) and Mathieu Boogaerts contributed songs for her debut album, Premiere Phalange (free translation: ‘dipping one toe in the water’). On which she tries on various characters – the dominatrix in La Fessée, the niece (a touching ode to her grandmother in La symphonie d’Alzheimer), the illegitimate daughter of Catherine Ringer (in Western Spaghetti),  seductress (in Je m’fume) and queen of the mussels (La reine des moules). Her voice is good, versatile and she likes to goof around. The album has a few weak songs, but Luce is definitely one to watch.

Luce – La fessée

Zaza Fournier

Zaza Fournier loves Roy Orbison and Elvis, plays the accordeon and makes doowop-infused retro-pop. And dresses the part – think John Waters’ Cry-Baby movie. Her real first name is Camille, she hails from Paris, she’s 26 years old and her voice is husky and pouty. Her second album just dropped, with a less accordeon, more organs and heartfelt ballads like Les Mariés, the dramatic Maman and the excellent single Vodka Fraise (clip). Johnny Chéri is an exciting pairing of twang, doowop and lust.

Zaza Fournier – Johnny Chéri

Transvision Vamp

Using Serge & Jane’s Je t’aime… moi non plus as a backdrop for your own song – Scottish rockers Texas did it (for Guitar song, see here) but until last week I wasn’t aware Transvision Vamp did it too, and ten years earlier. Who or what a ‘twangy wigout’  exactly is, I dont know. I guess that’s not the point of the song, that focusses on singer Wendy James adding as much air to her breathy vocals as possible. Which is nice. The song is on the third and last TV-album ‘Little Magnets versus The Bubble of Babble’ (1991), not a huge success (euphemism alert). They broke up almost right after the release. I saw Wendy and the band live once, a hard rocking show with James as the very blonde eyecatcher. Who sang really well, as I remember. She’s still active as a singer, as this MySpace shows. And still making that glammed up poprock, very able to sex up things with her lolita-voice. But I don’t hear songs as catchy as this one. Or this one.

Transvision Vamp – Twangy Wigout

Parfait Été (part deux)

A new summer, a new compilation, a new violation against the vocabulaire (yes, it’s L’été parfait, I know, but this is part of the Perfect …-series, so there). French tunes, by French artists, by a Canadian rockband, by a Flemish girl, by a singer with roots in Cameroon and Algeria backed up by a Brit soul singer – all pretty recent, very versatile indeed. Grab the zip HERE (where it says ‘hier de download’) or try on Spotify HERE.

Artwork as always by the brilliant Wilbert ‘Mr Perfect’ Leering.


Playing the piano since the age of 5, worshipping Haendel and Chopin and finally covering The Pixies and 50 Cent: Meet Lise. The young singer/player just released an album (posted a track from her EP earlier) that was recorded in America and features a few English songs. The atmosphere, the emphasis on the piano, her breathy voice and her Franglais makes it easy to compare her to Emilie Simon – Lise takes that as a compliment. Well, we all know what happened to Simon (ahem), and though the English songs sound kooky in a cool way, I wouldn’ recommend Lise to pursue an carreer in English. I mean, take the brilliant duet with Dionysos-singer Mathias Malzieu – that’s imaginative stuff, clever writing and a catchy tune. Go French or go home!

Lise & Mathias Malzieu – La Ballerine St Le Magicien

L’Amour à la plage

Niagara’s L’amour à la plage is one of my favourite French 80s songs, and probably one of the best French summersongs ever recorded. It’s sung by wet-dream-come-true Muriel Moreno, and sold over 200K copies when it came out in 1985. Belgian trio Mon Réal just released a great cover of the track, one that will appear on their upcoming album. L’amour à la plage was covered earlier, by punkrockband Ludwig von 88 (by far the loudest version), by actress Virginie Ledoyen (by far the sweetest version) and by Toma & Api (by far the huskiest version). Take your pick!

Niagara – L’amour à la plage
Virginie Ledoyen – L’amour à la plage (link=fixed)
Ludwig von 88 – L’amour à la plage
Toma & api – L’amour à la plage
Mon Real – L’amour à la plage

Fusée Dorée

Guestpost! Natasha on Emmanuelle, aka Fusée Dorée:

After a good one woman performance on 17 June 2011 in Amsterdam for the quarter final in the singer-songwriter category of the Grote Prijs van Nederland, a Dutch music award, Emmanuelle Ornon aka Fusée Dorée, French but living in Amsterdam, is putting out her first two singles “Un rendez-vous/ La carte” on Amsterdam-Detroit based label, Cherry Juice Recordings. Says Ornon: “A couple of years ago, I was playing around with my loop machine, putting music to French poems for a performance at the French Institute in Amsterdam. And it felt good, experimenting with vocals and minimal guitars and beats. So I haven’t stop playing, and songs have popped up and grown, and now there’s a whole family of them.”

Fusée writes her own lyrics in both French and English and works with other musicians such as Mario Ramirez, a fellow musician from band Children SuMadre who played bass on a few songs, while Ian Holchaker and Max Koedijk cooked up some additional beats. Her voice has just been featured on CRJ’s digital release “Quelle importance”, performed by Japanese house artist and DJ Motomitsu.

Speaking of which, not only will Motomitsu be in town on Saturday 25 June to be part of the live performance of Fusée Dorée at De Nieuwe Anita in Amsterdam (hint: her new single is seriously electro and trip hop), Oh La La’s Natashka has rounded up DJ Laurent Chambon and DJs Cowboy & Henk for an evening of high energy French music inspired by Fusée Dorée called GOLD.

Fusée Dorée – Twinkle
Fusée Dorée – Mes amants

Benjamin Biolay

Benjamin Biolay acted before, in this film for instance, now he’s the leading men in Pourqoui tu pleures. Directed en written by Katia Lewkowicz, it’s a film about a groom getting cold feet. I haven’t seen the movie, but from what I read so far, I think this Variety-review hits the nail on the head: ‘a name cast indulging in plenty of French-style rude behavior, this not-particularly-amusing comedy of (bad) manners centered on a group of unsympathetic characters seems destined for niche domestic audiences, and is unlikely to translate in non-French lingo countries’. Biolay wrote an  album with songs used in the film, and inspired by the screenplay. It features a duet with co-star Emmanuelle Devos, and solo’s by other stars Sarah Adler and Anna Zimmer. This album comes hot on the heels of BB’s masterpiece La Superbe, in comparison this soundtrack isn’t as strong (no surprise there). There are a few solid songs, like the Barry White-styled Le Bonheur, Mon Cul and the Devos-duet. Music-wise not a highpoint in BBs career.

Benjamin Biolay & Emmanuelle Devos – Pourqoui tu pleures