Camille’s mocking the Edith Piaf-singing style on her new album, Ilo Veyou. In a song in which she sings France is recycling it’s past like a photocopier. On paper it’s quite funny. When you actually hear the song, it’s funny too. One time. Easily one of the most anticipated new albums this year, Camille’s fourth album is a tad disappointing. Yes, there’s vocal trickery (Bubble Lady, about her pregnancy, and the child choir in Allez Allez Allez), but there are ‘normal’ songs as well. Sung in English and French. Some almost sound 17th Century, like Message. She Was sounds like a leftover from Feist’s latest album. Most of the time, the music is very basic: guitar, strings, voice. This works beautifully in Le Berger and Le Banquet. The title track, with it’s upright bass and vocal workout, is a flashback to Music Hole. I saw her on the Music Hole tour, and was blown away by the performance, the vocals, the percussion, her charisma.  I still cherish this as one of the best concerts I ever saw. But now, when I hear her gasp, puff and sigh in Tout dit or Ilo Veyou, it’s kind of annoying. Yes, the girl can sing. Yes, she can do whatever she wants with her voice. But write good, solid songs, like Les Ex from her debut, or Au Port from Le Fil, that seems harder and harder for Camille.

Read an English interview with Camille here. And here.

Camille – La France


Remember Soko? The French actress/singer who gained popped up in 2007 as “one of those artists  gaining popularity through the internet?” Her “I Kill Her” even became a hit in Belgium and Denmark. You know, The Soko who sang in English with a very heavy French Accent (“Ai Kiell Uhr”), that some people love?  But the success as a singer didn’t last. Only an EP was released (“Not Sokute”) and in January 2009 she used her Myspace site that made her popular to declare herself “dead”. She dissapeared from the music scene, disappointed with “the music industry”..

Last year there was a sign of a comeback when she participated in the newest Nouvelle Vague project en now she is back. Or at least we hope she is. She finished her album but it will be only released in February next year, because she has a film career too that is asking her attention.
But what is known so far is wonderful. First there was this “official” video of “No More Home, No More Love”, with gives us a glimpse of the Soko we knew. Now there is a new song included in the French magazine “Les Inrockuptibles” and it is very nice. The accent is still there but the sound is different. Think sixties, girl groups  and add some electronica.  Her new album will be something to look forward too.

Soko – Just Want To Make It New With You

Melody Superdeluxe

More and more info about the SuperDeluxe edition of Histoire de Melody Nelson appear on the interwebs. This is how the contents of the box look. Very Gainsbourgian, the way the spindle pops up from the vinyl picture disc. On the Serge Gainsbourg Facebook page you can listen to a sneak preview of the uncut, 9.32 minutes version of the title track. Cello-galore! THIS is what we’ve been waiting for, people. Go HERE to see a preview of the MN-documentary.

UPDATE: From the comments, the tracklisting of the second cd:

1. MELODY 9’27 Complete take – unreleased
2. BALLADE DE MELODY NELSON 2’09 Alternative voice take – unreleased
3. VALSE DE MELODY 1’40 Alternative voices take – unreleased
4. AH ! MELODY 1’57 Alternative voices take – unreleased
5. MELODY LIT BABAR 1’05 Voice version – unreleased track
6. MELODY LIT BABAR 1’12 Instrumental version – unreleased track
7. L’HÔTEL PARTICULIER 5’12 Complete take – unreleased
8. EN MELODY 3’35 Alternative take – unreleased
9. CARGO CULTE 7’44 Instrumental version – unreleased


Doba is Doriane Fabreg, together with Carole Facal she formed the eclectic duo DobaCaracol. Best known for this song, they made sunny, folksy songs with sunny, folksy influences. But they broke up, Carole released a soloalbum in 2008, musically she fished in the same pond as DobaCaracol. Doba, who’s releasing her first solo album now, has a different approach. Almost all songs on her self-titled album are in English, bar one. Her songs are more orchestral, listen for instance to her ode to Lhasa. Her heavy accent is maybe a turn-off,  the lyrics don’t show a big vocabulary (ok, well, I’m maybe not the right person to critize that, but come on, read this). Le pont, the only French track on the album, isn’t exactly a highpoint in wordplay either, but it does stand out on the album. Like the Miles Davis-y trumpet in that one. All’n all, I’d say that Carole got the upper hand after the split.

Doba – Le pont

Karen Jo Fields

Karen Jo Fields is an Oslo-born singer who has a little Cherokee blood in her, if I understand this bio correctly she has an American father. From a certain angle, she looks a bit like Carla Bruni. I ran into her while working on this Spotify playlist featuring soft sighing girls who sing in English. Karen usually sings in English, but on a recently released EP there’s one French song. Electronica-based, with dark synth-string lines and her husky voice. Dig! When you read Karen Jo’s blog, you can tell she’s a sensitive, moody and spiritual person. She writes things like ‘A song perhaps finds something, but I’m probably busy looking for my keys.’ Which is both deep, and funny.

Karen Jo Fields – Danse mon amour

François & Françoiz

French artists who get signed by cool British indie-labels, there aren’t that many. Barbara Carlotti’s part of the 4AD-family, Françoiz Breut’s albums were at some point distributed by Bella Union and now Domino has taken François & the Atlas Mountains under their indie wings. François Marry is no stranger to overseas labels, though.  He was part of Movietone, and joined Crescent (who both released records on FatCat and Domino). After three albums (self-released or on Fence) the fourth F&tAM cd gets a worldwide release via the home of Franz Ferdinand, Anna Calvi and The Kills. Next year, that is. But in France it’s already out. Shame, ’cause it’s a very good album. François sings both in English and French, has a pleasant voice and likes his songs groovy, with African popinfluences. He also likes to add a good string section, and when Françoiz Breut is his duet partner, we at FillesSourires HQ are definitely all ears. La Breut with strings, in a tristesse song – Cherchant les ponts sounds like a track from Breut’s masterpiece Une Saison Volée.

See/watch the new F&tAM single Piscine HERE

Francois & the Atlas Mountains & Francoiz Breut – Cherchant les ponts

Marianne Dissard in China

The lovely Marianne Dissard went to China to play and to record, and she wrote a nice diary about her journey. Below’s an excerpt. Read the whole thing here.

September 19th – We fly back to Beijing. The taxi drops me at my hostel. I am on my own again. I came to China with a mandate to record an album, “Beijing Three Takes”. I raised a bit of money from my friends, promising a collaboration with Chinese musicians on this third installement of the ‘City albums’ series that I’ve been recording while on tour.  But, truth be told, I don’t know who I might be able to record with or even what. But I’ve been thinking and listening to and observing the Chinese bands I met at the Black Rabbit Festival. Today, I know. I make the decision that this album will be different from “Paris One Takes’, different from “Berlin Two Takes”. And this is how I will proceed for the next eleven days : I borrow a Sony Zoom handheld recorder and set out to record the sounds of Beijing. Then, when I have edited and shaped this audioscape, I will ask Hanggai – at this point, you’ve figured out I have a musical crush on them, no? – to create the soundtrack to this movie-without-images. I’ll incorporate some of the writings I’ve done in the Transsiberian, first sketches of future songs. In the evening, I go to my usual hang, YugongYishan, to hear Huun Huur Tu and my friend Song Yuzhe’s band, Dawanggang. The place is packed.

Listen to Marianne’s music played on the streets in Beijing HERE

For French radio, Marianne recorded a track, Fugu. Download from HERE



Lulu Gainsbourg & Scarlett Johansson

Poo-doo pa poo-doo! The full version of the Lulu-Scarlett duet is out there, a cut from the upcoming From Lulu to Gainsbourg-album. Shame: Scarlett sings in English. Serge recorded an English version without Brigitte Bardot, with different lyrics. There are various other English versions of Bonnie & Clyde, for instance by The Walkabouts, Steve Wynne & Johnette Napolitano, James Iha & Kazu Makino – all with slightyl different lyrics.

Not sure what to think of Lulu’s and Scarlett’s version, it stays very close to the original, albeit they lost the poo-doo pa poo-doo (or is it whoo-hoo hah-whoo hoo?) effect. Lulu’s singing voice, as Scarlett’s, isn’t very impressive. Another track by Lulu is on the interwebs, one of my favourite SG-tracks, L’Eau à la bouche. Really dig the samba-arrangement. But the voice…hmm. Really looking forward to the album, with vocal help from Rufus Wainwright, Vanessa Paradis & Johnny Depp, Marianne Faitfull…

Lulu Gainsbourg & Scarlett Johansson – Bonnie & Clyde
Serge Gainsbourg – Bonnie & Clyde (English version)

Mighty Mocambos & Caroline Lacaze

Phat French Female Fronted Funk. Yay! When it comes to funkiness, the French have of course a string of great rappers (MC Solaar and the like), there’s CQMD, there was Vigon, some Eddy Mitchell-tracks, some Ben L’Oncle Soul-songs, but funky French filles? Severine recorded a few fine French covers of soulful tunes, but the whole funk, uncut funk, the bomb, in French, by a girl, I didn’t think I’d hear it. I was wrong. I just heard it. I saw it too. HERE. The band’s called The Mighy Mocambos, they’re from Germany and worked with Kenny Dope, with Afrika Bambaata, with Su Kramer (!) and make supersweaty, fatback funk. LOVE this. Turns out that The Mocambos did an excellent vinyl-single with Lacaze earlier, I missed that one completely. Listen on Soundcloud HERE.

The Mighty Mocambos & Caroline Lacaze – Physique