Mélodie française

melodieAustralian bands covering French classics, wrote a post about Mélodie Française on this blog earlier . Thanks to FS-reader Marjorie, I got the full album. It’s not bad, not bad at all. Sure, the Aussies sing French with an accent, but I’ve heard worse. Big Scary do a great version of Je t’aime… changing the notes a little but keeping the right atmosphere. So does Kate Miller-Heidke in her version of Hardy’s Il n’ya pas d’amour heureux. Soko backing up The Walking Who in an echo-heavy Mini, Mini, Mini (orig. by Dutronc) is cool, the odd one out is a French version of Nancy Sinatra’s Bang Bang. Icing on the cake is The Jezabels version of Morgane de toi (‘Madly in love’), a song by Renaud. I’m not that familiair with Renaud’s body of work, Morgane… surely is a modern classic with a very distinct guitar melody. The Jezabels add sexiness to an already explicit song, in my book a great achievement. I don’t know if Melodie Francaise is available outside of Australia, but it’s worth tracking down.

The Jezabels – Morgane de toi

Mood Vibrations

lottchTraveling Birds is the second album by Swiss-Belgian duo Lottchen, jazz singer Eva Buchmann & vibraphonist Sonja Huber (plays marimba, too), oscillating between super laid-back poise and fluffy end-of-summer dreamscapes. Though off and on a bit too artsy for their own good, there’s undoubtedly a master touch to feel here. Lottchen’s version of Camille’s Quand je marche effortlessly beats the pants off the chichi original, and the album’s opener, a spellbinding interpretation of Antonio Carlos Jobim’s classic Waters of March, is nothing but pure class. And, gee, that’s some cool egg shaker at the end of the song.

Lottchen – Quand je marche
Lottchen – Waters of March

Honky Tonk Serge

A lot of red dust swirling in the air while you’re riding into Redemption, TX, pop. 234. Actually feels like a ghost town, but some nutty old timer points his finger to the saloon, as if you hadn’t heard the tinkling in the breeze. Sergio Gainsborough is playin’ the friggin’ black and whites again, and it sounds like you’ve been knowing each other for a goddamn hundred years.
Kudos to mel-rockabilly, whoever she is.


Rockabilly from Switzerland with a Serge twist? Check out Hillbilly Moon Explosion from Zurich with a sexy version of Gainsbourg’s Chick Habit a.k.a. Laisse Tomber Les Filles, originally composed for France Gall. Video garnished with some pics feat. Betty P.  – parental guidance recommended.

EXTRA: Hillbilly Moon do a mean version of Poupée de cire as well. HERE

Juliette Gréco

Mark is spoiling us with lots of great, newly discovered links of performances by Juliette Gréco:
A reissue of Juliette Gréco’s Mini-Recital Télévisée of 1977 has reached the internet – a 6 song special, HERE. Juliette Gréco présente : Mon Fils Chante, Fleur D’Orange, Le Mal Du Temps, L’Embellie, Donne-Moi, La Chanson Des Vieux Amants. Songs 1, 2, 3 and 5 are lip-synched; 4 and 6 are live with mike and piano accompaniment, by Gérard Jouannest , later JG’s third husband.

Especially in ‘L’Embellie’ (commences at 6m25s) there are some classic Gréco body-language and hand movements.

Enjoyable too is her performance of ‘Non, Monsieur, je n’ai pas vingt ans’ in 1980, when she was 52, introduced by a most respectful Julio Iglesias, HERE
The lyrics to this hit are HERE with a 1977 version, from German TV ZDF.
She was just as good at Strasbourg ten years later in 1987, in her 60th year, HERE.
The film is less good quality, but the performance impeccable: ‘Paris-canaille’, ‘J’arrive’

To come up to date, here is Gréco at Toulouse in January 2013 with Jouannest at the piano (fine instrumental introduction of 2 minutes to start) – aged 85. ‘Vivre’, HERE, and Leo Ferré’s ‘Avec le temps’, HERE.

An earlier treasure is this black-and-white Italian TV film made by RAI in 1966, now restored for the internet HERE.
A 6 minute medley, with parts of ‘Sous le ciel de Paris’, ‘Les feuilles mortes’ , ‘Jolie Môme’, ‘Si tu t’imagine’, and ‘Paris-canaille’.

Banda Magda

If your band consists of two Argentians, two Japanese and two Greeks, what kind of music do you play? Exactly, bossafied French pop with technicolourful Henry Mancini-like arrangements. Magda Giannikou is the singer and architect of Banda Magda, she’s of Greek origin and apparently luuuurves French chic and Brazilian waves. Magda has a very sweet girlie voice, and writes songs with lush arrangements – Pink Martini is an obvious reference. Yet, songs like Fond de la Mer (Brazilian forro meets Pigalle) and the summerfresh Amour, ou t’es la? show that Banda Magda does have it’s own voice. The album’s out since June, listen on Bandcamp.

Banda Magda – Amour ou t’es la?


New duo. Nice.

Bengale, Sandie Trash

Bengale is a six-piece from Bordeaux, all biology- and computer science-students, apparently. Their Dernier Tramway EP was released via Bandcamp in 2012, but it gets an official release this month. It contains a great duet with Melissa Dubourg from Granville. (video’s coming up)095939bb14db031f958694190f5392e0.bf6dcd753a2f579677d023bd57d94151
Bengale loves 80s sounds combined with lush seventies keys – no wonder they remixed Sebastien Tellier. Posted here is a quite nice remix of FS-friend Sandie Trash. More here and on Soundcloud.