Chantal Archambault

Guestpost! Steve on Chantal (again):

Contemporary French-Canadian folk-pop chanteuse Chantal Archambault has released a new EP, “L’amour ou la soif” (“Love or lust”) this week as a follow-up to last year’s GAMIQ-noimiated album “Les élans.” Featuring five beautiful, intimate, always melodic pop-tinged folk songs, they all share the same effortless charm as her previous compositions; with Chantal’s soft angelic vocals accompanied primarily by just an acoustic guitar or ukulele.

Having said that, this is arguably Chantal’s most consistent work to date. There’s a softer and more sensual side on display, with the songs in the main following a seamless progression from Les élans’ more intimate and introverted moments (for example “Les détours”,”Chambre 16″ and “Nin sibicêc”…)

There’s a noticeably darker reinterpretation of “Les Ivresses”, stripped back to basics and with the sparseness matching the sombre tone – staring at the world through the bottom of a whiskey glass while a recording of legendary American country-blues artist Mississippi John Hurt’s plays in the background – although there’s a twist at the end that perhaps hints of light at the end of even the most darkest of tunnels…

Both “Nouille story” and “La muse ou la proie” are both gorgeously crafted songs that ebb and flow quite deliciously; while “Boire à crédit” finds Chantal, lover, ukulele and Dutch courage seeking solace and strength from one other…

There’s even an up-tempo closer, “Amour asphalte”, which illustrates that Chantal can still turn her hand to writing up-beat pop songs, that has the same immediate and delicious freshness so reminiscent of the poppy “Tomber frêle” off of the album…

This is an EP full of stand-out songs and if you like them to be thoughtful and intelligent, and aren’t afraid to get in touch with your feminine side, is one for you…

Barbara Opsomer

Belgian actress Barbara Opsomer made an album. Really dig this first acoustic version. More here. And here.

Charlie Foxtrot

Something completely different, but very good nonetheless: Canadian Farfisa-garagerockers Charlie Foxtrot (this is their website, it’s a reference to this). King Khan once sang that he was the son of Jacques Dutronc, Charlie Foxtrot are not so distant nephews. One song’s for free on their Bandcamp. The full album’s on Spotify.

Circé Deslandes

Talking suggestively in French over gentle electronic music. Got your attention? If you’re a Kid Loco-fan, Circé Deslandes (real name: Cecilia Halatre) is a familiair name – he produced her track Ta Bite. There’s hasn’t been a more delicate track about someone’s penis before, I’d say (bite means penis in French, Gainsbourg played with that expression before in Love On The Beat. Geddit?). This time, Marc ‘Nouvelle Vague’ Collin is on board as producer. It’s like a soundtrack, as if Circé reads a filmscript with her compelling, supersweet voice. The movie in my head automatically got vaseline on the lens. What a dreamgirl.
More Circé HERE.


This year is already shaping up to be a great one for filles fragiles, with a number of albums coming out from favorites from years gone by. Perhaps a coincidence with Valentine’s Day, but I have found my first new love of 2014, Julie Brunet, aka Grenadine.
Julie’s been around for a while on the Quebec music scene, playing many concerts, having put out an EP in 2010 with help from Fanny Bloom. Julie’s first full album, “Grenadine”, just came out last month. Julie’s music is varied, but her style is simple, accompanied by guitar, piano and drums, with her voice front and center, unaugmented. She’s receiving some press coverage, here’s a recent interview, where Julie names Vanessa Paradis as one of her musical influences. (Not mentioned in the article, one odd tidbit is Julie has degrees in anthropology and archeology.)

One of the songs from the “Grenadine” album, “Je Veux, Je Veux” reminded me so strongly of a young France Gall, I wondered if it was a cover (it’s not). A free download of “Saint-Flavie”, from her EP, on Bandcamp (see below). Besides “Je Veux, Je Veux”, another favorite is “Petits Mensonges” – tough to choose, as I enjoyed them all.

(Thanks David for this guestpost!)

Watoo Watoo

Watoo Watoo, the pride of Bordeaux for over 15 years, are Pascale and Michaël, who love Astrud Gilberto, Gainsbourg, Young Marble Giants and Stereolab. A new album’s just out, first track Un Lundi Comme Un Autre is one of the strongest songs. Love that music box intro. There’s a Young Marble Giants cover on the album as well. Download 2 songs for free HERE.