La Feline

New video:

New EP, on Marc Collin’s Kwaidan label. Go to Bandcamp. More on La Feline here

Karin Clercq

Been a while since we heard from Belgian beauty Karin Clercq. For a new single she teamed up with Benjamin Schoos and Jacques Duvall (also behind Mademoiselle 19, Lio, Phantom, etc) and made a song reminiscent of Pet Shop Boys, Human League and New Order. Check:


Remember that scene at the end of La Grande Bellezza, where we see Jep and the girl who deflowered him? Did it make you remember your first time? It might just be like the first time pictured in the new video by Odezenne. This band, hailing from Paris and Bordeaux, was part of the ‘renaissance of French rap’ in the late 2000’s (zeroes), but now aims for the ‘varieté français’ label, which means they left the boom-bap behind and incorporated more pop-influenced, yet electronic sounds. ‘Je veux te baiser’ (I want to fuck you) is a pretty blunt sentence and title for an elegant song, that lifts the bassline from Julee Cruise’s dreampop-classic ‘Falling’. It’s not rapping what Ali does, it’s more reciting, close to the way Grand Corps Malade or MC 900ft Jesus do. Odezenne reinvent themselves on their new EP ‘Rien’, see also the (also pretty blunt) title track.

Véronique Bilodeau

20140525 Veronique BilodeauNever mind just another talented jeune Québécoise, here’s yet another talented graduate from the École Nationale de la Chanson de Granby…

Hailing from the Bas-du-Fleuve region of Québec, 20-year old singer-songwriter Véronique Bilodeau has already made a pretty big impression – a winner at the 2013 National Cégeps en Spectacle (for students attending a General and Vocational College in Québec – previous winners include Isabelle Boulay and Ariane Moffatt); walked away with prizes galore at that year’s Tremplin de Dégelis (“Springboard” festival of Dégelis – previous alumni include Klô Pelgag) and for good measure will be appearing at the prestigious FrancoFolies de Montréal this June.

“Sans les mots”, available from Véronique’s Bandcamp page is a beautiful folk-tinged romantic ballad (of which there seems to be a veritable production line in that Francophone Province) that touches on the telepathic relationship that couples often share. But what makes this song stand-out is that Véronique poses the most confident, soaring yet velvety-smooth voice. The composition’s arrangement is incredibly well balanced with a melodic acoustic guitar and piano accompaniment, all brilliantly fleshed out with accordion and double-bass.

As an added incentive, the single is currently available as a free download from the artist’s Bandcamp page.

Thomas Dutronc in Amsterdam

10363134_10152420446884573_8577959409999538824_nYesterday, Thomas Dutronc (yes, son of Jacques Dutronc, and Françoise Hardy) played Tolhuistuin in Amsterdam. That’s a new venue on the shores of the IJ-river. About 50 people showed up, mostly female French ex-pats. Who flocked the stage when invited by Thomas. They, like me, enjoyed T’s manouche-sound, played with a superb band, including stellar gypsy-guitarist Rocky Gresset. Thomas is an endearing artist, who speaks English ‘Allo-‘Allo-style, can really hold his own on the guitar next to Gresset and, to my surprise, did a brilliant reprise of Gainsbourg’s Chez Les Yeye’s (see a version filmed by a fan at an earlier show). Excellent show. Hits like Je aime plus Paris and Comme un manouche sans guitare were very much appreciated. Picture was taken by FS-friend Sylvester Hoogmoed.
TD was a pleasant appetizer for more French(-themed) shows coming up, like Mick Harvey’s Gainsbourg-tribute in Tilburg (14-6) and of course Vanessa Paradis in Paradiso (19-6).

Isolde et les Bens

1621894_625184150895894_966156128_nHoney-voiced Isolde Lasoen is the lovely drummer of Belgian superstar Daan, together with her own band Les Bens she plays breezy jazz with a Brazilian flavour. With the Belgian football team, nicknamed The Red Devils, playing the world cup (been a while since that happened), one could make a connection between Isolde’s new single and the soccer team. She says there’s none, though the idea for this song grew after the important qualification game against Croatia. Here’s Isolde’s earlier single. Here’s a playlist of her favourite bossa nova tunes.


MP3: Isolde et Les Bens – Samba Des Diables

Kebous covers Gainsbourg

French rock band Kebous cover Gainsbourg’s L’hôtel particulier on their new album. It’s a loud version, with fx and piercing organ. THIS is the original version