Juliette Armanet

Françaises who coo over synthetic beats – ever since Elli & Jacno decided to go electronic, this combination kept up its appeal. Lio! Niagara! Agathe! Mikado! Ah, les 80s! This year, we already had DyE, Cléa Vincent and Exotica, now Parisienne Juliette Armanet steps into the neon light. If you google her, you find four videos on Vimeo, with kooky indie songs in the vein of duo Brigitte. L’amour en solitaire (surely a reference to Lio, no?) is different, more France Gall meets Sebastien Tellier. The track was produced by Yuksek.
And if you look closely to the cover picture, you’ll see a variation on the girl with a beard theme…

More Coeur

Mark writes:

As well as the stunning music of ‘Child of Light’, Coeur de Pirate has recorded a new interpretation of Renaud’s 1986 classic ‘Mistral gagnant’. (History of song is here…)

Béatrice was specially chosen by the veteran writer and singer to lead the album of modern covers of his compositions (by Carla Bruni, Elodie Frégé, Nolwenn Leroy, and more) with this song:

The unusual lyrics, and an English translation, can be found below the Youtube film of CdP’s version. The full album will be issued in June.

A live 1988 interpretation of ‘Mistral gagnant’ by Renaud himself is here

La Grande Sophie was the last top singer to tackle this classic, in 2012. She sang it both solo on France Inter, and in duet with Matthieu Boogaerts on ‘Taratata’.

However it is not (yet) on an LGS album, so Filles Sourires gives the best links to her covers of the song.

More proof of Béatrice’s outstanding skill has come with the release onto the web of her full ‘Taratata’ appearance on 28 February last. The 2014 ‘Taratata’ format is a short programme, still with a duet in the middle. Remarkably, CdP performed four songs – two from ‘Trauma’ in English, ‘You know I’m no good’ and ‘Dead Flowers’, one duet with a male artiste, Tété, and ‘Place de la République’ –all at the piano. See HERE

Béatrice is off the stage only between 18m00s and 24m00s in the 33-minute programme. Don’t miss the standing ovation she receives after ‘You know I’m no good’ which brings her to tears; and an interesting interview with the presenter Nagui, where she speaks ‘Parisian’ French as Canadians call it (and so can be understood). Her appearance and poise show how she has changed from the little blonde girl of 2009 to a striking woman, 25 this September, with all the style in hair and dress that Paris offers!

Also good is ‘Dead Flowers’ sung with guitar on ice-rink in Paris with skaters swirling around her.

Plaza Francia

You probably recognize her voice instantly, don’t you? If not, check out who Plaza Francia is HERE

Geneviève Racette

And yet another talented singer-songwriter from Québec! Here’s Geneviève Racette with “Bricolage,” a track from her soon to be released eponymous debut EP.

Given that this EP was financed via crowd-funding, “Bricolage” is perhaps an apt title, although there’s nothing DIY about this sympathetically produced, up-lifting and up-tempo folk-tinged pop-song. There’s a gorgeous melodic guitar intro before Geneviève silky-smooth vocals kick-in; the song’s arrangement ensures that the melody complements rather than over-powers the voice; and as befits someone who cut her musical teeth as a member of the all-girl a cappella group, Les Gourmandes, the soaring harmonies are absolutely note-perfect.

A graduate of the l’école Nationale de la chanson de Granby and a finalist at last year’s L’Etoile montant (the winner gets to appears at the prestigious FrancoFolies de Montréal festival), Geneviève describes her style as “Comfy folk-pop.”

You can check the song out for yourselves, below:

Salomé Leclerc

75070_582195428473580_2085063339_nCan’t you stop raving about the filles from Québec?! You might ask yourself. Well, no. They keep surprising and pleasuring us with great tracks. So why quit? Take sultry Salomé Leclerc. We (well, Maks did, credit’s due) spotted her back in 2010. We raved about her debut: “The guitar-driven songs are the perfect field for her voice to play on and simultaneously kidnap the listeners mind to drop it somewhere under the trees.” Somehow we missed her Le vent nous portera cover. We loved her bass-heavy, ‘dark tranquility’ chansons. And now she’s announced a new album in September, and just released a vinyl single (and mp3s) with two new songs. Arlon, a song that might be about the village (but probably isn’t), is the winner. Again, it’s bass-heavy, drenched in echo, there’s a soulful tambourine and there’s electronica. It’s cold wave on a stove. It’s like making tender love on a concrete floor in an abandoned industrial complex.

Salomé Leclerc – Arlon (link works now)

Mark adds:

Salomé Leclerc is a great stage performer. Here are her best live performances in 2013 at Festivoix, Trois-Rivières (July) and Parc Marcel-Léger, Montreal (August).

At Festivoix here are ‘Partir ensemble’

and click HERE for Caméleon and HERE for ‘Garde-moi collée’

See how she manages with a supporting band of just two, who play multiple intruments. A short interview with Salomé is here

In memory of the famous (unrelated) Québec writer and singer Félix Leclerc (1914-1988) she sang his nostalgic ‘La Gaspésie’.

Salomé is appearing at the Festival Pully-Québec in Switzerland in June along with some other FS favourites – notably Ingrid St-Pierre, Les Soeurs Boulay and Catherine Major. The festival is held in Pully, a suburb of Lausanne, every two years. This may be the only opportunity to see these artistes in Europe in 2014. If you are in Suisse Romande next month, don’t miss it.


Guestpost by Adrian:

In 2009, when I was doing a web radio show thingy (whaddya mean, you weren’t listening?!?!), I was in touch with Marseilles band Nevchehirlian about their debut album, Monde Nouveau, Monde Ancien. Led by poet and writer Frédéric Nevchehirlian, the record was full of strong sensual driving guitar songs. After that they took an interesting sideways turn with Le Soleil Brille Pour Tout le Monde, which mixed the band’s music with unpublished poems by Jacques Prévert.
Now their latest record, Rétroviseur, is out, under the shortened name Nevche (because pronouncing five syllables is soooo hard, right? *rolls eyes*) and it’s utterly beguiling. It’s a late-night record, full of restraint and elegance, nowhere more so than in this haunting track Vas-tu Freiner? It’s the sort of song that has you playing it repeatedly until you realise the evening’s disappeared. The beautiful video features a mysterious woman, an old Peugeot 504, an owl and a horse. What more could you want?