Best of the Best 2014 (part 2)

What a good year for the filles! ”But you can only pick one”, Guuz godfather of Filles Sourires told us. So here it is, not random chosen of course, but taken from the outstanding album Lunes by this beautiful freckled girl from Canada, Chloé Lacasse. A track that completely fulfilled its promise after the auspicious intro, just as the whole album does: Renverser la Vapeur.

Chloé Lacasse – Renverser la Vapeur

Noel Interdit

Yes, Christmas music blog Christmas A Go Go is open again and posting odd/good/funky xmas tracks for a month now. Some in French, like this cover of a Johnny Hallyday track, by our American friends of DCTV:

Free download!

Best of the Best 2014 (part 1)

A few days ago, we asked you to send in the songs and/or albums that rocked your world the hardest this year. In the coming days, the FS-writers (Steve, Sky, FransS, Mark, Guuzbourg, David) will post their picks.
Below are a few contributions by readers (and one regular contribuant).

Mart writes: ‘My Song of the Year is ‘Il pleut’ by Elodie Frégé, from the Bande à Renaud-tribute album. Her voice, the crescendo in the music and Renaud’s remarkable lyrics. He’s a wordsmith in the trues sense. I love the whole album, the covers really add to the original versions.’

Dany (from Germany) writes: ‘My French song of the year is by Les Maggy Bolle, “La Cougar”. Maggy´s from Besançon. I saw her live on a deep romantic summer nigh in the south of France.

Les Maggy Bolle – la cougar – Lure le 13… door Ricky_Banlieue

Iris writes: ‘Chaleur Humaine by Christine and the Queens is the best in the Francophone world that happened to us. It’s a perfect and very original mix of French and English, I just keep playing it.’

Steve (manager of Vanessa Contenay-Quinones) writes: ‘Well Guuz as much as i hate to be blindingly obvious, I genuinely am in love with Vanessa’s bitter sweet and sensual track ‘Pardonne’ taken from her latest LP ‘Made In France!’

Sami writes: ‘So far, my pick would go to Yelle’s ‘Complètement fou’, it has as usual some great energic and danceable tunes, and it’s even better in concert.’

Sami adds: ‘My favorite song is Camelia Jordana’s ‘Ma gueule’, beautiful voice and lyrics,the Ethio-jazz sound, I’ve been really impressed and hope that her next album will be the masterpiece she tried to make with this one.’

Marie Warnant

Pretty soon, we will round up the best of the best, the albums and/or songs that reached places that we never thought would reach (in/on/at) us. Some readers already send us their picks, you still can.
Marie Warnant
My choice for Album of the Year was made, when all of a sudden Marie Warnant‘s third album came flying by. Released in April, but I recently bumped into it. And boy, what a beauty this is. She took a left turn, trading her gentle rock-chanson sound for a more leftfield option. NYXTAPE is inspired ‘by influences as divers as Arto Lindsay, Georges Moustaki and Tom Zé and mixes references from Lizzy Mercier Descloux to David Byrne in her own unique way’, this bio says.
To me, the new sound reminded me of Marie’s fellow Belgian acts like Allez Allez, Antena and some artists on the heralded Les Disques du Crépuscule label from the 80s. It’s funky, it’s quirky, it’s really, really good.


Laurence Hélie

Mark Sullivan writes:

Live film of the charming country-folk writer-singer Laurence Hélie is rare, so her appearance on the CBC’s Acadian channel in New Brunswick is a welcome chance to appreciate her skill. She guested 9 November on the weekly show ‘Méchante Soirée’ which is filmed in a gastropub in the capital, Moncton.

Laurence has a particular skill in taking a middle-of-the-road song and reviving it by giving it her country tang, this time with ‘Allô maman bobo’ by the seventies songwriter Alain Souchon.

And here is her own hit ‘De tout et de rien’

Another elegant TV appearance, this time in duo, is here

To recall her best-known cover, Patrick Norman’s ‘Quand on est en amour’, I have posted a new slide-show on Youtube here.

Nadine Shah

Nadine  ShahIn the UK, Nadine Shah has often been compared by music journalists with the likes of P J Harvey and Nick Cave – not exactly artists that you would usually associate with this blog – but I’m indebted to “Gypsy, Death and You” for tweaking my inner indie demon and introducing me to her.

Born on Tyneside to Pakistani-Norweigian parents, as a teenager Nadine moved to London to carve out a career as a jazz-singer. Possessing a voice of frightening intensity (and a haunting style that is at least part-based on her father’s interpretation of traditional Ghazal and religious Sufi songs), she has wowed with her own unique style that conjures up stark, brooding aural landscapes.

Last year she released her critically-acclaimed debut album, “Love Your Dum and Mad” and an EP “Dreary town”, an incredibly poignant and moving song that charts the unravelling of a relationship, as it stales and spirals into the depths amidst recriminations, jealousy, empty wine bottles and cigarette butts…

Earlier this year Nadine re-recorded the song in French as “Ville Morose”, with new lyrics that provide an even darker attraction. This version received rave reviews amongst French Bloggers (here and here); even Nadine was moved to comment that the French lyrics not only gave the song a a different flavour but that it sounds even better in French than in English…

“Ville Morose” demonstrates that not only is Nadine Shah an exceptional songwriter in either English and French, but also adds further proof that a great song will always transcend a linguistic divide. More importantly it demonstrates that not only is she a fantastic singer with the most mesmerising of voices, she’s also a Chanteuse.

De Staat goes Serge

Dutch leftfield rockband De Staat released Vinticious Versions, an EP with radical different versions of their own songs. On one track they sound like D’Angelo, on this one they channel Beastie Boys and on the one below they re-create a Gainsbourgian atmosphere. On female vocals you hear Janne Schra. THIS is the ‘official’ version.

French Band Aid

With Vanessa Paradis, Carla Bruni, Louane, Zaz, Amandine Bourgeois, Les Plastiscines and Benjamin Biolay. And it’s for a good cause (anti-Ebola). So there.

Heidi Happy

Missed this in February, but now’s the good season for this video:

More on Swiss singer Heidi Happy HERE