Sally Folk

462394874_640Sally Folk, remember her from this post? She has a new album out. Mark Sullivan writes:

Sally Folk’s trade-mark dark seductress looks matched her original francophone single ‘Heureux infidèles’ which remains as enjoyable as ever.
Now she has a new album ‘Deuxième acte’ just one year after her first, eponymous venture in French. Film of her at the ‘Lancement’at Club Soda in Montreal in March is here.

The lead song is ‘Les heures de visite’

and Sally live at Montreal Radio Station Rythme 105.7 two weeks ago

For Anglophones, one advantage Sally offers is wonderful diction – you can almost learn French off these songs. ‘Révolver’ on her previous album is rather fast, but the lyrics are on the screen in this Youtube film.

And for comparison, listen to Sally in English, from 2011, with ‘Oh Cheri’, and ‘The Line’ .

Hunger with Cantona

Sophie Hunger - SupermoonShe’s back on track again, Sophie Hunger, the attractive multi talented singer-songwriter and film composer from Zurich, Switzerland released a new album yesterday called Supermoon. Most of the tracks on the Deluxe Edition are sung in English. Six tracks are sung in German/Swiss though and two – and now we’re getting somewhere – are sung in French.
Hunger delivers an outstanding album, more rockier, more up-tempo than we were used to and more electronics are involved, but still unmistakably Sophie Hunger. Her soft voice blends superb in more rockier songs like ‘We are the Living’ (with a somewhat Histoire de Melody-esque intro) and is intimate and intoxicating in more quiet songs like ‘Die Ganze Welt’. Supermoon is produced by John Vanderslice, who also worked with Death Cab For Cutie and St. Vincent and especially the last is someone Hunger must have been listening to lately.

Now back to one of the two French tracks on the album: ‘La chanson d’Hélène’. Originally written by Philippe Sarde and Jean-Loup Dabadie for the 1970 movie Les choses de la vie (as you might have read here). Hunger recorded it en duet with… Eric Cantona. Say what?! Yes, Cantona, the legendary former French international football player, the man with the temper and nowadays actor is singing along with Hunger like he never did something else before. In the best Serge Gainsbourg tradition he murmurs the song to one of the best on this album, which is one heck of a compliment with so many other great tracks on the album.

So you might have read more on La chanson d’Hélène earlier here on Filles Sourires, but those tracks were down meanwhile. Because of the great Hunger/Cantona addition we re-up them on FS.

La Chanson d’Hélène:
Sophie Hunger & Eric Cantona
Berry & Daniel Darc
Dream Makers
Françoiz Breut
Get Well Soon
Jasmin Tabatabai
Marina Celeste
Romy Schneider & Michel Piccoli
Youn Sun Nah & Roland Brival

Bastien Lallemant, Vincent Liben

Not often do we feature male singers on this blog, but when it comes to Bastien Lallemant and Vincent Liben, sheer quality urges us to urge you to take note. Plus the fact that they duet with some lovely filles.

Bastien Lallemant takes his time when he records – La Maison Haute follows 2010’s Le Verger. Musically, he’s on par with Dominiqu Ané and Bertrand Belin – carefully crafted chansons with hints of Americana. Think of a stripped down, late-night Calexico. French reviews of La Maison Haute mention Gainsbourg’s masterpiece Melody Nelson – apparently, La Maison Haute is his take on L’Hotel Particulier. Hear the lush strings in Un million d’Années (below) to get a taste, but no mention of underaged redheads ran over by Rolls Royces, tho. Lallemant made this album with help from a string of likeminded artists: JP Nataf, Seb Martel, Katel, Maissiat, Albin de la Simone and Francoiz Breut. The latter sings a beautiful duet (Le Vieil Amour) that’s not on Soundcloud or YouTube alas, check Spotify and/or Deezer.
This lead track is also quite nice:

Belgian counterpart Vincent Liben has a thing for Serge G. as well. Animalé is his second solo-album (he was member of Mud Flow), the first album featured a great duet with Berry (clip). This time, girlfriend Lisza backs him up on the gorgeous (and very Gainsbourgian) L’ennui. Animalé has lush strings as well (Sous les draps, Lila) and has more ‘oomph’ than Lallemant’s offering – just a fact, not a value judgement. Both are great albums.
VL’s album is on Youtube, some tracks are on Soundcloud.

Lisbonne Télégramme

Lisbonne TelegrammeLisbonne Télégramme came about as the result of long distance emailing between Maritza Bossé-Pelchat and François Dufault of Montréal’s The Blue Seeds. Maritza (originally a contestant on the inaugural season of the French-Canadian TV show Star Académie), had taken a sabbatical from Québec in 2012 and was holed-up in the beautiful port city of Lisbon. The correspondence between the pair cemented their collaboration and upon her return to Canada, Maritza and François enlisted fellow The Blue Seeds members Martin Farmer and Eric Rathé, and Lisbonne Télégramme was born.

The fruits of their labours is the band’s debut album, “Miroir d’Automne”, a collection of nine intensely melancholic, atmospheric and spellbinding songs of love – or more accurately, hurt – hope and fear and introduces us to Maritza, who demonstrates that she would be more at home on “La Voix” than in any ‘Star Academy’.

The album opens with melancholy “Au loin” a deceptively simple country-folk tinged number that features a gorgeous weeping slide guitar and introduces us to Maritza’s voice – mournful, seductive, hypnotic.

Theme of love – or more often and accurately, aching hurt – are ones that recurs over and over again. The overwhelming mood of melancholy that is “Je n’ose plus” and a middle eight of sombre piano that perfectly captures the mood of the song, while “Autumn mirrors” features a haunting piano melody which focus attention on the beguiling vocals. The song features deft touches of violin and harmonious choruses, especially on the angelic coda.

And then there are the songs that highlight the pain of separation, especially “Où es-tu?”, a song framed by Sophie Trudeau’s (of Montréal’s avant-garde post-rockers Godspeed You! Black Emperor) sympathetic violin, its omnipresence during the song’s chorus amplifies the hurt that distance brings.

However the two standout tracks upon first listening are “Fugitive”, with its majestic Mellotron and heavily reverbed guitar that creates a soundtrack that wouldn’t feel out of place in a Sergio Leone western. There’s an orchestral quality that is perfectly married to Maritza’s deeply soulful voice. And then there’s “Bientôt”, a song which features heavily in reviews amongst the Francophone-Québec press and which has drawn comparisons with Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android.” To these ears the song – a powerful tale of a fiery maelstrom engulfing the city and it’s inhabitants – offers hints of both Forêt and the much missed Hôtel Morphée. It’s a really atmospheric track that bristles with an undercurrent of menace and offer a noticeable change of pace and depth, suggesting that Lisbonne Télégramme have much more to offer.

Le Volume Courbe

How to get the attention of this blog? Pepper your bio with phrases like these: “Serge Gainsbourg was her mother’s favourite artist, so the first record Charlotte was given was his “Love On The Beat” (“full of orgasms – what was she thinking?”), before the more artful designs of David Bowie, The Velvet Underground and The Stooges captured her blossoming imagination. The first song she ever wrote survived to become the title track on her first personal salvo.”

It does not mean the attention of this blog is immediate: Charlotte Marionneau (the Charlotte mentioned above) is making records since the end of the 90s, the debut album of her ‘band’ Le Volume Courbe was released in 2005. She worked with Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval and My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields, yet this is the first time she’s featured on FS. Ahem. Better late then never, eh?

Credit to DJ St. Paul for turning me to Charlotte/Le Volume Courbe. The House is a catchy single, with Charlotte’s breathy vocals sitting pretty on a driving indie-guitar groove, with added strings. Broadcast is an obvious reference. Every now and then, Marionneau sings in French, also on the cool, slow b-side of this single. Alas, no full orgasms here.


LaurineLaurine Pilarski hails from Lille and when she’s not too busy writing screen plays and scripts for the court-métrage “Craquer pour elle” she’s writing, composing and singing delightfully intimate folk-tinged pop-songs in both French and English.

With an EP promised ‘when it’s ready’, she’s released a handful of tracks on Bandcamp that highlight not only her honey-dripped vocals, but also her multi-lingual song-writing and composition skills. All these songs are incredibly soothing, wistful and intimate. Perhaps this is what her bio means when it suggests that …her sorrows, they’re yours. Her songs, they’re talking about you…? The sweetness of her voice on these tracks is perfectly matched by Romain Parmentier’s acoustic guitar. There’s an overwhelming tranquillity to her sound that is just perfect for walking solitary on a deserted beach as the waves gently crash ashore.

Laurine lists amongst her musical influences Emilie Simon – with whom she sounds at times uncannily similar – and interestingly the tormented geniuses that were Nick Drake and the American singer-songwriter Elliott Smith, which is discernible on the totally beguiling “Just friends”, performed in her whispering English.

But it’s the achingly beautiful “La fille à l’arrière des berlines” that first grabbed my attention, and as we tend to like ‘les filles qui chantent en français’ here, this is the track that I’ve selected for your listening pleasure…

New Coeur de Pirate video

CdP recorded the song also in English, listen below

See her perform the song (and some old faves) on Canadian The Voice (La Voix) HERE