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

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

Yearlists (4)

alkabalbir1. Alka Balbir – La Première Fois
The absolute number one for me this year. If I only had a Twitter account on which I would have tweeted something about newbie Alka Balbir, it surely would end something like this: #perfect #melancholic #exciting #thrilling #delicate #passionate #hoarse #fragile #debut
Alka – La Vie Par Les Deux Bouts

2. Axelle Red – Rouge Ardent
The biggest surprise of 2013. In fact I gave up hope that the Belgian redhead would record an album that could fully blow me away in all its aspects, but somehow pieces fall into place on this ninth album. And after seeing her exciting gig in Ghent, Belgium last month, I was finally convinced: Axelle has it all. At last.

3. Vanessa Paradis – Love Songs
Contrary to Axelle Red, Vanessa Paradis almost can’t do wrong with every new release. Love Songs might not be the blast ‘Divinidylle’ was, it still stands out easily among all the other releases this year. Miss Paradis is a FS-fav on long stay and my guess is that it’ll stay that way.

4. Pendentif – Mafia Douce
I’m not used to putting a dance album in my yearlist. But sometimes things can no longer be ignored. Pendentif recorded a most perfect post-summer soundtrack to lighten up the days at this time of the year and completely caught me with it. I actually put on my dancing shoes. Well, at least while writing this.

5. Sandie Trash – Salve Regina
An intruder in this years yearlist? Is it delicate, subtle, tender or sensitive? Hell no. Is it loud, wild and uncontrolled? Hell yeah! And I like it. Every attempt to assert that the French can’t make mean and sordid rock is superfluous from now on. Thanks to Sandie Trash that is.

Wishing you all the best for the next year.
Cheers, Maks

Year lists (1)

Fanny Bloom1. Fanny Bloom – Apprentie Guerrière
With this superb debut solo-album, Fanny Grosjean left the sometimes somewhat naïve songs of La Patère Rose far behind. Apprentie Guerrière is mature and diverse and never fails. Bloom shows with this album that she grew in all facets of her writing and luckily still has her delightful, hoarse voice on top of it.
Listen to ‘Mon Hiver‘ and feel everything a song needs. In only 1:40 minutes that is, simply brilliant.

2. Françoiz Breut – La Chirurgie Des Sentiments
Never a dull moment with Françoiz. With ‘La Chirurgie Des Sentiments’ she managed to surprise again within her very own and very special universe. And wherever she will take you in that weird universe, being with Françoiz somehow never feels uncomfortable. In contrary.

3. Celine Mastrorelli – Elle Était Une Fois
It took beauty of the year Celine Mastrorelli quite a while to come up with a full album. But it was worth the wait. Celine does it the way we like it most at FS. Check ‘Lost in Paris’ and you’ll understand why.

4. Mélanie Pain – Bye Bye Manchester
Too bad she did only half of the tracks on this album in French. In spite of that she easily made it into this years top 5 with her ukulele and Casio. Original songs, seductive singing, all the ingredients we already know from Nouvelle Vague, but she can do it on her own very well.

5. Mademoiselle Nineteen – idem
Fresh, quirky, contemporary and poppy, exactly what you might expect with a name like ‘Mademoiselle Nineteen’. Nevertheless reminiscents of earlier days (Lio! France Gall!) are never far away and in this case that’s a good thing. The Lolita-esque Belgian singer recorded the most cheerful album of the year without getting obligatory.

Wishing you all the best for the next year!

New album Berry coming up

The new Berry album ‘Les Passagers’ will be released on 23 april.
Above a video of one of her new tracks: ‘Si C’est La Vie’.

Fanny Bloom – Apprentie Guerrière

Fanny BloomBack in 2009, La Patère Rose recorded their highly recommended self-titled debut, followed by EP Waikiki in 2010. After that, singer Fanny Bloom (Fanny Grosjean) already announced the end of La Patère Rose and hereby initiated her solo career. A good choice according to her just released solo debut ‘Apprentie Guerrière’.
Fanny grew up. The sometimes somewhat naïve songs of La Patère Rose are replaced by catchy and cheesy synth-pop songs (single Parfait, Parfait) or cheerful Lio-esque tracks like ‘Tes bijoux’. A handful of piano-driven tracks shows her skills for serious melody-rich writing that comes to it’s peak with the stunningly beautiful and emotional ‘Mon Hiver’. A moving song – way too short though – with some weird voice effects in it. Bloom at her absolute best.
Apprentie Guerrière is a mature and diverse album that never fails and finishes with a very intimate title track. Bloom shows with this album that she grew in all facets of her writing, but luckily still has her delightful, hoarse voice on top of it. Some things are good as they are.
So without any doubt, there is this sentence again: Yearlist material people.

Fanny Bloom – Mon Hiver
La Patère Rose – Décapote (so we won’t forget)

Year lists (6)

1. Mélanie Laurent – Mélanie Laurent
She called her superb debut album ”The fulfillment of a childhood dream”. Well, her childhood dream tickled me from the start (Début) until the end (Fin). Together with Damien Rice she made a perfectly balanced mixed of classical chansons with a little hysteria, sweet duets, surprising arrangements and little hidden treasures of intimacy. All drenched in Mélanie’s seductive voice.

2. Coeur De Pirate – Blonde
Is there anything left to say about FS fav Béatrice Martin? How brilliant her second album is and how fantastic her concert was in Brussels earlier this month? Guuzbourg already did.
Nothing left to say. Béatrice is here to stay.

3. Brigitte – Et Vous, Tu M’aimes ?
Whenever top fashion designers Victor & Rolf team up with artists, there must be something special on them. Aurélie Maggiori et Sylvie Hoarau are two special ones. Their debut is filled with simple and catchy melodies, a little folky every now and then and at it’s best when both ladies sing together.
See Brigitte live at the Viktor & Rolf Runway Show in Paris

4. Charlotte Gainsbourg – Stage Whispers
Maybe it’s because of the sweet memory of her IRM-concert in Brussels last year, maybe it’s because I saw mommy live on stage again earlier this year, maybe it’s because there weren’t enough exciting new releases this year. Fact is that this ‘half live, half old with some new’ album can easily compete with all other FS worthy releases this year. Not only because her name is Charlotte Gainsbourg.

5. Salomé Leclerc – Sous Les Arbres
As mentioned earlier: The guitar-driven songs are the perfect field for her versatile voice to play on and simultaneously kidnap the listeners mind to drop it somewhere under the trees.

6. L. – Initiale
Award for ‘most intriguing album of the year’ goes to Raphaële Lannadère who’s calling herself L. A mysterious cocktail of the classical French chansons with Eastern and South European influences in mostly piano-driven songs that makes you hold your breath over 11 songs.

7. Les Bien-Aimés (OST)
Some things hardly can go wrong imho. Ludivine Sagnier, Chiara Mastroianni and Catherine Deneuve singing in a Paris’ studio is one of those things. For addicts that is. The best soundtrack of this year came along with a great movie.

8. Claire Denamur – Vagabonde
Hold your horses! Claire Denamur treated us with her second full album. Less sunny as her debut from 2009, ’cause Claire’s grown-up. Musically. And as her sweet and husky voice got layered with dark tones, so did her songs. If there wasn’t already something like ‘French americana country folk chansons’, Claire invented it with Vagabonde.

9. Ingrid St-Pierre – Ma Petite Mam’zelle De Chemin
Just another girl from Canada singing and playing the piano? That would be too easy. A refreshing and uncomplicated debut that deserves to finish my FS yearlist comes more close. Ingrid St-Pierre is one to keep a close watch on.

10. Allright, there is no number 10. This year did need a lot of time management and not every record got the attention it deserved, as from now on I have to file my music back home under another label too: children.
But hey, it can be worse when Vive la Fête is taking care of it.

Wishing you all the best for the next year!

Rain Dogs in the mist

Camille O'SullivanEarlier this year Tom Waits gave multi-instrumentalist David Coulter his permission to reinterpret his masterpiece Rain Dogs from 1985. Coulter, who worked with Waits on The Black Rider (1993) formed an outstanding band with singers such as Arthur H., Camille O’Sullivan, Stef Kamil Carlens, The Tiger Lillies, Erika Stucky and special guest Jane Birkin. Quite some reasons to go and see this extraordinary gig in Eindhoven yesterday. And after all, there’s simply no reason to not go and see Jane B. whenever she’s around. Unfortunately the show started late due to heavy fog as a result of which a lot of visitors arrived too late and so did some musicians. But as the show finally started, Jane Birkin was still stuck in foggy Rotterdam and unsure whether she would make it to Eindhoven, so announced the ringmaster. Fingers crossed, show starts.
First the beautiful Camille O’Sullivan came on stage with a raw and exiting performance. Seductive and mean she took us to ‘Singapore’ and Waits was immediately forgotten (sorry Tom). O’Sullivan was followed by The Tiger Lillies who probably shook Waits songs the most this evening with their pretentious interpretations of ‘Diamonds & Gold’ for instance. Kurt Weill wasn’t far away when they were on stage and that’s not always a good thing. Luckily Erika Stucky came to bring annoyment to the next level. In a positive way that is. The Swiss singer with her vocal tour de forces intrigued and made the show a bit less serious. Time to bring Stef Kamil Carlens, frontman of Belgium indie rock group Zita Swoon, on stage. He truely convinced with a couple of great songs like ‘Downtown Train’ and an outstanding version of ‘Blind Love’.
As the show continued with The Tiger Lillies again, I slowly started worrying whether Jane would show up in Eindhoven or not. Right then, miss O’Sullivan came on stage again and treated us with a marvelous and extreme tempting, hoarse version of ‘Hang Down Your Head’. The way we like it most over here at FS.
After that French singer Arthur H. could do his thing. The man with the raw voice that sometimes comes pretty much close to Tom Waits was bland and taking with his interpretations. A cool performer.
And then, finally, Birkin came on stage too. She defied and conquered the Dutch weather and was charming as ever as she started ‘Alice’, which is not a Rain Dogs track actually, but from Waits’ 2002 album, written for the play Alice. After that, she asked Arthur H. back on stage to do the last song on this very special Rain Dogs Revisited night: ‘Time’. This song turned into a very intimate and moving duet, worth ending the show with. And I still found no reason to not go and see Jane B. whenever she’s around.

Camille O’Sullivan – Hang Down Your Head
(London, 13-07-2011)
Erika Stucky – Union Square (London, 13-07-2011)
The Tiger Lillies – Diamonds and Gold (London, 13-07-2011)
Stef Kamil Carlens – Blind Love (London, 13-07-2011)
Jane Birkin – Alice (Eindhoven, 20-11-2011)
Arthur H. & Jane Birkin – Time (Eindhoven, 20-11-2011)