Claire Denamur was one of the brightest shining stars of francophone pop from 2008 to 2012, and was justly celebrated by Filles Sourires. Indeed we called her ‘Our Claire’, so much was she liked at FS. So, where’s our Claire? She has disappeared from the music scene.
She was married in September 2013, as she told us on her Facebook page . Will she make a third album, promised in a facebook entry on 1 January 2013 ? We can only hope.
Meanwhile Mark offers this retrospective on the career of a most attractive and talented writer, singer and bandleader on stage.
Claire Denamur stands out among French writer-singers for her American style. She looks and sounds different from both her French compatriots and the Quebecoises who feature so often on FS. Born in 1984, Claire spent 10 years between the ages 5 of 15 living in the USA where her father was working. Bilingual, the American upbringing is very evident, yet her writing offers lyrics which are well ahead of the typical US songwriter. Claire explained how American rock bands have influenced her music, how she developed her skills, and what she aims to do in her songwriting, in an interview for Canal+ in 2012.
Claire’s first album was issued in 2009 – the annus mirabilis which also saw a number of other auteures-compositrices-interprètes who lead bands on stage, notably La Grande Sophie and Coeur de Pirate, first reach the top.
Here is an early hit, ‘Prince Charmant’
Her second album, ‘Vagabonde’, was recorded in Montreal in 2011, and soon after it came out she appeared on ‘Taratata’ to sing its hit single ‘Bang bang bang’ .
The best studio performances by Claire are from 2012, on Acoustic TV5 Monde – see the mesmeric ‘34 Septembre’ here
Claire has not sung much in English, but her remarkable cover, solo with her own guitar, of Lana del Rey’s ‘Video Games’.
A dramatic Denamur performance, showing her at the height of her powers, was at the Fête de Wallonie concert at Liège on 18 September 2011.
On Françoise Hardy’s 70th birthday, 17 January 2014, Swiss Radio played at hourly intervals 11 parts of an interview with her which had been recorded by Valérie Ogier of RTS specially for the day. In the first section, in which Françoise discusses how she won her first recording contract in November 1961, she reveals that her model was the electric guitar style of the Shadows. Her dream of being the guitar-playing lead singer of a band like the Shadows she never quite achieved, as she was soon working with orchestras and arrangers. But Claire Denamur at Liège, fronting a male band, tall and slim with long hair and wearing a trouser suit – a look largely invented by Françoise – seems to represent Francoise’s original ideal, fifty years on.