Raised in the Ardèche, named after etheric oils her grandmother used, Melissmell debuts with an EP that features a rework of the French national anthem. Called Aux Armes. Any Gainsbourg-fan would wanna know what she did with it. I’d say she Raphael-ized it, added dramatic strings, marching band-drums and musical drop-downs (I mean: the music comes and goes), not unlike Raphael did on his majestic Caravane album. There’s a Brel-influence there as well. And yes, she quotes those immortal words Serge uttered: ‘Aux Armes etcaetera’. Serge remixed Rouget de Lisles anthem as a statement about integration (in the late 70s, mind you): you’re really a part of the state if you know the national hymn so well, you can remix it the way you like it. Still powerful, methinks. Melissmell was trained as a graphic designer but drifted into the music. No surprise for a girl who could sing before she could speak. On her album she worked with some big French guns, but I heard only the EP. Not a fragile fille, more a girl with big lungs and big plans. See a nice acoustic session here.