Guestpost by Roger Grund on Noir Désir, in remembrance of one of France’s greatest bands:
French Rock sometimes suffers from lack of identity, however most definitely not in the case of Noir Désir. Loosely fit and jazzy, Noir Désir’s music evolved in the sun-scorched afternoons of the south of France rather than in the cold and damp mornings of Northern Europe: A ton étoile is the Rock-equivalent of Van Gogh’s sunflower paintings.
I first heard A ton étoile by Noir Désir whilst in transit in the Sahara in the nineties, when a southernly wind carried a weak televised TV5 signal from across the Mediterranean. What stood out on the decripit TV in the caravanserai was a loud and broadly brushed guitar sound that has remained an enigma ever since. Carried by the unique guitar phrasing, there is the emotional voice of the singer, whose name is Bertrand Cantat, about whom we learned much more later on.
Sous la lumière en plein
et dans l’ombre en silence
si tu cherches un abri
Dis toi qu’il n’est pas loin et qu’on y brille
A ton étoile