Laurence Nerbonne

20150614 Laurence Nerbonne ArtworkThe face and voice should be familiar. Laurence Nerbonne – violinist and vocalist with Montréal’s much-missed alt-rockers Hôtel Morphée – is back, this time flying solo artist and with a sound that is not only totally uncompromising cent pour cent up-tempo electro-pop, but is arguably this summer’s pop anthem.

“Rêves d’été”, with its layered synths and beats combine with Laurence’s rasping and disarmingly seductive vocals to create a ridiculous addictive sound that – trust me – burrows deep into your consciousness and which you’ll find yourself humming along to at every opportunity.

With long-time Hôtel Morphée collaborator Philippe Brault at the controls, Laurence has written composed the most joyous celebration to the healing powers of long summer days and hot summer nights…

New Fanny Bloom remix

Just released, a remix of a Pan-track. Now Evidemment is even more upbeat than in it’s original form. Which is nice

French Disco Boogie Sounds

We’ve been boogie-ing down on this blog every NOW and THEN, but never to the sounds presented on this compilation, out end of this month. Rare titles by artists from either the (French) Carribean or Canada, this glitters like sequined hot pants. ‘Superstar’ by Canadian band (?) Contessa intrigues me the most – the song’s credited to one Geraldine Hunt, who made a few discofied albums herself, but certainly isn’t singing this track. Anybody has more info?
The Plot Thickens. Superstar is a French version of the song ‘Star struck’ by Cheri, with Geraldine Hunt singing (and writing). Thanks Aux!

Les Soeurs Boulay

Steve from SoCal on his new discovery, two folksy, note-perfect Canadian singing sisters. Any relation to Isabelle? We don’t know, yet.

Thought I’d drop you a line about Les Soeurs Boulay who I “discovered” while trawling Bandcamp after stumping up for Marie Pierre Arthur’s EXCELLENT (can’t emphasis that enough) “Aux alentours” album…

I don’t know that much about les Soeurs Boulay, Melanie and Stephanie, except that they’re from Gaspesie in Quebec have just released their eponymous debut 5-track EP through Bandcamp. There’s a certain sparseness, cleanliness about the sound; absolutely note-perfect harmonies with minimal backing from just an acoustic guitar or ukulele(!) There’s more than a hint of early (think folksy) Simon and Garfunkel in the EP’s opener “Lola en confiture”, although my personal favourite is the slightly up-tempo “Des shooters de fort sur ton bras” It should be noted that there’s a definite “country folk” undercurrent runs through all five tracks, but don’t let that put you off. While there’s a certain “tristesse” to the lyrics there’s also an haunting achingness that forces you to just wants to come back for more.

Highly recommended, and as a taster, “Priere” is available for free from the girl’s bandcamp site

Les Soeurs Boulay – Les shooters de fort sur ton bras

Salomé Leclerc

As regular visitors of this blog know, Canada (Quebec) has A LOT to offer when it comes to gorgeous, very talented female singers. Coeur de Pirate, Marie Pierre Arthur, Catherine Major, Fanny Grosjean (of La Patere Rose, she will release a soloalbum!), Amylie, this list could go on for a while. And now there’s Salomé LeClerc. FS-contributor Maks was already infatuated by her (see here), I can assure you that you will be too. I’ve listened to a few tracks on her album (out September 6), it’s yearlist-material people. You must admit that first single Partir Ensemble looks and sounds very, very promising. More to come.

Salomé Leclerc – Partir ensembe

Jill Barber

Canadian beauty Jill Barber sounds like a cross between Blossom Dearie and Shivaree’s Ambrosia Parsley. On her former albums she sang smokey jazz-tunes in English, but now she’s dabbling in French too. Which is nice. This is the video for her first French single Tous mes rêves (out last year), on her upcoming album there’s another, sultrier tune that I’m posting here. I’m usually not a fan of Franglish, when it’s French girls trying to sing in English. But the other way around is very arousing.

Jill Barber – Dis-moi

Les Surveillantes

Country-folksters Les Surveillantes are from Winnipeg, Canada. I was introduced to their music via Sound Bites (who lists French-language albums by artists I’ve never heard of, which is nice). They released their first album last year.  This bio tells us more about the band, though I have to say the names mentioned don’t ring a bell. I really like Danielle’s strong voice (she doesn’t sing on all songs), I’d say she’s more soothing than sexy (think La Grande Sophie). Whilst singing a lullaby like Voyageuse, that’s fitting.

Les Surveillantes – Voyageuse