10 Sexiest Women In French Music Today (6)

Continuing our countdown of Sexiest Women in French Music Today, we’re celebrating the Clairest of them all.

6. Claire Denamur

There are many Claires. Claire Keim, Claire Diterzi, Claire Lise. But this Claire, she’s OUR Claire. We, the writers and readers of Filles Sourires, we’ve seen her develop over the years. From the fresh-faced, upbeat neighbour’s daughter singing that she wants to frolic around in the nude, to a leather pants sporting chanteuse who dares to cover Big Mama Thornton here
We think French singer Antoine Leonpaul said it best when he said: Oh Claire.

Claire Denamur – Le ciel

Alain Chamfort and the girls

Alain Chamfort is a big name in France. He played on hits by Dutronc like Les Playboys and Le Cactus, worked with Véronique Sanson and had Gainsbourg write lyrics for him. He debuted in 1968, released his first album in 1976 and scored big hits. Elles et lui is a duets album, Chamfort revisits old songs with the creme de la creme of French female vocalists: Claire Keim, Keren Ann, Vanessa Paradis, Elodie Frégé, to name but a few. Most songs are great. Take the lovely duet with Elodie, for instance. The original, from 1993, is an overblown, kitschy jazz ballad. Now, the music’s understated, the lyrics stand out and Elodie is doing what she does best. Also very good is Bambou, Chamfort’s duet with Camelia Jordana (a song written by Serge).

Alain Chamfort & Elodie Frégé – L’Ennemi dans la glace

Verlaine, Baudelaire and the Girls

Here’s an idea: let gorgeous filles like Claire Keim, Jenifer and Camelia Jordana sing poems by Verlaine, Baudelaire, Elouard and Carême. Add some garçons (Arthur H, Marc Lavoine, Babx), some unsinkable legends (Ferré, Hardy, Nougarro) and you have La Bande des Mots. A compilation to raise money for handicapped students, and to help popularize the great French poets. Not every poem is fit to be sung, to be honest. But Verlaine’s Il pleure dans mon coeur by Claire Keim sure makes excellent FS-material. She’s certainly not the first to sing Verlaine’s poem, many classical soprano’s did it before her, but it never sounded this sexy.

Claire Keim – Il pleure dans mon coeur
Camelia Jordana – Spleen

Year lists (8)

Sorry, sorry, sorry, I’m a bit late with the year list and it looks that most of my FS-colleagues were way better and faster. But I’ll give it a shot.
There were as always disappointments; albums you waited for but that disappointed when they came out. But also pleasant surprises. Actually, there were a lot of them. It was harder to make a list of only ten albums, than a list of, say, 25 good ones. So no Austine, Brigitte, Brigitte Boisjoli,  Catherine Major, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Claire Denamur, Elsa Kopf, Ingrid St-Pierre, L. Liz Cherhal, Lou Lesage, Nous Non Plus, Yelle…
Without further ado: here is my personal top 10

(11). Karin Clercq  – Karin Clercq
A bit odd to start with a Top Ten with eleven, but I had too. when I got this EP of Karin Clercq I was very enthousiastic. Great voice great songs. I even prepared a post, but then I realised I already knew the songs. It turned out that it was an EP for the French Market with songs form her album of 2009. But still one of the highlights of 2011.

10. Lise – Lise
Played this album a lot this year. Fresh songs, pleasant voce. Unfortunately some songs in English, but the French ones are a lot better!

9. Isabelle Boulay – Les Grands Espaces
There are always artist you don’t like. Isabelle Boulay was one of them. I didn’t even bother to listen carefully, it is just “nah, not for me”.  But this year I did and I was pleasantly surprised by her album. French Americana album of the year.

8. Aurélie Cabrel – Oserais-je
One of the pleasant surprises this year. Surprisingly the highest “Daughter of” in My list. Sorry Charlotte…

7. Ödland – Sankta Lucia
European project from Lorenzo Papace, with two wonderful sisters Bingöllü.

6. Chloé Lacasse – Chloé Lacasse
First artist from Quebec on this list and certainly not the last one!

5. Stéphanie Crayencour – La garçonnière
If this list was ranking of hard to find albums, this one wold be very close to number 1. Took a lot of effort to find it, but it was worth it. Highest Belgian artist on this list. (Merci I. for your hard work again!).

4. Claire Keim – Ou il Pleuvra
Highest Claire in My list. It was close but Claire Denamur just dropped out the top 10. Poppy album but this Claire sings just like what we expect of a Fille Sourire…

3. Salomé Leclerc – Sous Les Arbres
Again an album form an artist from Quebec. What a talents are there. And they keep coming!

2. Mélanie Laurent – En t’attendant
Highest singing actress in the list (sorry again, Charlotte). Very balanced album, and just a very pleasant album to listen to. But Maks described it way better here.

1. Coeur de Pirate – Blonde
What more can I say.. as stated, there were a lot of good albums, but only one really superb album this year. And when you are so lucky to see her perform live, you can only agree: Beatrice Martin is a little diamond, that needs more recognition.


Claire Keim

That other Claire that we love here at FS HQ, Claire Keim, released a new version of Mes silences this week. To me it sounds a little Lara Fabian’ed, if you ask me. There’s was little to nothing wrong with the original version (not a very good link, alas). Still, this is an opportunity to post a nice pic of Claire Keim, one should never miss that.

Claire Keim – Mes silences (nouvelle version)

In other news, listen to Beatrice/Coeur de Pirate talk in English about her new single Adieu (this one) HERE

Claire Keim

January is not even halfway, but the first fragile highlight of the year is here: debut-record Ou Il Pleuvra by actress/singer Claire Keim. Her single (written by Ours) was a pretty affair, but the short-but-sweet-album is very, very good. If you like Vanessa Paradis-soundalikes who vocally lick your earlobes, that is. As I understand it, most songs were written or co-written by Claire herself, Ours lend a hand and so did the great Francis Cabrel. First he worked with the gorgeous Souad Massi, now he wrote the album’s title track for Keim. Nice going, Francis! Claire’s album is melody-rich, sensual, sunny, playful and 60s influenced. No, Tel que tu es isn’t a Charlotte Gainsbourg-cover, but the use of rhythm guitar, phat piano and Claire singing about being naked, it sure is reminiscent of one legendary smoker. NSFW-movieclips of Claire here. Her husband, a former footballer and now European jui-jitsu champion, is this guy.

Claire Keim – Ou Il Pleuvra

In other news: Revista 69 has the new Yelle single. HERE. (And a whole bunch of other blogs too)

Claire Keim

No shortage of gorgeous French actresses who moonlight as a singer. Claire Keim has an impressive filmography (here), and sang before, for instance en duo with Marc Lavoine (here). The mother of one (and girlfriend of footballeur Bixente Lizarazu) recorded an album that will be released in November. The first single is a pleasent strummer, that fits Claire’s fragile voice. There’s a Francis Cabrel-song on the album, but most songs she wrote all by herself. See the video for ça depend here. Oh, and the next French actress to start a recording career is Mélanie Laurent. Her album will be out next spring.

Claire Keim – ça depend