Best of 2014 (part 9)

index_20090222_06Looking at the very diverse entries in this “best of 2014” series during the last weeks, we may very well conclude it was an exceptional year when it comes to French music.
But if you are truly honest there is only one Album of the Year. Or at least one Comeback Album of the Year. Or Filles Fragiles/Sourires Favourite Album of the Year.
And that is of course the magnificent album by the great Coralie Clément. Filles favourite for many years she seems to be lost and forgotten but what a comeback she did make!
To check what Guuzbourg wrote about it, see here.
Only one year ago, we were afraid she would be vanished from the music scene with a nice “Joyeux Anniversiare” and we would never hear from here in terms of full albums. But today, on the last day of 2014, we can rejoice ansd say “hurray, the guardian angel of this blog is back!”.

Olivier Juprelle featuring Coralie Clément

Coralie-Clement-retrouve-de-sa-superbe_article_landscape_pm_v8Missed this in April, when Olivier Juprelle released his album Le bruit et la fureur. The Belgian guitarplayer, former member of Mud Flow, duets with several fragile filles, including ‘our’ Coralie. Cythère is a very cool track, Gainsbourgian with big guitar solo’s. Also on that album are duets with Auryn and Li-Lo, singers I’d never heard of before. Auryn is really a nice discovery. Juprelle’s album is on Bandcamp, and worth a listen too. By the way, Mud Flow is also the band of Vincent Liben, who has a knack of duetting with FS favorites too.

Olivier Juprelle & Coralie Clément – Cythère

New Coralie Clément album

FINALLY, the new Coralie Clément album is here. CC (or Coralie Biolay, if you prefer her real name) took some time to give birth to daughter Iris, getting a divorce from Iris’ dad, recording a children’s songbook and appearing on various tributes. She did write her own songs during the years, but up until recently didn’t find the time to record them. With help from brother Benjamin Biolay and Etienne Daho, ‘La Belle Affaire’ is a sweet, sticky and sunny album – one that helps you get through the coming fall.
It is not as jazzy as her (still beautiful) début, it’s not as rock-y as her (still great) sophomore album and not as exotic (or should I say quixotic, given that it was recorded with a lot of toy instruments) as her last effort. La Belle Affaire is FillesSourires-music as we like it. Prominent plopping bass, gentle guitar-strumming, some piano, ukelele and bells. Brigitte Bardot, early Françoise Hardy, early Jane Birkin, the most recent Elodie Frégé album, that’s the spirit here.
Four songs really stick out: ‘Trois fois rien’, with it’s tender bells, the twangy ‘Eléphant Noir’ (this twangin’ guitar pops up a lot on the album, which is good), the tango of ‘Sur mes yeux’ and the superbreathy ‘Tes nuits pâles’, the best track on the album. The video above is for ‘A demi mot’, also on the album.
There’s a by-the-numbers ‘reprise’ of ‘Mon Amie la Rose’ (Hardy) that, apart from it’s country-waltzy tempo, doesn’t add anything to the original. Really bad (badbadnotgood) is the cover of Depeche Mode’s Enjoy the Silence. The Franglais isn’t charming, the arrangement rather dull. If you ask me, it’s a stain on a highly charming, breathy and sexy album.

Coralie Clément – Les nuits pâles

Diving With Andy

5307060-7919958What’s the most perfect Autumn song? Les Feuilles Mortes? La Chanson de Prévert? The September of My Years? Celle qui by Diving With Andy certainly is a contender. It’s the only French song on the new (third) album by the duo. Remy and Juliette formed DwA in 2003, a trio then. They’re influenced by Elliott Smith, OP8 and Eurythmics, to name but a few. Juliette has a Sarah Cracknell-ish posh accent when she sings, the songs are delicate, well-crafted and very, very melancholic. Celle qui is the first DvA-song that’s totally in French – on the Benjamin Biolay-produced debut there’s an English-French duet with Coralie Clément. Also beautiful.

Diving with Andy – Celle Qui

10 Sexiest Women in French Music Today (3)

The patroness, who presides with her beautiful eyes over this site, came third in our round-up of sexiest French singing girls.

3. Coralie Clément

Coralie’s first album, Salle des pas perdus, still stands as a classic. Jazzy, sultry, with touches of bossa nova and Michel Legrand-like swing. An album like a lazy Sunday afternoon, best spent on cool white sheets in the shady bedroom. Benjamin Biolay wrote and produced it all for his kid sister. CC made two more albums, the ukelele-based Toy Store and the rockin’ Bye Bye Beauté. Stand-out cd’s too, that somehow did not bring her the fame she deserves. She’s versatile, she’s beautiful, her whispering is ultra-sexy (listen to Beau Fixée), she wrote a blogpost for us (here) – she should record more. And why, Lord, are there only very short clips of these two great songs on YT?

Coralie Clément – L’ombre et la lumière


Yes, we are partisan. Always were, in the six year this blog exists. You all know we have our prefered sweethearts. we’re on first name basis with ‘m: Camille, Charlotte, Beatrice (Coeur de Pirate), Coralie, Vanessa. And Claire. And because Claire has a new album, it is a happy day at Fillessourires. Us and Claire, it started in 2008 and continued in 2009 when her first, self-titled album came out.
And now there is a new album “Vagabonde”. Earlier this year we could see Claire has grown (duh!), as she showed in the catchy “Bang bang bang” (released on an EP in May) and in some sessions she did this year, like this one where she covers Big Mama Thornton.

And now there is “Vagabonde”. She continues to be our Claire, but she is older, more mature. It is clear that she’s studied the musical history, especially Americana (she lived in America, you know). The whole album sounds like an Americana album, sung in French, with “our” Claire’s husky voice, like in the new single “Rien de Moi” (also on the EP).
Was “Bang Bang Bang” a potential summer hit, the rest of the album is perfect for the upcoming autumn. No wait, autumn started already in July. With old whiskeys and/or good red wines and fireplaces…
For a teaser I decided to pick “34 Septembre” because that is a new song and it is in two weeks from now. Welcome Back, Claire!

Claire Denamur – 34 Septembre

Nouvelle Vague

Couleurs sur Paris, the new Nouvelle Vague album is out now in France and Belgium (should be out in Europe and overseas next week, god willin’), and it’s a beauty! I haven’t been that enthusiastic in the past about NV, because the concept stopped working after the second album. For me. But this time, Marc and the girls (and a few guys) really really outdid themselves. French new wave hits from the 80s worked over by the creme de la creme of les filles fragiles of today, why didn’t I think of that?! I’m sooo happy that Coeur de Pirate, Jeanne Cherhal, Olivia Ruiz and of course our guardian angel Coralie Clément are on board. CC’s version of Taxi Girl‘s Je suis déjà partie (video) is amazing.
I’ve posted about the 4th NV-album before. See tracklist here. Here you can find a zip with all the original versions.
Nouvelle Vague feat. Coralie Clément – Je suis déjà partie

Melody Gardot

I’m not exactly an admirer of those after-hours sound smoothies that are sold as ‚vocal jazz’ nowadays. Super-successful Melody Gardot, certainly not French, but a native of the Garden State New Jersey, doubtlessly belongs to that fraction as well, doing more smug’n’snug cuddle harmonies for them latte macchiato sippers who also can’t get enough of that dinner muzak zombification a.k.a. Till Brönner. But revisiting Gardot’s 2009 album My One and Only Thrill – now out as a new edition with bonus remixes –, I must admit that Melody’s self-written Les Etoiles has class, groove, and tendresse, and feels a bit like a missing link between Peggy Lee, Bud Shank’s cool jazz meets easy listening sauce and the nocturne bossa swing of Coralie Cléments Salle des pas perdus. Plus a charming vibraphone, too.

Melody Gardot – Les etoiles

Coralie Clément

This Friday just got a shot in the arm, FS-friends. Feast your ears on this, a duet between songwriting genius Jacques Duvall and the guardian angel of this blog, Coralie Clément. Listen (and/or download) HERE.

5 Years of Filles: Mr. A Balladeer & Mme. Flora Dolores

Five years ago, I started blogging about sweet sighing French chanteuses. What I’ve learned so far is that you can go to jail for that. That Google can delete your blog because you post mp3s of artists very few people have heard of. That almost all of those chanteuses are drop dead gorgeous, and if you meet them, they want you to kiss them. On the cheek. Several times. I’ve learned that fans of sweet sighing chanteuses live all over the world. Those fans send nice, appreciative emails. They help you build your blog. They send you fantastic music. They visit your dj-gigs with their mistresses. I’ve learned that blogging about French music costs money. That you forget about that the second Coralie, Carla, Camille or any of the girls opens her mouth. I’ve learned that there are labels and artists out there who love and understand blogs and bloggers.
And I have learned that if you ask nicely, artists are prepared to fulfill your wildest fantasy. They write and record Christmas-songs for you. Or, in the case of Mr A Balladeer and the ultra-charming Mme Flora Dolores, they will record a gorgeous duet, especially for you. And all the readers of your blog.
Joyeux anniversaire!

Mr. A Balladeer & Mme. Flora Dolores – 10 Things to Win You Over (10 façons de te rabaisser)

Credits: recorded and mixed by Arno Dreef. French translation by Natasha Cloutier and Marianne Dissard. Listen to the original version here. Cover made by Wilbert Leering.