Chansons d’été (2): Julien Baer

Despite four excellent albums in the last fifteen years, Julien Baer remains one of the great unknown French artists. His self-titled 1997 debut, recorded in Paris, London, and Los Angeles, features lush, but never overstated arrangements, highly poetic imagery, and a poignant tenderness seldom heard in modern pop music. Similarly notable are Baer’s collaborators, among them producer Bertrand Burgalat, él Records legend and nouveau sunshine pop intellectual Louis Philippe, XTC’s Dave Gregory on guitar, plus guest star Hal Blaine, the undoubtedly most successful studio drummer & percussionist of all times, on the L.A. takes. On Juillet 66, the most outstanding song on an album full of astounding tunes, it’s Richie Thomas on drums, but the echo of the song is breathing Blaine’s spirit. He was there, having played on God Only Knows/ Wouldn’t It Be Nice, the magnificent Beach Boys 7″ released exactly the same month forty-six years ago now – so here’s summer like it’s never gonna be again.

Julien Baer – Juillet 66
Beach Boys – Wouldn’t It Be Nice
Louis Philippe – Do Not Blame It on the Summer