Salomé, Ariane, Isabelle

Canadian label Audiogram decided to celebrate it’s 30th birthday by asking it’s roster to re-record their bestest song in an intimate setting. The result, a double album, is accompanied by black and white videos. We cherry picked our faves:

Isabelle Boulay

Les Grands Espaces, Isa Boulay’s new album, is produced by Benjamin Biolay.  He plays various instruments, most notably organ and trumpet on the Lee Hazlewood/Nancy Sinatra-cover Summer Wine. And yes, Biolay takes on the Hazlewood-role of the silver spurred cowboy who’s seduced by the ‘strawberries, cherries and an angel’s kiss in spring’. Biolay, singing in English. Not for the first time, but hopefully this is where it ends. I don’t mind Frenchies singing in English, but Ben sounds like a comedian. Try for yourself via this streaming service. The Bio-Boulay-duet aside (Isa’s team up with Dolly Parton is a quite allright), there are some great Americana-tinged tracks on Les Grands Espaces. Voulez-vous l’amour (written by Biolay) for instance, first single Fin octobre, debut novembre but the biscuit is taken by J-L Murat’s contribution, Amour aime aussi nous voir tomber. Slow, seductive, with gentle strings, twangy guitars and Isa’s burgundy voice, this says ‘autumn leaves’ like very few else.

Isabelle Boulay – Amour aime aussi nous voir tomber

Isabelle Boulay

No, Benjamin Biolay did not write Isabelle Boulay’s Fin Octobre, début Novembre, but he sure sat on the producers chair (see here and here). He produced Boulay’s new album (out Nov 8), this is the first single. Now, when it comes to Isa, there’s always some reservation. Yes, she’s absolutely gorgeous. Yes, she has a fine voice. But her songs border on bland, mainstream territory. Be that as it may, I  loved Chanson pour les mois d’hiver, I loved her duet with Julien Clerc, I can name more than a handful of other great songs by Isa. Fin Octobre, nothing wrong with that one either. Dutch biologist and writer Midas Dekkers wrote an ode to redheads, wonder if he knows Isabelle and what he thinks of her.

Isabelle Boulay – Fin Octobre, début Novembre