Best of the Best (part 5): Mina Tindle

Regular guestposter Mark Sullivan picks an exceptional track by Mina Tindle
Mina Tindle’s new album ‘Parades’ hides within it a dance track which must be among the best of 2014 in any language. At Mina’s one appearance in Britain, in London in November, ‘The Curse’ was unknown to most of us the audience until it suddenly began, rather different from her classic style. We stood mesmerized by this unnamed tour de force, with its great instrumental middle part. When Mina (Pauline de Lassus) signed my CD afterwards, I asked her what this extraordinary track was, and she wrote the name for me.

‘The Curse’ is about the idea of rebuilding a relationship (‘Let’s go back to where it felt right’) but then deciding not to (‘And you won’t be around, It won’t hurt so bad’), with the title taken from one line, ‘Magic or curse, I don’t regret’. As a dance track, it deserves a wide audience.

‘The Curse’ is the key song in Mina Tindle’s elegant ‘Green Lagoon’ filmed session, preceded by ‘Pas les saisons’, the much-admired ‘I command’, and ‘Ā Seville’. (Four of the tracks on ‘Parades’ are in English, eight in French.)
‘The Curse’ starts with a run-in at 15m55s. Or watch the song by itself here. Steffen Charron, her bass guitarist, who plays in the film, told me that they were amazed at the perfect location, a restored sand quarry turned nature park just 60 km south of Paris.

A well-filmed performance by Mina of ‘The Curse’ at this July’s FNAC Paris concert is here. It starts at 3m25s after ‘Pas les saisons’. The full set at Paris (40 minutes) is also on YouTube. She does 8 songs: Bells; Ā Seville; Lovely day; Madonne; Too many small things; I command (at 21m35s); Pas les saisons; The Curse (30m56s to 36m00s)

For the background to ‘Parades’ see Mina’s website page. ‘Le Figaro’ now calls her ‘la plus anglophone des chanteuses françaises’.
As if to prove it, here she is singing Bruce Springsteen’s ‘I’m on fire’ in Paris last month

Two interviews in English from 2012 (here) and 2014 (here) tell us more about Mina’s background and career. And she is in person charm itself.

Mina Tindle, Maia Vidal

Paris-born Pauline de Lassus (credit-spotters: yes, she sings back-up on The National’s Boxer-album) performs under the stage name Mina Tindle. She’s of Spanish heritage, lived in the USA for a while and was part of the bands Toy Fight and The Lime (couldn’t find a link). Last year, her first EP was released and we (yours truly and co-FS-conspirator FransS) saw her perform in Bruxelles, as a support-act to Coeur de Pirate. Highly charming, I even got my EP signed by the beautiful singer afterwards. Her debut-album is out now, and it’s a gem. Two songs in French (see her duet with JP Nataf), one in Spanish, the rest in English. She covered a Caetano Veloso-song in the past, and in some songs you can hear Tropicalia-influences. She loves Dylan and Cohen and Nico, and here I saw her described as a Sufjanienne, for arranging her songs with all kinds of (acoustic) instruments, a nod to Sufjan Stevens of course. Wish she sang more in French, but this is a keeper. Here she duets with Orouni.

Same goes for American singer Maia Vidal, whose first album was released last year (sorry, should’ve posted about her earlier). Read her biography on Wikipedia here. And do try her Rancid-coverband Your Kid Sister here. Like Mina Tindle, Maia sings in various languages, mostly English but also in Spanish and in French. On Le Tango de la Femme Abandonnée, Marc Ribot plays guitar. You can listen to various songs on Soundcloud.

Mina Tindle – Demain
Maia Vidal – Le tango de la femme abandonnée

Mina Tindle

Mina Tindle (her real name is Pauline) is a French folkster who doesn’t sing with a heavy accent (just a charming one) and makes very pretty songs. Feist, Nina Simone, Fleet Foxes, Alela Diane, those are her favourites. She self-released an EP, that contains one French song. Love her high-pitched voice, and I wish she’d sing some more in the language of love. Mina’s supporting Coeur de Pirate in December in Belgium and France. See the video for her single To Carry Many Small Things here. See her do a Bob Dylan cover here. Go here to download a Caetano Veloso cover.

Mina Tindle – Plein nord (demo)

In other news: listen to the stream of the upcoming Christmasalbum by Michel Legrand + guests here. The songs with Coeur de Pirate, Renan Luce and Emilie Simon are up. Carla Bruni, Iggy Pop and Olivia Ruiz will no doubt follow