October 11th marks the 50th anniversary of Edith Piaf’s death. A few days ago, a bunch of great French singers paid tribute to La Mome in New York. Anyone’s who seen the movie La Vie en Rose or read about Edith, knows about her ties to the big apple. See an introduction to that show here. Below, a few performances by Elodie Frégé, Olivia Ruiz and Coeur de Pirate on that tribute night:

La Grande Sophie, Olivia Ruiz

Two filles that have been featured here before, Sophie and Olivia. The latter is a regular on FS, yet it’s been several months that we talked about the blackhaired beauty (here). As said before,  a LOT of tributes were released this year, for Jacno, Brassens, Serge Gainsbourg, Boby Lapointe and Alain Bashung. Now, there’s one for Gilbert Bécaud. Not many girls aboard, alas, but our Olivia delivers a very strong track. Original version here.

Ne m’oublie pas, sings (La Grande) Sophie, a welcome reminder. Sophie once sang like a police siren, but she toned down, added more air and this first single of a new album sounds maybe a tad too youthful, but it works. And the message is clear.

La Grande Sophie – Ne m’oublie pas
Olivia Ruiz – Les tantes Jeanne

The Raw and the Smooth

Buck 65’s Talkin’ Honky Blues was nothing less than a revelation in 2003: There was rap again, whitebread hip-hop even, thrown in a centrifuge together with folk flavour, reverbs of Cash-ified country and Salinger echoes of adolescent blues, refined with a hoarse, rusty voice that certainly didn’t come straight outta Compton, but out of Mt. Uniacke, some distant hicktown in Nova Scotia, Can. Rich Terfry/ Buck 65 was already a vet way back then, now celebrating 20 Odd Years with his aptly titled new record. Actually, it feels like a perfected roundup of his earlier efforts, a panopticon of sounds oscillating with a sleepwalker’s certainty between the raw and the smooth, the sharp strangehold of Zombie Delight, the sparse, solemn intensity of She Said Yes, or Stop, a duet pop gem with Canadian singer Hannah Georgas sounding like having been written by the new President of the Blondie fan club. Unquestionably a superior contender for album of 2011, 20 Odd Years also features two French language tunes – Final Approach, an amiable collaboration with Quebecoise chanteuse Marie-Pierre Arthur, and Tears of Your Heart, a gorgeous alliance with Parisian associate Olivia Ruiz: This is the nouveau western.

Buck 65 w/ Marie-Pierre Arthur – Final Approach

Buck 65 w/ Olivia Ruiz – Tears of Your Heart


Guestpost! Mordi on Emmanuelle Seigners sister.

It’s always mentioned that Marie-Amélie is the sister of actress and singer Emmanuelle Seigner, but with this this new album, Marie-Amélie has the right to be known on her own as an independent artist. A follow up to her mostly lacklustre first album Merci pour les fleurs, Dans un vertige leaps out of the speakers with the first track On se regardait. Her vocals are filled with feeling as the song builds and the drums kick in and result in a nostalgic heartfelt track that just begs to be put on repeat listening. From here on in the album just grows with instantly catchy melodies. She even manages to use children singing without making me want to throw up in my mouth on the excellent La vie ca pique ! As well us the upbeat songs she slows things down a few times such as with the title track where you get the chance to get swept up in the depth and beauty of the emotion in her voice. Her playfulness at times reminds me of Marie Espinosa and occasionally there were shades of Olivia Ruiz. The upbeat songs are more successful than the softer tracks – but most of it all it feels like she has broken out as an artist with her own identity and sound. There’s lots to enjoy here!
And if I had to compare this to Emmauelle Seigners last album – I would say this wins (just!)

Marie-Amélie – La vie ca pique

Nouvelle Vague + Adrienne Pauly

The upcoming album from Nouvelle Vague promises to be brilliant, Marc, Olivier et les filles take on French 80s hits. The tracklist was published here before, now it’s time for the first single. Adrienne Pauly, she of the provocative hit Je veux un mec, sexes up Les Rita Mitsouko’s indestructible Marcia Baila. A song that was covered many times, not always in the right way. Even craterface Ricky Martin recorded a version, that’s not as bad as one would expect. See a French interview with Marc Collin and Adrienne about the new Nouvelle Vague project here.

Nouvelle Vague feat. Adrienne Pauly – Marcia Baila
Les Rita Mitsouko – Marcia Baila
Maria Gasolina – Marcia Baila
RIcky Martin – Marcia Baila
Olivia Ruiz – Marcia Baila

Olivia Ruiz

Fairly new video from the gorgeous Olivia Ruiz, a single taken from her Miss Météores album, that now has a live-companion (cd and dvd) as well. It doesn’t differ that much from her earlier live effort, she turned up the volume a notch though. And instead of covering Monroe’s My heart belongs to daddy, she now does Diamonds are a girl’s best friend. To give you an idea, here are the live versions of J’traine des pieds, from Chocolat Show and Miss Météores live.

Olivia Ruiz – J’traine des pieds (from Chocolat Show)
Olivia Ruiz – J’traine des pieds (from Miss Météores live)