Hunger with Cantona

Sophie Hunger - SupermoonShe’s back on track again, Sophie Hunger, the attractive multi talented singer-songwriter and film composer from Zurich, Switzerland released a new album yesterday called Supermoon. Most of the tracks on the Deluxe Edition are sung in English. Six tracks are sung in German/Swiss though and two – and now we’re getting somewhere – are sung in French.
Hunger delivers an outstanding album, more rockier, more up-tempo than we were used to and more electronics are involved, but still unmistakably Sophie Hunger. Her soft voice blends superb in more rockier songs like ‘We are the Living’ (with a somewhat Histoire de Melody-esque intro) and is intimate and intoxicating in more quiet songs like ‘Die Ganze Welt’. Supermoon is produced by John Vanderslice, who also worked with Death Cab For Cutie and St. Vincent and especially the last is someone Hunger must have been listening to lately.

Now back to one of the two French tracks on the album: ‘La chanson d’Hélène’. Originally written by Philippe Sarde and Jean-Loup Dabadie for the 1970 movie Les choses de la vie (as you might have read here). Hunger recorded it en duet with… Eric Cantona. Say what?! Yes, Cantona, the legendary former French international football player, the man with the temper and nowadays actor is singing along with Hunger like he never did something else before. In the best Serge Gainsbourg tradition he murmurs the song to one of the best on this album, which is one heck of a compliment with so many other great tracks on the album.

So you might have read more on La chanson d’Hélène earlier here on Filles Sourires, but those tracks were down meanwhile. Because of the great Hunger/Cantona addition we re-up them on FS.

La Chanson d’Hélène:
Sophie Hunger & Eric Cantona
Berry & Daniel Darc
Dream Makers
Françoiz Breut
Get Well Soon
Jasmin Tabatabai
Marina Celeste
Romy Schneider & Michel Piccoli
Youn Sun Nah & Roland Brival

Best of the Best 2014 (part 2)

What a good year for the filles! ”But you can only pick one”, Guuz godfather of Filles Sourires told us. So here it is, not random chosen of course, but taken from the outstanding album Lunes by this beautiful freckled girl from Canada, Chloé Lacasse. A track that completely fulfilled its promise after the auspicious intro, just as the whole album does: Renverser la Vapeur.

Chloé Lacasse – Renverser la Vapeur

Year lists (1)

Fanny Bloom1. Fanny Bloom – Apprentie Guerrière
With this superb debut solo-album, Fanny Grosjean left the sometimes somewhat naïve songs of La Patère Rose far behind. Apprentie Guerrière is mature and diverse and never fails. Bloom shows with this album that she grew in all facets of her writing and luckily still has her delightful, hoarse voice on top of it.
Listen to ‘Mon Hiver‘ and feel everything a song needs. In only 1:40 minutes that is, simply brilliant.

2. Françoiz Breut – La Chirurgie Des Sentiments
Never a dull moment with Françoiz. With ‘La Chirurgie Des Sentiments’ she managed to surprise again within her very own and very special universe. And wherever she will take you in that weird universe, being with Françoiz somehow never feels uncomfortable. In contrary.

3. Celine Mastrorelli – Elle Était Une Fois
It took beauty of the year Celine Mastrorelli quite a while to come up with a full album. But it was worth the wait. Celine does it the way we like it most at FS. Check ‘Lost in Paris’ and you’ll understand why.

4. Mélanie Pain – Bye Bye Manchester
Too bad she did only half of the tracks on this album in French. In spite of that she easily made it into this years top 5 with her ukulele and Casio. Original songs, seductive singing, all the ingredients we already know from Nouvelle Vague, but she can do it on her own very well.

5. Mademoiselle Nineteen – idem
Fresh, quirky, contemporary and poppy, exactly what you might expect with a name like ‘Mademoiselle Nineteen’. Nevertheless reminiscents of earlier days (Lio! France Gall!) are never far away and in this case that’s a good thing. The Lolita-esque Belgian singer recorded the most cheerful album of the year without getting obligatory.

Wishing you all the best for the next year!

New album Berry coming up

The new Berry album ‘Les Passagers’ will be released on 23 april.
Above a video of one of her new tracks: ‘Si C’est La Vie’.

Fanny Bloom – Apprentie Guerrière

Fanny BloomBack in 2009, La Patère Rose recorded their highly recommended self-titled debut, followed by EP Waikiki in 2010. After that, singer Fanny Bloom (Fanny Grosjean) already announced the end of La Patère Rose and hereby initiated her solo career. A good choice according to her just released solo debut ‘Apprentie Guerrière’.
Fanny grew up. The sometimes somewhat naïve songs of La Patère Rose are replaced by catchy and cheesy synth-pop songs (single Parfait, Parfait) or cheerful Lio-esque tracks like ‘Tes bijoux’. A handful of piano-driven tracks shows her skills for serious melody-rich writing that comes to it’s peak with the stunningly beautiful and emotional ‘Mon Hiver’. A moving song – way too short though – with some weird voice effects in it. Bloom at her absolute best.
Apprentie Guerrière is a mature and diverse album that never fails and finishes with a very intimate title track. Bloom shows with this album that she grew in all facets of her writing, but luckily still has her delightful, hoarse voice on top of it. Some things are good as they are.
So without any doubt, there is this sentence again: Yearlist material people.

Fanny Bloom – Mon Hiver
La Patère Rose – Décapote (so we won’t forget)

Year lists (6)

1. Mélanie Laurent – Mélanie Laurent
She called her superb debut album ”The fulfillment of a childhood dream”. Well, her childhood dream tickled me from the start (Début) until the end (Fin). Together with Damien Rice she made a perfectly balanced mixed of classical chansons with a little hysteria, sweet duets, surprising arrangements and little hidden treasures of intimacy. All drenched in Mélanie’s seductive voice.

2. Coeur De Pirate – Blonde
Is there anything left to say about FS fav Béatrice Martin? How brilliant her second album is and how fantastic her concert was in Brussels earlier this month? Guuzbourg already did.
Nothing left to say. Béatrice is here to stay.

3. Brigitte – Et Vous, Tu M’aimes ?
Whenever top fashion designers Victor & Rolf team up with artists, there must be something special on them. Aurélie Maggiori et Sylvie Hoarau are two special ones. Their debut is filled with simple and catchy melodies, a little folky every now and then and at it’s best when both ladies sing together.
See Brigitte live at the Viktor & Rolf Runway Show in Paris

4. Charlotte Gainsbourg – Stage Whispers
Maybe it’s because of the sweet memory of her IRM-concert in Brussels last year, maybe it’s because I saw mommy live on stage again earlier this year, maybe it’s because there weren’t enough exciting new releases this year. Fact is that this ‘half live, half old with some new’ album can easily compete with all other FS worthy releases this year. Not only because her name is Charlotte Gainsbourg.

5. Salomé Leclerc – Sous Les Arbres
As mentioned earlier: The guitar-driven songs are the perfect field for her versatile voice to play on and simultaneously kidnap the listeners mind to drop it somewhere under the trees.

6. L. – Initiale
Award for ‘most intriguing album of the year’ goes to Raphaële Lannadère who’s calling herself L. A mysterious cocktail of the classical French chansons with Eastern and South European influences in mostly piano-driven songs that makes you hold your breath over 11 songs.

7. Les Bien-Aimés (OST)
Some things hardly can go wrong imho. Ludivine Sagnier, Chiara Mastroianni and Catherine Deneuve singing in a Paris’ studio is one of those things. For addicts that is. The best soundtrack of this year came along with a great movie.

8. Claire Denamur – Vagabonde
Hold your horses! Claire Denamur treated us with her second full album. Less sunny as her debut from 2009, ’cause Claire’s grown-up. Musically. And as her sweet and husky voice got layered with dark tones, so did her songs. If there wasn’t already something like ‘French americana country folk chansons’, Claire invented it with Vagabonde.

9. Ingrid St-Pierre – Ma Petite Mam’zelle De Chemin
Just another girl from Canada singing and playing the piano? That would be too easy. A refreshing and uncomplicated debut that deserves to finish my FS yearlist comes more close. Ingrid St-Pierre is one to keep a close watch on.

10. Allright, there is no number 10. This year did need a lot of time management and not every record got the attention it deserved, as from now on I have to file my music back home under another label too: children.
But hey, it can be worse when Vive la Fête is taking care of it.

Wishing you all the best for the next year!

Rain Dogs in the mist

Camille O'SullivanEarlier this year Tom Waits gave multi-instrumentalist David Coulter his permission to reinterpret his masterpiece Rain Dogs from 1985. Coulter, who worked with Waits on The Black Rider (1993) formed an outstanding band with singers such as Arthur H., Camille O’Sullivan, Stef Kamil Carlens, The Tiger Lillies, Erika Stucky and special guest Jane Birkin. Quite some reasons to go and see this extraordinary gig in Eindhoven yesterday. And after all, there’s simply no reason to not go and see Jane B. whenever she’s around. Unfortunately the show started late due to heavy fog as a result of which a lot of visitors arrived too late and so did some musicians. But as the show finally started, Jane Birkin was still stuck in foggy Rotterdam and unsure whether she would make it to Eindhoven, so announced the ringmaster. Fingers crossed, show starts.
First the beautiful Camille O’Sullivan came on stage with a raw and exiting performance. Seductive and mean she took us to ‘Singapore’ and Waits was immediately forgotten (sorry Tom). O’Sullivan was followed by The Tiger Lillies who probably shook Waits songs the most this evening with their pretentious interpretations of ‘Diamonds & Gold’ for instance. Kurt Weill wasn’t far away when they were on stage and that’s not always a good thing. Luckily Erika Stucky came to bring annoyment to the next level. In a positive way that is. The Swiss singer with her vocal tour de forces intrigued and made the show a bit less serious. Time to bring Stef Kamil Carlens, frontman of Belgium indie rock group Zita Swoon, on stage. He truely convinced with a couple of great songs like ‘Downtown Train’ and an outstanding version of ‘Blind Love’.
As the show continued with The Tiger Lillies again, I slowly started worrying whether Jane would show up in Eindhoven or not. Right then, miss O’Sullivan came on stage again and treated us with a marvelous and extreme tempting, hoarse version of ‘Hang Down Your Head’. The way we like it most over here at FS.
After that French singer Arthur H. could do his thing. The man with the raw voice that sometimes comes pretty much close to Tom Waits was bland and taking with his interpretations. A cool performer.
And then, finally, Birkin came on stage too. She defied and conquered the Dutch weather and was charming as ever as she started ‘Alice’, which is not a Rain Dogs track actually, but from Waits’ 2002 album, written for the play Alice. After that, she asked Arthur H. back on stage to do the last song on this very special Rain Dogs Revisited night: ‘Time’. This song turned into a very intimate and moving duet, worth ending the show with. And I still found no reason to not go and see Jane B. whenever she’s around.

Camille O’Sullivan – Hang Down Your Head
(London, 13-07-2011)
Erika Stucky – Union Square (London, 13-07-2011)
The Tiger Lillies – Diamonds and Gold (London, 13-07-2011)
Stef Kamil Carlens – Blind Love (London, 13-07-2011)
Jane Birkin – Alice (Eindhoven, 20-11-2011)
Arthur H. & Jane Birkin – Time (Eindhoven, 20-11-2011)

Salomé Leclerc’s debut: worth the wait

Salomé Leclerc - Sous Les ArbresIt took Salomé Leclerc almost four years to release her debut ‘Sous Les Arbres’. These years of writing, fine-tuning, re-arranging and rehearsing resulted in a very intimate, subtle and layered album that reveals its treasures slowly but surely. Together with Emily Loizeau (they met each other for the first time at ‘Les Rencontres d’Astaffort’) she managed to record a rudimentary album with lots of folk-influences that nonetheless doesn’t get on the nerves. A tour de force in itself, but she succeeded. The darkhaired beauty from Québec is blessed with a very versatile voice that is hoarse when needed (Dans la prairie), bright and strong (Partir Ensemble) and ominous and exciting (Volcan). The guitar-driven songs are the perfect field for her voice to play on and simultaneously kidnap the listeners mind to drop it somewhere under the trees.
Salomé Leclerc made an outstanding debut (but I still wonder why a stunningly beautiful song as ‘Est-il Cassé ?’ – see video below – isn’t on it).
Guuzbourg was right, yearlist-material people.

Salomé Leclerc – Tourne encore

Salomé Leclerc – Est-il Cassé ? (live at ‘Les Rencontres d’Astaffort’)

Allez Vanessa!

Vanessa Contenay-QuinonesNo extensive introduction on Vanessa Contenay-Quinones here at FS anymore. Regular visitors already know the cool seduction on high heels with the beautiful, sultry voice and misty eyes for a while now. Her 60’s influenced French popmusic was already around here a few times. Same goes for the music of her band Vanessa and the O’s (about to release a new album soon too, the site stated), but we never had a topic on her first band Espiritu, with whom she recorded two albums from 1993 to 1997. The best was then yet to come.
Inbetween 2008 and 2010 Vanessa recorded several tracks for her project called Allez Pop! Some of them ended up on compilation albums like Filles Fragiles 2 and Musique Fantastique, one track (Bon Bon Bon) even made it to the OST of the action-comedy Killers with Ashton Kutcher, Tom Selleck and Katherine Heigl. So it was about time to put all the recordings together and release Allez Pop! A superb idea. The tracks are seductive, fresh, quirky and tributary of course to Gainsbourg and Bardot, Dutronc and Hardy to name but a few. An unpretentious candy with attitude. Highly recommended.

And for those who might start thinking that Vanessa can’t do any wrong… just wait and see her with a bizarre performance as Vanessa St. James in collaboration with Lou Reed (!) on a weird kinda dance version of Velvet Undergrounds ‘Sunday Morning’. Not even a sin of her youth, as this Italian show (starts at 02.30) is from 2004. But some can’t do wrong, right?

Vanessa Contenay-Quinones – Odyssée
(see the video)