Covers Deluxe: Hush

This is not a Ritchie Blackmore tune. Hush was written by Joe South for Billy Joe Royal in 1967, and only the following year Deep Purple recorded the song that became quite a huge hit in the US. Gallic cover king Johnny Hallyday recorded a quite lame French version a few months later, while Montréal-based yé-yé chanteuse Jenny Rock transformed the harmless psych/ bluespop song with the pushy organ into a sexy rollercoaster ride, fast, breathless, and highly energetic – a nice example that some songs simply work better with female vocals. No surprise that Jenny, born Jeannine de Bellefeuille, had opened for the Rolling Stones in Montréal on 4/23/65. If legend is true, Keith threw Mick a pitiful look before telling him: „Dude, eat your heart out.“

Billy Joe Royal – Hush
Deep Purple – Hush

Johnny Hallyday – Mal
Jenny Rock – Mal

Extra: Beginning with bébé pop tunes like Fume ta cigarette in 1963, Jenny Rock later did dozens of French language adaptations of US hits, among them the rousing Seul (cover of The Shirelles’ Boys) with an almost Janis Joplin-like performance at the song’s end and the cute Au Go Go (cover of Cool Jerk by The Capitols).

Jenny Rock – Fume ta cigarette
Jenny Rock – Seul
Jenny Rock – Au Go Go

Salomé Leclerc

As regular visitors of this blog know, Canada (Quebec) has A LOT to offer when it comes to gorgeous, very talented female singers. Coeur de Pirate, Marie Pierre Arthur, Catherine Major, Fanny Grosjean (of La Patere Rose, she will release a soloalbum!), Amylie, this list could go on for a while. And now there’s Salomé LeClerc. FS-contributor Maks was already infatuated by her (see here), I can assure you that you will be too. I’ve listened to a few tracks on her album (out September 6), it’s yearlist-material people. You must admit that first single Partir Ensemble looks and sounds very, very promising. More to come.

Salomé Leclerc – Partir ensembe

Marième Ndiaye

Yet another brand new Gainsbourg-cover, France Gall’s Laisse tomber les filles is re-vamped by Canadian singer Marième Ndiaye. Who has Senegalese roots and is called the ‘black pearl’ of Quebec hiphopband CEA (who used a big part of Initials BB for a song). Her solo-debut sports hiphop-, soul- and some African-influences. Laisse tomber les filles isn’t the only cover, there’s a version of Françoise Hardy’s Tous les garçons et les filles, and Mitsou’s Dis mois dis mois. Jean-Pierre Ferland, writer of Le chat du café des artistes (covered by Charlotte Gainsbourg on her last album), turns up for a duet. Old meets new, meets urban styles, and blends in quite easily. I’m not saying Marième is breaking new grounds, but she has a pleasant voice, looks great and her music is sunny. That’s how we like it here at FS HQ, when the rain pours down. Summer’s what you make it.

Marième – Laisse tomber les filles
(see video)


Guestpost! Natasha on Canadian duo Otarie: ‘They are like leather pants: sensual, supple, smelly and sexy.’

Although they’ve played big festivals like Francofolies and keep gigging in all kinds of local places in their native Montréal, Québec duo Otarie (a reference to a baby seal, or ‘bébé phoque’ in French) has been around since 2006. They are still considered part of the alternative scene not for their simplistic sound, but because of their lyrics, which are explicitly fun with a hint of gay bitchiness, especially when they slam local has-beens, all in quality Québécois slang.

Canine Sutto, the guy (Janine Sutto was an actress, think gay stage name) and Gaétane Montana, the lovely red head, say they’re just friends and share the same taste in dirty lyrics. They mix all kinds of styles (and different positions) and use words you’ll have to Google like ‘plotte’ (‘muff’), ‘poche’ (‘scrotum’), ‘graine’ (‘dick’) and ‘foune’ (‘ass’).

The puns fly very low in songs like ‘Kuni Kuni’ and ‘Au Camp Trois Pinis’, titles that don’t need translation and ‘Spourrer’, a loving song about ‘spooning and screwing’. Students love Otarie’s in your face-ness and just like jerking off, other people either like it too or just lie about it.

If you like it fast:  Otarie – Horny
If you like it slow: Otarie – Dans mon lit

Caroline d’Été

Representing Granby (Quebec), Caroline d’Été won several chanson-contests before recording her debut-album (there was this EP also). Her lyrics are very poetic, her singing style is reminiscent of slammeurs like Luciole, though I wouldn’t call Caroline a slammeuse. To me, her music is very bass-driven, her voice floats on upright basslines, with added piano, drums and fx. There’s a triphop influence, I’m sure. I can understand why she supported Coeur de Pirate – though CdE sounds a tad more mature then CdP,  yet her voice has a smaller range. I wonder if CdE’s song Ton Morceau is about the time she worked in a Montreal record store.

Caroline d’Été – Faire avec

Titties & Ski

The first half of the 70s saw a virtual shitload of soft sex comedies. While the wave of the enormously successful German Schulmädchen Reports gushed over Europe, French-Canadian filmmakers also tried to cash in on the phenomenon. 1971’s Après-Ski (a.k.a. Snowballin’ – The Exciting New Indoor-Outdoor Sport!) was among those movies, and while the funk-scored hardcore of Deep Throat was still a year away, Ski director Roger Carling jazzed up his story with some legendary grooves as well. For more than three decades, the rare Ski soundtrack was regarded as the Québécois Holy Grail of Funk; for the complete story of the record, see here. Now re-released by Les Disques Pluton, it maybe doesn’t fully live up to its myth, but comes with some remarkably fat, fusion-like moments by Canadian band Illustration, plus a solemn chanson by actress Mariette Lévesque (see right) – une adorable femme de neige.

Illustration – Le Grand Marc

Mariette Lévesque – Dors avec moi