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!

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