donderdag 29 december 2005


When posting French soulcovers, for some reason I forget to include probably the best one: Claudine Longet's take on Ashford & Simpson's Ain't No Mountain High Enough. She translated the lyrics herself to French. The version most people know, by Diana Ross, sounds reassuring, bit motherly. Spiritual, instead of physical. Claudine adds the sexiness, the promise of frilly undies and stockings in her bag, when she crosses mountains and rivers on her high heels.
I might be wrong, but I think Ain't No Mountain is one of the two songs Claudine sang in French. The other is her duet with former husband Andy Williams, Let it Be Me, in which she sang one verse in French. That adds a little playfulness to the sugarcoated song - I always want to brush my teeth after I hear it. More on the bizarre life of Claudine Longet here.

Claudine Longet - Ain't No Mountain High Enough
Hear Here

Andy Williams & Claudine Longet - Let it Be Me
Hear Here

By the way, the duet between Andy and Claudine is the kick-off to a whole month of duets en francais. In January, I will post only guys and dolls singing, ranging from Serge & Jane to Louis Bertignac & Carla Bruni. Tips and requests are welcome in the comments.

Bonne Année!

woensdag 28 december 2005

Katy, Annie, Sophie, Agnès et Helena

Right before I go down to the deep south to play some rekkids to welcome 2006, I leave you with some soulful coverversions by various filles sourires - inspired by the brilliant soulcovers posted by Schlocker.

Some of the girls, like Helena Lemkovitch and Annie Philippe, have been featured before. Others, like Katy David, I know nothing about. And Agnès Loti and Sophie, I was just awaiting the right time to post a song of these ladies.

Like I said, it's all soulful covers. Katy David is doing a joyous version of the standard Call Me, easily translated to Plus Tard. Helena Lemkovitch, who covered songs from Francoise Hardy and Cyndi Lauper, is doing Ronnie Spectors signature song Be My Baby, translated to Reviens Vite et Oublie. In fact, that's a cover as well, because Sophie sang that one before Helena. From Sophie (her real name was Arlette, also a good stage name, mind you) you get her version of the Tom Jones-classic It's Not Unusual, in French that would be Je Ne Fais Pas D'Histoires.

From Agnès Loti you get C'est Toi Mon Idole, a French version of the first worldwide reggae-hit My Boy Lollipop by Millie. And there's the lovely Sophie Finally, Annie Philippe's version of the Supremes-hit Baby Love. The title was kept en francais.

Katy David - Plus Tard
Hear Here

Helena Lemkovitch - Reviens Vite et Oublie
Here Here

Sophie - Je Ne Fais Pas D'Histoires
Here Here

Agnès Loti - C'est Toi Mon Idole
Here Here

Annie Philippe - Baby Love
Here Here

dinsdag 27 december 2005

Ariane (4)

It looked like a sure shot, this album. For a good cause, with Canadian artists either doing their own songs or covers. Like Jef by Brel, of Je Bois by Boris Vian. And, the ultimate reason for buying it: Ariane Moffatt doing a Serge Gainsbourg-cover. Honestly, the album's not as good as I hoped it would be, most songs are bland, most covers are bad. But boy, Ariane does deliver. Fuir le bonheur de peur qu'il ne sauve is one of the most beautiful songs Serge ever wrote. I already posted the original version by Jane Birkin a few months back, but to compare the two, here it is again.

Ariane Moffatt - Fuir le bonheur
Hear Here

Jane Birkin - Fuir le bonheur
Hear Here

donderdag 22 december 2005

Another Julie

And finally, before I wish all y'all Joyeux Noël, here's a heartwarming duet between the lovelylovelylovely actress Julie Gayet and actor Julien Boisselier (who looks very French, eh?), taken from the Clara & Moi soundtrack. Most of that soundtrack was composed (and sung) by Benjamin Biolay, but this song was written by P. Blanchard and, yes, Bertrand Burgalat.

Julie Gayet & Julien Boisselier - Ma Rencontre
Hear Here.

Julie & Carla

To be honest, first album June by duo Mansfield.TYA (Julie and Carla) is a little too folky to me. And with references to bands like Silver Mount Zion, Cat Power and Cocorosie, I'll definitely steer clear. But they also shared the stage with Camille, Francoiz Breut and Emilie Simon. Which is nice. The bandname is taken from June Mansfield, amie d'Anais Nin and wife of Henry Miller - the TYA doesn't stand for anything. (They better change that to DSFA, then). Their music is moody, sometimes pretty weird, is sung both in French and English and has its tender, beautiful moments as well. That is, ofcourse, why Pour Oublier Je Dors is posted here.

Mansfield.TYA - Pour Oublier Je Dors
Hear Here


This site has the perfect descpription: "Friday Bridge is Ylva Lindberg from Stockholm, Sweden. Friday Bridge creates pretty sounds for having tea and biscuits to on a Sunday evening. She makes them using flutes, tambourines, bells, synthesizers and bird tweets. Sometimes Friday Bridge wishes she was Claudine Longet or maybe Sylvie Vartan. Sometimes she wishes for rain."
Don't you think this is Ylva too? Illustrations by Ylva can be found here. Merci à Joachim for sending me the mp3s.

Friday Bridge - It Girl
Hear Here

Friday Bridge - It Girl (Nikolas Makelberge remix)
Hear Here

woensdag 21 december 2005


Finding info about a band that call themselves C++ is no easy feat - when Googled, you get a lot of programming-sites. But hooray for the blogosphere, this blog was able to tell me some more about the French duo Charlotte and David (en direct they grow to a fourpiece), who released their debutalbum this fall. They operate in the same vein as The Lovers; electronica-infused and humour-driven. See this video-interview, for instance. The bio on their site says C++ lingers from krautrock to babypop - they tend to get a little experimental from time to time, listen for instance to Pas Cool. Posted here are more traditional, upbeat and sunny songs.

C++ - La Fille
Hear Here

C++ - Ton Ombre
Hear Here

maandag 19 december 2005


Among visiteurs who stop by Filles Sourires are dj's, producers and artists - the last months I received emails by Jaime of Souvenir, April March (yes!), Christopher Moll of The Postmarks, Grooveblaster and, yesterday, Thomas Deligny of Boutique Chic and Concorde Music-fame. The first EP on his own label (see me turn green of jealousy) is being released, and he send me a preview! All songs are thematically linked (about hairdressers), and with contributions of Minimatic, Georges Deligny, Le Grand David and his holyness Chris Joss, this is quite a first release. The music is chirpy, cheerful and very cinematic - it's like the producers watched a lot of old comedies (think Tati, or a Rock Hudson/Doris Day-flick) before they made their tracks.
I like the Minimatic song best - because of the lovely French female voice ofcourse. You can listen to the songs on Thomas' site, but here's a downloadable, 2-minute-snippet of Minimatics La Raie o Milieu.

Minimatic - La Raie O Mileu
Hear Here.

Ariane (3)

There, she said it: Amsterdam. In the song Montréal Ariane Moffatt mentions my hometown! Okay, the song is about returning to hér hometown, but still. Wow. Montréal is a sparkling synthi-reggae song on second cd Le Coeur Dans La Tête (ordered via, very quick delivery!), a very versatile album, ranging from piano-ballads (Imparfait) to gentle, electronica-kissed popsongs (Combustion Lente) to more rockier songs (Laboratoire Amoureux, the bonus track), although I could not find any grunge-influences, mentioned on her site. And I think that's a good thing, 'cause when embedded in those gentle electronic pops and crackles, her shy, husky voice is flourishing.

Ariane Moffatt - Imparfait
Hear Here

Ariane Moffatt - Montréal
Hear Here

Françoise (5)

Yesterday, I saw the movie Les Invasions Barbares (Oscar winner in 2004). I love movies with agitated French men, especially when they lash out the way Rémy (played by Rémy Gerard) does. The story is in the same vein as movies like Simon or Mar Adentro - a terminally ill man looks back upon his life, teaches and learns a few lessons. Rémy is rooted in the swinging sixties (very funny is the scene when he and his friends look back on all the -isms they hailed), and the movie has black-and-white images of Julie Christie (in bed) and Françoise Hardy (crossing the street). The last song in the film is L'Amitié by Hardy. Great way to spend a Sunday afternoon, really great song.

Françoise Hardy - L'Amitié
Hear Here.

Meanwhile, over at Quite Quite Fantastic

Roar, a well-respected guest-selector to my blog, has a great blog of his own, where he posts his mixtapes and of other people. I had the honour to be one of those 'other people'. Go check here.

Update: even more music selected (and even mixed - well, I gave it a try) by yours truly here. It's nearly 70 minutes of bossabeats and latinvibes, ranging from Elis Regina to Gerardo Frisina to Nicola Conte to Working Week to, yes, James Last. Made for this site.

vrijdag 16 december 2005


Guest-selector Joachim chose a really beautiful track by Flemish producer Daan, sung by actress Els Dottermans. Joachim on Jamais Neutral:

"The first time I heard this song was in the Belgian movie Meisje. I liked it alot but somehow forgot about it. Until I heard it on the radio - on that moment I was sure I knew that song all of my life. Wrong! Belgian artist Daan (of Dead Man Ray-fame)made this track in 2002. You can find it on the bonus-cd of Bridge Burner (2003) and now on the excellent cd Cinema (2006).
E-zine Ultra wrote: 'Once again I'm sure quite a few eighties electropop revivalists will be jealous of this catchy ànd classy single. Jamais Neutral is sophisticated lightweight pop-with-synthesizers which sounds as if Lio (or Vanessa Paradis or...) had been given a song by Gainsbourg and then produced by Telex. Quel craftsmanship! Incredible, too, how well Dottermans (one of Belgium's top acrtresses) performs.'"

Daan feat. Els Dotterman - Jamais Neutral
Hear Here

woensdag 14 december 2005

Filles Sourires Five

The end of 2005 is nigh, time to round up the bestest Filles Sourires-songs of the year. Here's my top five:

1. Guy Chambers & Sophie Hunter - Les Amants d'Edimbourg. Taken from the bestest French album of the year. With lyrics by Keren Ann, (co-)production by Chambers and sung by the beautiful Sophie Hunter, this album is not only a great labour of love for Chambers' daughter Isis, but a wonderful tribute to the Gainsbourgian heritage.
Hear Here.
2. Francoiz Breut - Boite de Nuit. The girl from the north county makes music that is perfect for a ride through Death Valley in a beat-up Citroen DS, with a cool, cigarette smoking dark-haired beauty at the wheel.
Hear Here.
3. Camille - Ta Douleur. The highly talented Camille only needs a bass, her voice and some production-tricks to make a great, innovative and mind-stimulating album.
Hear Here.
4. Clarika - Ne Me Demande Pas. French answer to PJ Harvey, only sexier.
Hear Here.
5. Daphné - Un Homme Sous Influence. Big symphonic sound, tiny voice, winning combination.
Hear Here.

Feel free to post your fave Filles Sourires-Five in the comments!

dinsdag 13 december 2005

All Hail the Queen

Jane Birkin is 60 59 today. Bonne anniversaire!

Jane Birkin - Baby Alone in Babylone
Hear Here

maandag 12 december 2005

Various States of Undress

What's so great about the song Deshabillez-moi, is the way a singer can interpret the lyrics. Posted here a four options. The tender, bit naughty way, like Juliette Gréco did in her original version (the song was written by Robert Nyel and Gaby Verlor). Then there's the cool but teasing way (care of a very in-control Helena), like she's lying on a desterted beach, but the boy is a little afraid to take off her bikinitop. Mylène Farmer chose the full frontal woman-in-heat-approach, accentuated by the explosions from the very late-eighties Fairlight-synthesizer. And finally the first Dutch entry on Filles Sourires, by Wende Snijders. I like her version best (so sorry about the very poor soundquality), she rearranged to song to an impatient tango. She's willing and able, but gosh, the guy is fumbling, nervous and tries to rush things. She taps her foot, shouts at him, grabs him by the, eh, you know. And that's not helping.

Juliette Gréco - Deshabillez-moi
Hear Here

Helena - Deshabillez-moi
Hear Here

Mylène Farmer - Deshabillez-moi
Hear Here

Wende Snijders - Deshabillez-moi
Hear Here

(merci à Bibi and Skunkeye)


Could be wrong, but I don't think that Aurore Reichert is 100% French - it's because the pronounciation of the first verse of Chysanthème (posted below) that I have my doubts. She has (to my ears) a little accent. Not that it matters, ofcourse, 'cause Aurore has a really nice, high voice and the songs of her band Alifair are pretty decent. Alifair released two albums (in 2002 and 2004), and because I cannot find much info about the band (apart from their site, ofcourse, but if you google them you'll see what I mean) I'm guessing that those two albums fell on a lot of deaf ears. I would not go as far as calling that a shame, because both albums are mediocre - the artists that are inspiring them (ranging from Emilie Simon to King Crimson, no less) are better. That said: Chysanthème is really pretty (I like the sound of the word Chrysanthème as well), and the wordplay in Mot's d'Elle works for me. Oh well, you be the judge:

Alifair - Chrysanthème
Hear Here

Alifair - Mot's d'Elle
Hear Here

zaterdag 10 december 2005


On Mylène Farmer, I like to quote "Granted, the first impression you get of Mylene can be quite frightening. She's like the poster girl for New Age artists with a psychosexual death obsession. The upside is that it's allowed her to appear completely naked in a number of her music videos." If you have a body like La Farmer, why not flaunt it, that's my motto. I remember the first (and probably only time) the video for Libertine (in which Farmer bathes nekkid) was shown on Dutch tv, on a sundayafternoon with the whole family watching from the chouch. We're talking pre-MTV here, kids, and clips with bare breasts caused quite a ruckus.
Honestly, I'm not a big fan of Mylène, I think most of her music is pompous and in some cases (when she gets 'inspired' by the likes of Poe and Baudelaire) just plain silly. She's done a few remixalbums that are both godawful, even with remixes done by big names like Felix the Housecat, Junkie XL and Paul Oakenfold. That said, there are a few songs I really like (f.i. Je te rends ton amour, the Lolita-pop of very first single Maman à Tort and her take on Juliette Greco's Deshabillez-moi) and I have certainly a lot of respect for the way she handles her business (8 albums, 5 million sold).
A new album came out this year, with the very candid first single called Fuck Them All. But that one you have to download yourself.

Mylène Farmer - Maman à Tort
Hear Here


Her site is off-line, and according to her fansite, she's been out of the limelight for over a year, but that doesn't mean Corsican hottie Alizée is forgotten. Thanks to Ochblog, here's a bunch of very candid pics of the girl who made Moi...Lolita one of the best known French songs in the world. The fansite also tells us a third album, with collaborations with Indochine-singer Sirkis and (again) Mylène Farmer should be on the way. Until then, watch the pictures (if you're into upskirt photo's), and/or listen to these great sucettes-style popsongs.

Alizée - Moi...Lolita
Hear Here

Alizée - A Quoi Rêve Une Jeune Fille
Hear Here


Pauline Croze's debut (released this year) almost slipped under my radar. Her folky rock and husky voice are a treat, her lyrics very intense. Le Monde called her, with her fragile frame, her bleak skin "et son visage timide perchée sur un cou gracile", very fit for a role in a film by Erich Rohmer. In this interview, she says: "Je préfère quelque chose d’intense même si cela ne doit pas durer longtemps à une relation tiède et durable" - in short: Pauline wants it all, or nothing at all. She's a fan of The Clash, Joe Jackson and Goran Bregovic, and in the biography on her site you can read that she's been in several bands and worked with fairly big names (Mickey 3D, Miossec), that her album was released on Valentine's Day and that she played on big festivals. Her album was re-released with extra tracks last month - dunno if that Olivia Newton-John & John Travolta-cover was on the first version, but that very slow, almost 9 minutes long version of You're the One that I Want is at first funny, but gradually it gets quite tearful (and loud) - she's wants him, but you're sure she's not gonna get him.
My favourite track of the album is Jeunesse Affamée, I like the way her voice builds and builds. Very melancolic lyrics as well.

Pauline Croze - Jeunesse Affamée
Hear Here

Pauline Croze - You're the One that I Want
Hear Here

zondag 4 december 2005


Mordi calls her the 'best French doll ever', and who am I to contradict? She recorded only ten songs (according to Ye-Ye Girls), and my favourite is Saperlipopette. I love the innocent, Les Sucettes-way she sings, that siren in the background, the cartoonesk music (add Bif, Bang and Pow yourself) and the childlike lyrics.

Clothilde - Saperlipopette
Hear Here


She sings about love and death, dressed in a flowery summerdress: "Attrape-moi ou je dormirai mille ans encore." Her voice can be commanding, tender and helplessly sad (and high-pitched) in one song. With just two guitars and a violin, she dominates the stage. You can see the fire in the her eyes, you can feel the melancholy in her voice. At least, that's what I'm imagining when I listen to Attrape-Moi by Valhère. Her biography says she was in a band, but decided to quit because she wasn't able to grow and evolve. Well, according to the songs on er live-debutalbum, that was a wise move. Those songs are very intense, like torch-songs, or flamenco. The album got some good reviews, you can listen to it (and download as well) from her site. Watch the videoclips too!

Valhère - Attrape-moi
Hear Here

vrijdag 2 december 2005


At the time, we did not know that music-wise, her heydays were over. But around 1985, Jo Lemaire was a frightful, but also very appealing singer. She was originally from La Wallonie, the French-speaking part of Belgium, but was involved with a Flemish-speaking countryman Fa Vanham, who lived near the Dutch border and who boasted that he wrote a new song every day. Together, they wrote two really good albums: Concorde, and Jo Lemaire. The appeal and frightfulness of Jo lay in her looks; as if Siouxsie Sioux was casted in a Godard-movie. It's been 20 years, so my memories aren't very accurate, but seeing her live that day on the famous Easter-popfestival in my hometown, was like seeing a paper doll step off the page. She sang her best-known songs, like the soulful Tentations, synthipoppy Parfum de Rêve and Je Suis Venue Te Dire Que Je M'En Vais, one of the most beautiful Serge-covers ever made. Serge needed a crying girl to emphasize the harshness of the song, Jo's icey-cool voice alone felt like a stiletto-heel into your heart.
After the mostly English album Stand Up (always a bad sign, when French singers go English, see Keren Ann's Not Going Anywhere), her star began to fade. She broke up with Fa, who later became a soundengineer in Maastricht, a Dutch town I used to live in (and still is the hometown of Mme. Guuzbourg). Nowadays Jo's a well-respected artist, who mostly sings classic French chansons and who celebrated being an artist for 25 years in 2004. But is more fondly remembered for sending shivers down my spine, back in the day.

Jo Lemaire - Je Suis Venue Te Dire Que Je M'En Vais
Hear Here

Jo Lemaire - Parfum de Rêve
Hear Here

donderdag 1 december 2005

Harley (5)

With a kind nod to Christine over @ Spikedcandy, here's two more Harley Davidson-covers. First up is the energetic version by British band Baby Birkin. Dunno if the band still exists, they're famous for their Gainsbourg and Birkin-covers and the fact that their producer was Russell Senior, he of Pulp-fame.
Then, from Spain, Les Très Bien Ensemble. Their version is also live, jus'like the one by Belle & Sebastian. It's an okay take on the song, nothing really special. But if you want the whole bunch (and you know you want to), then you have to hear it. The only version still missing Thanks to Ihateasparagus, here's the version by Monochrome Orchestra, taken from this compilation. And that one concludes the search for Harley-coverversions. Unless, ofcourse, I run into a really brilliant version.

Baby Birkin - Harley Davidson
Hear Here

Les Très Bien Ensemble - Harley Davidson
Hear Here

Monochrome Orchestra - Harley Davidson
Hear Here


Very, very curious what is said on this site: lots of visitors clicked on the link. Can anybody tell me what is written (in Hebrew) ?

Françoise (Cactus, that is)

There's more Harley Davidson-covers on the way, don't worry, but first a guest-selection by Joachim. If the combination leftfield electronica-honeyvoiced fille appeals to you, read on:

"Matthew Patterson Curry a.k.a. Safety Scissors emerged from a California clique containing friends Sutekh, Mark Farina and maiden ~scape-artist Kit Clayton and like many of his peers his dance music drifted to new places. With widescreen electronic pop music wearing its heart on its sleeve, the San Francisco based artist's second album proves that clever songwriting, frisky arrangements, and slanted dancefloor maneuvers will always trump formulaic thumping and shrill, chilly attitudes. From amnesia to French cooking to transatlantic affairs of the heart, Matthew Patterson Curry's lyrics sidestep cliché in favor of an awkward vulnerability, deliberate offrhymes and quotidian details. Find here the wonderful L’Amour D’Cuisine, sung by Stereo Total's Françoise Cactus."

Safety Scissors feat. Françoise Cactus - L'Amour d'Cuisine
Hear Here

woensdag 30 november 2005

Harley part 4

Merci à Filles Sourires-visiteur Frans for sending me two more mp3's with Harley Davidson-covers (find earlier posts here, here and here). Maybe I should change the name of my blog to Filles En Harley. But then I would not be able to post Belle & Sebastian's live-version (questionalbe quality) of the Serge-song. B&S are a very versatile indie-rockband, who also do James Brown-covers, and I have a version of Poupée de Cire by them as well.
Of better quality (okay, well, you decide) is Harley by Gina X. This German two-piece is best known by their electroclash-hit No G.D.M.Their version of Harley Davidson is in the vein of Serge's later disco-work, like Love on the Beat.
What do you think is the best version of the song so far, Brigitte and Serge excluded?

Belle & Sebastian - Harley Davidson (live)
Hear Here

Gina X - Harley Davidson
Hear Here


Radio Oh-la-la's Natasha keeps on delivering the good stuff. Care for some disco?

"Nanette Workman belongs to a special breed of Québécois artists, who as immigrants were willing to live in Québec and learn French rather than coast along as an English minority. Nanette may have started her singing and acting career in English in her native United States, but in the mid-1960s when Québécois culture was en vogue, Nanette was not only crowned Best Female Discovery of 1967 as a French-language artist, she had also become one of their own.

How does a rising young television star and Broadway singer from Mississippi end up in Montréal? First, she met Tony Roman (Anthony d'Ambrosio) in a New York City club, who offered her the chance to sing a rock version of Et Maintenant by Gilbert Bécaud. Nanette’s talent was more than obvious, but unfortunately, so was her broken French. Her accent was such an issue that Tony Roman had to create his own record company to record Nanette.

Nanette learned French and charmed audiences with her American accent, appearing often on television, in particular on the show Jeunesse d'aujourd'hui, a sort of Quebecois version of Soul Train. Her second single was called Peint en noir, a French version of The Rolling Stones’ Paint it Black. In 1968 she not only sang back-up on The Rolling Stones’ Honky Tonk Women, but also for John Lennon, Elton John and many other big stars, never mind parts in many movies that also involves extensive name dropping.

In Paris she sang with Johnny Halliday, touring several continents before returning to Québec in 1974. That year, she recorded many hits, including a French version of Lady Marmalade. Another hit that definitely shows off her voice is the 1978 version of Ce soir on danse from the rock opera Starmania, written by Québec-France dream team Luc Plamondon and Michel Berger. Of all the duets Nanette performed, one of the favourites remains Aimer d’amourwith Québec’s first-ever French-language funk artist, Boule Noire (Georges Thurston), who also learned French and made Québec his home."

Nanette Workman - Ce Soir On Danse
Hear Here

Nanette Workman - Lady Marmelade
Hear Here

Boule Noire & Nanette Workman - Aimer d'Amour
Hear Here

dinsdag 29 november 2005

Harley, plus en plus

And the Harley Davidson-covers just keep on a'coming - this here is a very radical version by bigbeat-godfather J Saul Kane, better known as Depth Charge. Don't know who the fille is who sings the song like she's high as a kite. But boy, do I love that phat seventies organ sound. And yes, the clicks and glitches are supposed to be in the song. It's taken from this album, thanks to monsieur La Rue again for the mp3.

Depth Charge - Harley Davidson
Hear Here


Natasha of Radio Oh-la-la-fame has written a nice story about "Belgian baby doll" Lio:

"In the 1960s when French teenybopper France Gall sang Les Sucettes supposedly about lollypops at age 19, she admitted being too naive to understand the true meaning of what she was singing. In the 1980s when Belgian baby doll Lio sang and danced around to Banana Split at age 17, she knew perfectly well what that ‘sudden avalanche of whipped cream’ was all about.

Although she has had more success as an actress, fashion designer and posing naked on all fours, Lio has always insisted on a singing career and managed to bring out quite few albums. Such a feat would not have been possible without the help of many a man, including maestro Marc Moulin of Telex fame who produced Banana Split and French singer Alain Chamfort, who helped her with an album entitled L’Amour Toujours, which, well, flopped. The fact that Lio’s long singing career is the result of sheer perseverance rather than talent is in itself quite remarkable.

Another one of her hits was Amoureux Solitaires, which sounds terribly happy if you don’t understand French. Luckily for the Anglo-Saxon world, Banana Split was adapted into English and renamed Marie Antoinette. Even the Belgian government deemed it appropriate to mention Lio alongside other, more famous Belgian singers such as Maurane and Axelle Red, although Lio gets the honourable mention of – and I quote – 'an impudent Portuguese immigrant'."

Lio - Amoureux Solitaires
Hear Here

Lio - Marie-Antoinette
Hear Here

Lio - Suite Sixteen
Hear Here

maandag 28 november 2005


And another guest-selection, courtesy of Andrian @ Sunny (Brooklyn). The only scrap of information I could find in English about her, is this: "Clementine was born in Paris in 1963, her family name is Mitz and she is the daughter of the founder of Orange Blue records, himself a famous collector of jazz records in France. She sings in French, English, Spanish and Portuguese." (My Spanish is even worse then my French, so maybe here's more biographical info.) Clé is a well-known jazz-singer in Japan, she recorded a bunch of albums that are very pricey if you want to buy them in Europe. She also did one track with lounge-meister Stephane Pompougnac. First track posted here is a remixed version of her cover of the famous Un Homme et Une Femme-filmtheme.

Clémentine - Un Homme et Une Femme
Hear Here

Stephane Pompougnac feat. Clémentine - Morenito
Hear Here

Helena (2)

Helena Noguerra reappears on Filles Sourires courtesy of the stylish and sophisticated monsieur Monte la Rue. He send me an mp3 of Ollano. Merci bien, Monte - I have the album, released one album in 1996 (cd came out two years later, with a different cover) only on vinyl. Ollano was the brainchild of Xavier Jamaux and Marc Collin - the first also did filmscores and produces Bang Bang, the latter is nowadays best known as the guy behind the Nouvelle Vague-project.
The album (no title) is a real gem, with a general jazzy atmosphere, including smokey basslines, soulful Hammond-organs and two singers, actress Sandra Nkake and Helena. She's the one who sings the track posted here. If someone has the Air-remix of Ollano's Latitudes on mp3 (I have that one also only on vinyl), be so kind to send me the file, so I can post it as well.
If you click on Marc Collin's website, please check the singers he used for Nouvelle Vague - it says that the first album of the beautiful Marina Celeste will be released next year in France. Yay!

Ollano - Partir Revenir
Hear Here

zondag 27 november 2005

Anahy/Les Calamités

Swiss teen-singer Anahy scored a minor hit with Jardin Secret in Germany, France and Switzerland, but the best song off of her fluffy debut-album (released last year) is the sunny and innocent Premier en Amour, a song like a guilty pleasure. Reminds me a lot of the young France Gall.

Anahy - Premier en Amour
Hear Here.

And thanks to Joachim, here's a song by French eighties-trio Les Calamités, a nouvelle-yeye-band (so to speak). Here is a very good website with lots of pictures and soundclips.

Les Calamités - Le Supermarché.
Hear Here.

zaterdag 26 november 2005


Clara is the singer of ...Anabase*, a five-piece band whose first EP is described as moody, melancholic and intimate. Think Portishead and Bashung, or maybe Emilie Simon is a better comparison. Clara's angelic voice is a little more mature then Emily's, but both fit very well in the gentle electronica-driven music. Expedition vers l'interieur was released last year, their site says a full-length album will be released next month. Keep you posted.

...Anabase* - La Piscine
Hear Here


Natasha, she of the wonderful Radio Oh-La-La, made her first guest-selection for my blog. Read her story about Dalida:

"Dalida was a performer with enough music, energy and glamour to fill three entire lifetimes. In her short lifespan of 54 years cut short by suicide, she dominated music charts worldwide for 30 of them, singing in no less than 11 languages and selling more than 125 million records around the globe. Miss Egypt in the 1950s, the most popular French artist of the 1960s, her face on a French stamp as recent as 2001, she has received so many honours that it is hard to keep up with her even after her death.

Singer, entertainer and actress, she was born Italian, raised in Egypt, and lived in France. She rolled her r’s, refused to wear much needed eye glasses, constantly changed styles, and followed musical trends from chanson to disco, adapting to the times while remaining true to herself. Her audience loved her then and a whole new generation of music lovers is falling for her today.

Some of the better party numbers from her enormous repertoire include sing along favourites Paroles, Paroles with French actor Alain Delon and the seven minute mini-saga Gigi L’Amoroso. Her best-known hit is most probably her first, Bambino, followed by others, such as Gondolier, Il venait d’avoir 18 ans, J’attendrai and hundreds more. Some people even claim that she was one of the first artists to expose Europeans to rai music. These days, many of Dalida’s hits are being remixed, including Arabic hits, such as Salma Ya Salma and Helwa Ya Baladi.

One of the most tragic parts of her life is having driven three men to suicide. Once, she performed a song written by a young unknown Italian songwriter at the San Remo music festival ironically entitled Ciao Amore. Ironically, because after having lost the contest, the songwriter was so angry, drunk and full of pills that he first yelled at the jury and later committed suicide. This was even more tragic as Dalida had announced her marriage to him just before the festival.

Dalida has been elevated to the status of cult figure in dozens of countries, including Germany, Canada and Vietnam. Her tomb at the Montmartre cemetery in Paris is probably the most original one there, featuring a life-size statue of her. Not too far away from the Montmartre castle she lived in overlooking Paris a statue of her was erected in Square Dalida.

Dalida’s success and sorrow is nothing short of a real-life Italian opera. Her appearance has all the trappings of kitsch, but in her case, nothing could have been any more real. Her personality coloured all of her music and turned it into something authentic that cannot be ignored, like a big bright summer sun. Dalida may have been the heroine of a modern-day saga on stage and in her private life, but she is still known today as the Maria Callas of the French stage."

Dalida - J'Attendrai
Hear Here

Dalida - Gigi L'Amoroso
Hear Here

woensdag 23 november 2005

Patricia en Harley

Va va vroooom some more: thanks to Jaime of Souvenir (Patricia is their lead singer) here's their version of Harley Davidson. Props to the trainspotters who recognise the sample-source of the motor-sounds and the sitar.

Souvenir - Harley Davidson
Hear Here

dinsdag 22 november 2005


Marion Benoist is one-half of The Lovers, a French/Basque duo that live in England, got a song written for them especially by Jarvis Cocker and that, according to their stage-act and songs, don't take it all too seriously. Their music reminds me of early Tricatel-Betrand Burgalat-playfulness. It's sexy too, in a oh-la-la-way. Three influences they pick out particularly for The Lovers are Peter Sellers, Jacques Tati and French writer and song writer Boris Vian. A remix-album is on its way, featuring mixes by Fat Truckers, Mark Brydon of Moloko and Richard H. Kirk of Cabaret Voltaire. Hmm. So much for playfulness. Anyways, posted here are a funny duet between Marion and Fred de Fred, plus a slow, melancholy-infused song by Marion solo.

The Lovers - Fleur Bleue
Hear Here

The Lovers - Ne Worry Pas
Hear Here

maandag 21 november 2005

Francoise (4)

Thank you Grooveblaster for sending me this, a heavy spaghetti-westernfunkremix of Francoise Hardy's Si Mi Caballero.

Here's the original, taken from La Question:
Hear Here.

Austine (2) & Charline

Today Mr. Mailman brought Austine's EP La Tendresse, and I'm playing it for the umpteenth time right now. Merde, this is magnifique. It's a lost classic- I never heard from her before; this EP is from 2001, released on a label that doesn't seem to exist anymore. Such a delicate voice, great atmosphere in the detail-rich music, excellent songs. Thé discovery of 2005 for me.

Also really good: Charline Rose. Her debutalbum was recently released. One could say she's the Belgian counterpart of Carla Bruni - sophisticated and sweaty. Or maybe Francoiz Breut is a better comparison - like Breut, Charline played with the Calexico-boys (check French interview). Her bio says she acted in movies like The Doors and Rocky V. Well, not according to imdb, but maybe she was billed under a different name. Or she was a non-speaking extra - shame, 'cause there's nothing wrong with her voice.

Austine - Culinarium Confiteor
Hear Here

Charline Rose - Par Amour
Hear Here

vrijdag 18 november 2005

Plus de Brigitte

Blame it on me looking too much at all these pics. Hotdammit, what a sex kitten she was back in the days. Those eyes. Those thighs. Those lips. Hmmmmm... Anyways, here's (count 'em) six versions of Harley Davidson. First up is the most famous one by Brigitte. Very pop-art, very tough-but-sensual, very Serge. So his version is next, recorded during his comebacktour in the eighties, inna reggae-stylee. Then the smokey Anita Lane, whose cover (translated by Mick Harvey, if you're into Serge Gainsbourg, you must own his two fantastic albums with brilliant covers) is in the same vein as the original.
I noticed that Filles Sourires attracts visitors from Japan. Konnichiwa. There are quite a few Japanese artists who covered Serge, for instance Kenzo Saeki, who recorded a very funny (to my ears) album with Serge-songs, under the wonderful title Camembert & Sushi. His jazzy version of Harley Davidson is up next. Then Naho's. Don't who she is, but love her electro-yeye-rendition (taken from Gainsbourg Made in Japan). Finally it's Kazuko Hohki, best known as part of the crazy Frank Chickens. Her version is inna electro-country-latinstyle.

Brigitte Bardot - Harley Davidson
Hear Here.
Serge Gainsbourg - Harley Davidson
Hear Here.
Anita Lane & Mick Harvey - Harley Davidson
Hear Here.
Kenzo Saeki - Harley Davidson
Hear Here.
Naho - Harley Davidson
Hear Here.
Kazuko Hohki - Harley Davidson
Hear Here.

Do you know of more Harley-coverversions?

donderdag 17 november 2005

Gaëlle et Brigitte

If you would meet a nice looking girl that sounds exactly like a young Brigitte Bardot, you wouldn't waste any time enlisting her in your band, right? That is exactly what the guys of La Position du Tireur Couché did when they met Gaëlle Le Cozannet. This summer their official debut-album came out, Acapulco, a sunny affair with sixties- and seventies-references, for instance one song is called Steve Austin. Summer music to make winter evenings seem less cold. The bandname by the way is taken from a book about a sniper by Jean-Patrick Manchette.
Posted here are the title track and the teasy duet Je m'en Lasse.

To compare the voices of Gaëlle and Bardot, also posted here is La Fille de Paille, by Brigitte. Plus, this is a very nice pic of Brigitte that I wanted to post for quite some time.

La Position du Tireur Couché - Acapulco
Hear Here

La Position du Tireur Couché - Je m'en Lasse
Hear Here

Brigitte Bardot - La Fille de Paille
Hear Here


"Une voix fragile accompagnée d'une guitare ou d'une orchestration sophistiquée mais toujours juste, qui démontre une volonté de s'éloigner d'une 'tradition chanson française'." Count me in! This blurb (taken from here) is a very apt description of Austine, who made an EP in 2001. Great voice, sexy atmosphere. A full album never saw the light, but she sings a sensual duet with French singer Hugo on his recently released (and recommendable) second album. I love the break, with Austine whispering.
Anyone who knows more about Austine,or has a good picture, please let me know!

Hugo & Austine - Fouille-toi:
Hear Here

woensdag 16 november 2005

Françoise (3)

One of the mysteries concerning les filles sourires (apart from: 'Why was there never a follow-up to Dorval's beautiful debut-album' or 'If Coralie Clément is really the sister of Benjamin Biolay, what is her, and his, real name?') is: whatever happened to Tuca, the female Brazilian guitarplayer that made Françoise Hardy's album La Question (from 1971) such a masterpiece?

As Dutch/American vj Adam Curry once said, there are no secrets, just information you don't have. On this great blog, the mystery is revealed: Tuca died in 1977, because of losing too much weight too fast. How sad. To celebrate the magnifique musique that she and Hardy made, here's two songs from La Question. Doigts and the title-track.

Francoise Hardy - Doigts
Hear Here

Francoise Hardy - La Question
Hear Here

dinsdag 15 november 2005

Carole Laure

Another guest-selector, the distinguished gentleman Monte La Rue, came up with a beautiful gem. Read his story about Carole Laure:

"No discussion about French Canadian singer and movie star Carole Laure is complete without bringing up the subject of ex-pornstar and songwriter par excellence Lewis Furey. Meeting up in the mid-seventies in Quebec, enstrangled in a complex Gainsbourg/Birkin-like relationship, they continued making albums together for the next 20 years. But it is their first album Alibis(1979) which leaves the deepest impression. Furey's fake Berlin 1920's tango & waltz pieces(remember Lou Reed-Berlin) are drenched in drama and blood and Laure's erotic poetry-like voice provides the perfect backdrop for a decor full of nostalgia and heartache. Think The Nightporter (movie with Dirk Bogarde/Charlotte Rampling) and you are getting close. The songs consist of the French versions of Furey's first three solo albums (Lewis Furey/The Humours of/The Sky Is Falling) and are a collection of flawless 'campy' masterpieces. Laure and Furey have since moved to France, still perform together and have made many albums, but the scars left by Alibis will forever haunt their careers."

Carole Laure - Tout Le Monde Dit
Hear Here


I promised Modcentric over @ Mod-ified to post Patricia's French cover of sixties-classic Nights in White Satin by Moody Blues. I love the 'plop'-sound of the bass, and the melancholy (bordering on crying) in the voice of Patricia.
There's very little background info on Patricia (this little), so anyone who can tell more about her, please do so in the comments!

Patricia - Mes Rêves de Satin
Hear Here

maandag 14 november 2005

Soeurs Winchester

They were probably not sisters, the two Anglo-Japanese singers of British band Lucky 15; after making a split-single with Katerine, the musical mastermind persuaded Lisa and Yoshiko in 1997 to make an easy-listening album with experienced jazz musicians, completely sung in French. That album (very hard to find nowadays) was called Les Soeurs Winchester chantent Katerine, and isn't quite easy to listen to. Take the slightly bonkers saxophone and effects used in Bon Chic, Bon Genre ). Or the lyrics to Les Problèmes . In this interview, Philippe says he was inspired to do the project because of the movie Les Petites Marguerites. Never saw it - anyone who did? Howzit?
(Thank you, Roar, for the LSW-mp3's!)

Les Soeurs Winchester - Bon Chic, Bon Genre
Hear Here

Les Soeurs Winchester - Les Problèmes
Hear Here


In the mood for some cheese? Spanish duo Baccara (Mayte & Maria) were discovered on the isle of Fuerteventura, where they were entertaining tourists. Germans Rolf Soja & Frank Dostal wrote big European hits for the duo, like Sorry I'm a Lady and Yes Sir, I Can Boogie. In 1978 they represented Luxembourg at the Eurovision Songcontest with the song posted here, Parlez-vous Francais?

Baccara - Parlez-vous Francais?
Hear Here.

Axelle (2)

Axelle Red, my favourite Belgian redhead, has a new single out, J'ai Fait un Rêve/I Had a Dream, no doubt inspired by Martin Luther King's speech with that name. Here you can find the lyrics in French and English. Don't you think some of the text also applies to what is happening in the French banlieus right now?
Posted here is the 'Alf & Alex Gopher'-remix of J'ai Fait un Rêve. Seven minutes of soulful bliss.

Axelle Red - J'ai Fait un Rêve
Here Hear