zaterdag 15 oktober 2005


Eglantine is the singer (and bandleader) of Etyl, their debut album came out this summer and is an delicate, strings-and-electronica-infused affair that reminds me a little of Emilie Simon, although the theatrically trained Eglantine (gorgeous name) is sounds more mature. I don't know if Etyl is a big name in France, this website shows a nice video, but very little concerts. Still, En l'homme is a good song.

Hear Here.


Guest-selector Sir Edward Verward provided a great track by the very fit Elli Medeiros. Read Edward's nice story about her:
"Un tout petit baiser, au bord du decolleté" (from megahit A bailar calypso) can be included among the most catchy opening-phrases of French popmusic. As is the very ambiguous "prends un petite poisson, glisse le entre mes jambes, il n’y a pas de raison, pour se tirer la langue" (from Toi mon toît), a song regularly played out by fille-sourire french d-jane Clémentine.
Musical formation was due in punk band The Stinky Toys, splitting after two albums and recycling into infamous yé-yé pop-duo Elli & Jacno (rather call it yélectro). Together they wrote one of Lio’s first songs (Amoureux Solitaires) and collaborated on the original soundtrack of the Eric Rohmer’s movie Les nuits de la pleine lune. From this passiv-punk electro-coldness era together with dandy Jacno (remember Main à la main) until the more world-music influenced stuff she tango’ed through in the later parts of the eighties (Bom Bom in ‘87 for Barclay and a second Vanille in ‘89), her voice transformed from falsetto into very teasing and sensual.
Elli Medeiros has enforced strong respect, on one hand for her song-writing skills (it’s rare somebody embodies and keeps perfect balance between electronica and acoustica, between hysteria and tristesse, while smuggling in musical influences from Japan to Argentinia.), on the other hand for her exquisite use of French language, as the song posted, Marie, proves:

Coquille de roudoudou
Ton joli doux tout doux
Ma moue, mon boudou
Ouvre ta bodidou
Ne pense à midabou
Qoudou, mi dadou
Mon rikiki, mon tiz,
Au lit, mon bidi
Marie, mari, ami
Fais-mi, aussi...

Born in Uruguay, this fille de vanille tended in her later carreer towards the sounds of her motherland, with the song La Rubia (‘97) being a concluding piece and tribute to Montevideo. She went on to persue her other two main occupations, illustration and acting (Lulu,Jet Set), got romantically involved with Brian Da Palma, for whom she wrote a song and did costume-design for his film Femme Fatale. Currently she’s working on an new album together with Ettienne Daho’s équipe. Proceedings can be followed at the diary on her website.

Hear Here.

woensdag 12 oktober 2005


Raised at Paris Montmartre, sang on the subway and on the street, made a debutalbum all by herself and now signed by Naive: 26-year old Agnès Bihl, la bombe blonde. She's a very small, very blonde singer, at least, that's what I understand from the press-clippings on her site. Second album Merci Maman Merci Papa came out in August, and is a very sunny affair, bit traditional maybe, with funny lyrics - as you can hear on J'ai pas le temps d'avoir 30 ans.

Hear Here.


Oh joy: when I was playing records last Sunday afternoon at an Amsterdam café, I squeezed Coralie Clement's Samba de mon coeur qui bat in my set. One beautiful girl at a window table sang along (well, mouthed along) with the whole song. She did not look my way, maybe because her boyfriend was looking curious at her.
Coralie Clement (sister of Benjamin Biolay) is one of my favourite filles sourires - her uncertain, breathy voice tickles bodyparts I did not know could be tickled by a singing voice. She made two albums, the smokey-jazzy Salle Des Pas Perdus, and the more rocking Bye Bye Beauté. Both produced and almost totally written by Biolay. On BBB she gets songwritinghelp from Daniel Lorca of American rockband Nada Surf, who also duets with her. Both albums are great; Salle enforced my obsession with les filles sourires in a big way, but is maybe a little too smokey for some. BBB has a Calexico/desertrock-vibe that's also apparent on Biolays duet-album Home (with Chiara Mastroianni). Although I think girl from the north country Francoiz Breut excels in this French take on southern mariachi-influenced rock, Coralie's mischievous promises stir thoughts best shared in a low whisper.

From Salle des pas perdus: Mes fenêtres donnent sur la cour
Hear Here.

From Bye Bye Beauté: Indécise
Hear Here.

dinsdag 11 oktober 2005


And we're done - all mp3's (that aren't crossed out like this) are up again. No more YSI! Just right-click and save-as. Files will be available for a limited time.


So, finally Le Pop 3 arrived. More men (Mickey 3D, Vincent Delerm, Toma, Mathieu Boogaarts, a.o.) than filles sourires on this compilation. Just four: Francoiz Breut, Camille, Lhasa (with Jérôme Minière) and Frédérique Dastrevigne. This site says her first album hasn't been released, but the inclusion of Les Copines D'Abord on Le Pop 3 might suggest otherwise. Dastrevigne is the partner of Pascal Parisot, who was present on other Le Pop's as well. Les Copines is a sweet, joyful song with Jean-Jacques Perry-like electronics and the high, strong voice of Frédérique. I'm very curious about the rest of Dastrevigne's songs.

Hear Here.

maandag 10 oktober 2005

Jane (2)

I came across this site with awesome pictures of Jane Birkin, and thought it was time to post another song of the mother of all filles sourires. L'Acquoiboniste was written (ofcourse) by Serge. It's taken from the album Ex-Fan de Sixties. The title track of that album was covered by Stereo Total in a very jolly way, and is posted as well (2).

Hear Here 1; Hear Here 2.


Thanks to guest-selector Roar, I got to know Philippe Katerine, a musical and very versatile mastermind who's up there with Gainsbourg, Burgalat and Biolay. One of his greatest albums (well, according to Roar) is L'Education Anglaise, with vocal duties shared by Katerine's sister Anne, and girlfriend Bruno. Especially Anne, with her highpitched, delicate, uncertain voice is a treat. She's embedded in bossanova-tinged music, with phat seventies basslines. Lovely album. Katerine has an extended website, that also features his latest production. You can download a hilarious song of this album over @ Blowupdoll. Katerine has written songs and done production work for many artists (loads of filles sourires like Helena Noguerra, Anna Karina, Kahimi Kari) - where to begin?

Katerine featuring Anne - Un après midi à Paris
Here Here.

Katerine & Erin Moran - Parlez-vous Anglais, Mr. Katerine?
This is taken from Mes Mauvaises Fréquentations, it's a duet between Katerine and Erin Moran, better known as A Girl Called Eddy.
Hear Here.

vrijdag 7 oktober 2005

Vanessa, Hanayo

"Vanessa Paradis is just another reason for us to thank France. She has mystery and rebellion all bottled up in what looks like an innocent appearance -- but that's surely all a façade," says, and they're spot on. With the whole Kate Moss/drugs-situation, my thoughts wandered to Vanessa who, as you all know, is romantically involved with former Moss-beau Johnny Depp. They have kids, she models for Chanel. Paradis was once a party-girl, like Moss (Vanessa is two years older than Kate), but has settled down now. Without losing her 'mystery and rebellion'-air, I'd say. Kate Moss should've taken example.
Anyways, Vanessa has had a recording career that took off with the mega-hit Joe Le Taxi, that had her making an album under the wings of Lenny Kravitz and, yes, one written by Serge Gainsbourg. Off of that album, very Gainsbourgian titled Variations sur le même t'aime, comes Flagrant Delire.

Hear Here.

Joe le Taxi has been covered a few times, by Berlin-based Stereo Total (sung by a man), and by Japanese cult-star Hanayo. Her version became best known when 2 Many DJ's included it on their As Heard On Radio Soulwax-mixalbum. It's taken from her The Gift album, the nasty techno-beats were produced by Jurgen Paape. Dirty, but sweet.

Hear here.

donderdag 6 oktober 2005

Quick note

Update: I've re-linked most files that were down earlier. I'm still working on a solution. In any case, please do not direct-link to the song. Instead, use the time-code at the bottom of the posting.

woensdag 5 oktober 2005


Another guest-selector, my old copain Erwin, has chosen a great song by the lovely Gillian Hills from 1961, written by Charles Aznavour. Erwin has written a little story to accompany the track Jean Lou:

"Evening to night. Dark black a darker blue zebra electric lights. Bongo in the Cité.

Gillian, slave to the rythm and origin in one. Large screen, the Kit Kat bar in silent shadowplay. Her body still, hips moving, she's making a hand sign. Chequered paving and brick stone wall in head lights, it's starting to rain. Un whiskey s.v.p.

Rhythm entwined by her singing, her words end in tempo. She sports a tear in her voice, female ploys. A pastiche ancient cliché. Smokings and striptease. It's so thin it turns transparent: we see the members of the ensemble during the recording session, fatherly primal french, post-war optimists in shirt and spencer, smilingly aware of their joyful profession they nodd at each other during their play. Gillian, plain in blouse and ski pants, and head phones much too big. European rock guitar, infantile sounding to the American, so much deeper in spirit. Goes along with the saxophone, parquet flooring and panelled ceiling in a Paris midday sun.

On Jean Lou, chilly killer. Appears in the cellar via dark side steps, they smoke around him. Phantom, phenomenon, she is posessed, tad insane for his love. Like he cares. Jean Lou savage. She dwells in his rimboo.

He did her on a dead afternoon. Cold snow and she felt his scar, he vanished. Perhaps this evening...she smokes and she thinks, she has been drinking for the first time in ages. She is singing in a mist, lost her way. For certain he is outside pissing or something like that.

Jean Lou is little music made so untemperedly skillful, precisely by shamelessly applying only the stereotypes, liberated from further pretension to artistry. Hills' voice can do everything, convinces as the late teenager desired
by many, who yearns only for the cold indifferent player Jean Lou.

That nice mélange of plastic and feeling echoes in intensity the Broadway melody ballet scene from film classic Singin' in the Rain, where tables are turned; Gene Kelly is being sexually swaddled in by Cyd Charrisse. That
was in the States, Chevy Corvette and Harley Davidson. Jean Lou is Old Europe. Citroën Ami 6 and Vespa 150. Music made for the bourgeois, and brilliant. Merci, monsieur Aznavour.

Hear Here.


Actress, model, writer, presenter, singer - if you look and sound like Helena Noguerra, why not do it all? The younger sister of Lio (more on her later), born out of Belgian/Portugese-parents, has vocal chords that ooze sexiness and sweet promises. Her recording career started with a few singles (produced by Lio), then an album as part of Projet:Bikini (1998). Philippe Katerine and Bertrand Burgalat mastered over Azul, the first album under her own name. A lucious affair with hints of bossa nova, latin and sweet-coloured Gainsbourgian pop. Last year, Née dans la Nature was released, with Helana posing naked on the cover, and doing a very caliente coverversion of Kylie's Can't Get You Out of My Head. This site says she also wrote two novels, with stories about melancholy and love. If you're in awe as well, let's hear her sing.

Helena - M'en aller (from Azul)
Hear Here.

Helena & Jacques Duvall - Un Seul Larme (As Tears Go By-cover)
Hear Here.

Helena - Can't Get You Out of My Head (from Née dans la Nature)
Hear Here.

dinsdag 4 oktober 2005


Former actress and singer Marie Laforêt (real name: Maïtena Doumenach) took the stage again last month, after a 30 year break. She became famous thanks to movies like Plein Soleil (with Alain Delon) and La Fille Au Yeux D'Or - a title that became her nickname. In the movie St Tropez Blues, she also sang, and that kicked off a very succesful singing career. She recorded songs by The Rolling Stones (Paint it Black, translated as Marie-douceur, Marie-colère) and Bob Dylan (Blowin' in the Wind), and made over ten albums. She has a very distinct voice, with a folky vibrato, that can become a little too 'goaty', if you know what I mean. But that is not the case in this heartbreaking, puppy-love song Qu'est-ce qui fait pleurer les filles? from 1963.

Hear Here.

Elisa, Maria

Guest-selector Roar on Panne de Velours, a beautiful track by Elisa Point: "Sadly ignored, has done five or six albums I think. Does very long albums too, which makes them weaker as a whole, only every album contains an EP or two worth of very good material. So I buy them without regret. I also like the way she breathes when she sings."
Hear Here.

And finally, Roar on Maria Napoleon: "Once the wife of Momus, did an album with Jeremy Butler that appeared in the Reverie/If-series on Siesta. Though of course very different from Nicola Conte, Will Holland, Benjamin Biolay - an understatement - I consider Jeremy Butler one of the most radiant concept makers and realisers the last five or six years, just like I do for the others I mentioned. The song Viva La Muerte has me thinking about a fille sourire extraordinaire - singing to and playing with a toddler. Non-sensical. Cute. This song was done prior to the album recorded with Jeremy Butler."

Hear Here.

maandag 3 oktober 2005

Arielle, Dob, Kahimi Kari

Thanks to this blog, I got in touch with kindred spirits who adore les filles sourires as much as I do. Take Roar for instance, from Norway. He's send me a few songs of his favourite French-singing girls (but not necessarily born in France). Here's three of them, with annotations by Roar.

Arielle: Never hear anything about her and it's been a while since her last album, I think. Can't really recommend her albums since they are in my opinion varied (she's sometimes a bit introvert and experimental, I prefer it when she's ligh-hearted, which she isn't often enough - but when she is: oh la la...).

Hear Here.

Dob: A groovy Japanese project that released an album via Bungalow in the late 90s I think. It was quite good. By far the best song: Au revoir. Also appeared on a fab compilation on Elefant, along with Notre-Dame, Le Mans, etc.

Hear Here.

Kahimi Karie: can't count the hours I've spent on the internet looking for her cds and the many times I've cursed this part of the world for not having released more of her music. Minty Fresh did a fantastic compilation of some of her best songs, Elefant released a good EP, and Le Grand Magistery her Kkkkk album. Since I never wanted to spend a fortune (literally) on collecting her discography, that's all I have by her. Not enough. Other favourite Japanese acts are Metro on Elefant, Instant Cafe Records on S.H.A.D.O. for instance, and Frenesi on the now defunct Bambini - softer than pastel, cute as dimples.

Hear Here.

More songs selected by Roar later on. If you have songs to share, please email me (check profile).