vrijdag 30 juni 2006

Ceci n'est pas une chanson d'amour

You might get the impression that Filles Sourires is a kind of cover-blog, like Liza's Copy, Right?, right? Truth is a love a good coverversion, and lately I'm bumping into really nice ones, that I just have to post here. Take Hektor for instance, a southern France-based band that turned itself into a Postal Service-like electro-pop-project, making and exchanging music via mail and internet. Hektor added the sexy-voiced Carine to their members (be sure to listen to Lololita on their MySpace-site), and after recognition from French rockmag Les Inrocks, they started to play live. They recorded a rocking French version of PIL's This Is Not A Lovesong, a new wave-classic that was also soflty redone by Nouvelle Vague.

Hektor - This Is Not A Lovesong
Nouvelle Vague - This Is Not A Lovesong
PIL - This Is Not A Lovesong

dinsdag 27 juni 2006


More than 25 years after its initial release (1980), Lio's monsterhit Le Banana Split is still as de rigueur among fans of simple but effective synthipop. Elke Brauweiler (pictured right), singer from German band Paula, is the last in a long line of people who covered the song. Her version is taken from a whole album of French covers, that will be released after summer. The first single also sports versions of Birkin's Ex-Fan de Sixties and Jeanette's Pourquoi Tu Vis.

The song was (co-)written by Jacques Duvall, nom de plume of Erik Verwilghen, who wrote a shitload of songs for people like Chamfort, Birkin, Marie France and Charline Rose. In this interview, Duvall/Verwilghen tells that he and co-writer Jay Alanski tried to get the song released for almost two years, until finally one label, without much faith, put it out. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Duvall did his own, jazzy version of the song as well. Most of the people who covered it, stayed close to the original. Kim'Kay (she of the toothachingly sweet Lilali and a whole string of bad Gainsbourg-covers), fellow Belgians Vive La Fête and former Miss World France Sandra Lou only enhanced the beat, orr added a little guitar. French band The Dude added a lot of guitars, their version reminds me of Plastic Bertand. Great to jump around to.

Lio - Le Banana Split
Lio - Marie Antoinette (English version)
Jacques Duvall - Le Banana Split
Kim'Kay - Le Banana Split
Sandra Lou - Le Banana Split
Vive La Fête - Le Banana Split
Elke Brauweiler - Le Banana Split
The Dude - Le Banana Split (merci Tom)

Ofcourse, YouTube offers the Lio-video (click)

maandag 26 juni 2006


"They litterally bewitch even the most apathic with a mixture of earth and air, textured atmospheres with a strong feminine touch; songwriting with African, reggae, and modern influences that blend together in a completely original manner." Is what a Montreal-based journalist wrote about DobaCaracol, a band formed around Doriane Fabreg and Carole Facal. Two Quebecoises who met at a rave, and decided to team up when they discovered they both shared a love for percussion-driven music. They made two albums, Soley came out in 2004. They sing in African dialects, French, English and a made-up language; Zap Mama , Manu Chao (Etrange has the same potential as Chao's Me Gustas Tu) and maybe even Dutch Eurovision-contestants Treble are among their musical peers. Solay's a sunny album, that at times smells a little too much like patchouli and henna for my taste. Recommended if like to walk barefoot through meadows. (Merci à Tom for sending me the mp3s)

DobaCaracol - Etrange
DobaCaracol - Fièvre

DobaCaracol @ YouTube

vrijdag 23 juni 2006


Happy Happy Joy Joy! Mr Mailman delivered the freshly released Ukuyeye today, the supercalifragilistically brilliant album by Marva Galanter. This former Miss France was born on Tahiti, and decided last year to work on an album that combined the sound of the Polynesian ukelele with pure uncut yeye-music. With a touch of electropop. Hence: ukuyeye.
Not only did she record an album (with help from, among others, Albin de la Simone and Jacques Ehrhart) with songs made famous by Jacqueline Taïeb, Serge Gainsbourg, Stella, Jacques Dutronc and Sheila, she also shot scopitones for six songs. If you're jumping up and down your chair right now, you're in the same mood I was when I heard about this album (via MySpace, ofcourse). The merveilleusest thing about Ukuyeye is that it may look campy on paper, it's executed with such enthusiasm and sense of style, it's génial. Listen, look and enjoy!

Mareva - 7 Heures du Matin
Mareva - L'Hôtesse d'Air
Mareva - Pourquoi Pas Moi


"Une joie voix sensuelle pour cette sirène des temps modernes", says this site about Lili. Along with her band she makes gentle, electonica-infused songs that are influenced by Fiona Apple, Björk, Anja Garbarek and Gainsbourg. She sang on the soundtrack to the movie Le Pharmacien de Garde and released one EP, Underwater, that doesn't include a stunning coverversion of Helicoptère. This song Serge wrote for Mireille Darc, and she did a great version, but I think Lili's is even better. Quite a feat, don't you think?

Lili - Helicoptère
Mireille Darc - Helicoptère

donderdag 22 juni 2006

RIP: Jacques Lanzmann

Yesterday (Wednesday) Jacques Lanzmann passed away at 79. The journalist and writer (and brother of director Claude Lanzmann) wrote the lyrics to famous Jacques Dutronc-songs like Les Cactus, Il Est Cinq Heures Paris S'Eveille and J'aime Les Filles. To commemorate the passing of a monsieur who had a gift to write both funny and very literate songs, here's a few examples of his legacy.

An Pierlé - Il Est Cinq Heures, Paris S'Eveille
Vanessa Paradis - Les Cactus
Jacques Dutronc - J'aime Les Filles


Chère Roxane,

you must think I'm mad, trying to contact you as desperately as I have the past week. You might feel like I'm actually putting a gun to your head, like on this picture from your MySpace-site. Let me assure you; I'm not mad. Okay, just a little.

The reason of my madness is not only your appearance, but your music as well. I think you out-charmed Camille when you covered her song 1,2,3 on the steps of the Louvre. Paris En Bouteille, the first song on your MySpace-player, warms places in my heart I never thought could be warmed. Your lyrics are on the weird side (at least, the lyrics I can understand), but also fairy-tale like, poetic, rich of emotion.
I look at your pictures, your videos, and I feel a bit sad. Serge should've seen you. He would've smirked like only he could, and wrote you some passionate songs filled with double-entendres. He would've loved you're only sixteen. He would've let you play the Lolita-card stronger than you are doing now.

Did you send some songs to Benjamin Biolay? Or Katerine? Burgalat, maybe? You're like a diamond in the rough, these guys know how to make you shine. I'm sure. I've heard the new Charlotte Gainsbourg-album, I'm confident you can make such a wonderful, plush album as well.
Would you do me one favour? Let me post Paris En Bouteille on my blog? Please?


UPDATE: Roxane responded! She was busy with her exams, that's why it took a few days. She writes: "I'm very touched by your messages. It's so sweet, and you are very funny sometimes ! I have seen your blog site and It was a big surprise for me to seeing my photo ! Thank you for all these compliments." She won't send me the mp3, though (*tears start to well*), but I can live with that. I think. Sigh.

UPDATE 2: Roxane K - Paris En Bouteille

woensdag 21 juni 2006


Italian bossajazz-master Nicola Conte was the guy who introduced vibes-player Pasquale Bardaro to singer Barbara De Domincis. The latter sang on Conte's debut-album Jet Sounds, Bardaro was formed by the European Youth Jazz Orchestra and Quartetto Moderna (who made an album under Conte's wings). In 2004, Barbara and Pasquale made one 12" for the very stylish Schema-label, that featured one French song, the bossa-tinged Ballade de Nuage. It's also on their 'cinematic downtempo'- debutalbum, that sports a funny version of jazz-standard Waltz for Debby. The Cabaret Noir-site is still working, but it's unclear if the duo is still together. Still, Ballade de Nuage is a perfect song for sultry summer nights.

Cabaret Noir - Ballade de Nuage

vrijdag 16 juni 2006

Emilie (3)

In case you haven't seen the video for Emilie Simon's Fleur de Saison, FS-fan ErosLane send me a handy link (quicktime), and wrote: "I discovered this and was hypnotized by both the song, and the phenominal visuals and art direction. It certainly was a pleasant surprise in my day. Hopefully you'll enjoy it as well!"

Video: Emilie Simon - Fleur de Saison
Audio:Emilie Simon - Fleur de Saison

donderdag 15 juni 2006


Dance, dance, dance to the radio, Ian Curtis once said. Isabelle of French electrorocktrio Prototypes twists that slogan to Danse sur la merde qui passe a la radio. Currently on tour in North-America (check their site for dates), Prototypes is referred to as Lio meets The Violent Femmes, which is pretty apt. Vive La Fête is a more current comparison, Isabelle's lyrics are just as childlike. Prototypes make glorious, fluorescent pop: can you stay seated when Danse Sur La Merde blares out of your speakers? The song is taken from first album Tout le monde cherche quelque chose a faire (on Minty Fresh), but a new album was released last January.

Prototypes - Danse Sur La Merde


Fuzzy guitars and a cello; if balanced, this could be a winning combination. Briton Emmanuelle Cadoret (née a Saint-Brieuc) knows how to keep things balanced - she started out as a circus artist. Apart from the circus, she performed self-penned songs with her sister Maud, but also formed a band. Her alt.rock-style is reminiscent of Francoiz Breut's (who's from Bretagne as well), her voice is easily compared to Françoise Hardy's.
In 2002 Emmanuelle released her first selfproduced album. Last year, Détachez vos ceintures came out, from which La Nuit, Le Chien is taken. Emmanuelle isn't a big name in France, but I certainly think with songs like this one, she ought to be. Hear more songs here.

Emmanuelle Cadoret - La Nuit, Le Chien

woensdag 14 juni 2006


Keeping up to date with what promises to be the Record of the Year (Charlotte Gainsbourg's new album 5:55, featuring collaborations with Air, Divine Comedy and Jarvis Cocker), here's Charlotte's MySpace-site, with a snippet from her new album. Which is nice.

dinsdag 13 juni 2006

Sandie, Karolina

Still surfing MySpace.com, and still bumping into great bands and artists. They differ, though. Take Sandie//Trash for instance, who calls herself a cross between Gainsbourg and Les Rita Mitsouko on acid. Judging from the pictures on her official site, her live-shows are as chaotic and intense like a Peaches-concert. Her music is sample-based and computer-generated, but without guitars, bass and drums you can still make a racket. Her coverversion of Jane Birkin's Jane B. is sexy in a twisted way.

Sandie//Trash - Jane B.
Jane Birkin - Jane B.

Czech band Miou Miou have a more gentle approach, but are not afraid to turn up their guitars as well. I love the supersweet voice of singer Karoline, perfect for their catchy, sunny popsongs. Influences: Deerhoof, Velvet Underground, Gainsbourg and France Gall. Stereolab is a reference that sprang to mind the easiest. Miou Miou started in 2003 and released an ep, a single and, last May, a full album called La La Grande Finale. I've ordered that one via their site, but I'm curious if I will ever receive it.

Miou Miou - A l'Été de la Saint-Martin '68

maandag 12 juni 2006

Filles Sourires 'Pour le Soleil Exactement' Mix

Inspired by Wouter's Lieve Franse Meisjes-mix (check!), here's the first Filles Sourires summer-mix, entitled Pour Le Soleil Exactement (for all songs have 'soleil' in the title. I chose tracks from the past and the present, and all female (apart from the first track). Note: it's one big file, 47 minutes long. Play it on the beach, in your roofgarden, in your cabriolet, whilst enjoying a fine bottle of vinho verde, etc.
(Mix is down again, will not repost)

Air - Le Soleil Est Près De Moi
Austine - Au Soleil
Brigitte Bardot - Le Soleil
Christine Delaroche - Fille Du Soleil
April March - Que Le Soleil Soit Maudit
Iva - Nue Sous Le Soleil
Antena - Toujours du Soleil
China - Soleil
Dalida - Soleil
Niagara - Soleil d'Hiver
Ilya - Soleil, Soleil
Air - Le Soleil Est Près De Moi (Buffalo Daugther rmx)

Filles Sourires' Pour Le Soleil Exactement Mix

Sous le Soleil Exactement

Here in AMS the sun is directly overhead; sweat's dripping into my keyboard. All reason to post a few (not all) versions of Anna Karina's famous Sous Le Soleil Exactement, from the movie Anna. First up, it not that original version, but a version she re-recorded with Katerine, taken from the tribute-album Lucien Forever (you guessed it, the song's written by Serge). Read more on Anna here.
Another Serge tribute-album was overseen by John Zorn, in his Great Jewish Music-series (well, it only consists of two albums), on which the song was covered by avant-garde violinist Eyvind Kang and singer Michelle Amar. Finally there's the version by Dutch diva Liesbeth List, who is a very big advocate of French music. She received high French honours for it, was friends with Jacques Brel (whom she covered in Dutch) and she also did a musical on Edith Piaf.

Anna Karina & Katerine - Sous le Soleil Exactement
Evyind Kang & Michelle Amar - Sous le Soleil Exactement
Liesbeth List - Sous le Soleil Exactement
Serge Gainsbourg - Sous le Soleil Exactement

(ps: dunno who's on the picture, just thought it was a nice illustration.)

donderdag 8 juni 2006


Their first album can drop any minute (see their official site), but for now you listen and download (at a very low bitrate) four tracks of Lady Palavas. This Montpellier quintet is one of the biggest discoveries I did surfing MySpace. The sexy voice of Caroline Febvre, their mix of disco, bossa and sixites-pop (they call it easy-pop themselves and refer to Brigitte Bardot, the Tricatel-label, Gainsbourg and The Style Council), the sunny atmosphere: there are no downsides! For the album Agent Secret they got help from Jean-Louis Polumbo of Rinôçerôse - you might know them from the song Cubicle, that is used in an iPod-commercial, or dancefloor-hits like Mes Vacances à Rio or Le Rock Summer. A compilation album with their 'guitaristic house' was released last month.

Lady Palavas - Cuisine Actuelle

dinsdag 6 juni 2006


I'm still scanning MySpace for unknown (well, to me anyway) filles sourires who deserve attention on this blog. Take Mallory Hays for instance, 23 years old, from Paris but living in Lyon right now. She already made two albums, and on her official site you can watch three clips. She says her heroes are Johnny Cash, Françoise Hardy, Keren Ann, Nick Drake, Billie Holliday and Gainsbourg. Her slighty naieve songs and her young, uncertain voice remind me a lot of Carla Bruni. I'm not saying she's as good, but with the right polishing of her raw talent, who knows.

Mallory Hays - Il Pleut Toujours.

Je suis revenu te dire

Thanks to FS-contribuants Speenhoff and Pascal I present you the missing versions of Je suis venu(e) te dire que je m'en vais, a search that started here.

I don't know anything about Harry O, only that his version is on the almost untraceable Lucien Forever tribute-cd. He made an almost comical version of the song, his voice thick with mock emotion.
Inna reggae stylee is Coumba Gawlo's version. This singer from Senegal made a name for herself outside Africa thanks to a coverversion of Miriam Makeba's Pata Pata (number one in France in 1998). She comes from a highly musical family of griots (West-African troubadours, so to speak), won several music prizes and recorded her album with the help of reggae-vets Sly and Robbie, and guitar-legend Michel-Yves Kochmann.
The Maurice Garrel-version is taken from the double-cd Portraits, that came out in 2000 and surely is the most unnecessary Gainsbourg-tribute ever released. Bambou, Serge's last female companion, oversaw the project and takes part: she reads Gainsbourg's lyrics. Just as actor Maurice Garrel does, and family friend Huguette Maillard, Guy Godefroy ad Sabeline Campo. That's right: no music, just 73 lyrics. The idea was to preserve the humour and the beautiful poetic language of the songs - at least, that's what I understand from the booklet. Although I love Serge's lyrics, I don't think his songs were poems, or should be read out like poems.

Harry O - Je suis venu te dire que je m'en vais
Coumba Gawlo - Je suis venue te dire que je m'en vais
Maurice Garrel - Je suis venu te dire que je m'en vais

donderdag 1 juni 2006

Voilà L'Été (9): Les Enfants Edited

FS-fan Sir Edward has a great guest-posting on his fave summer song:

It happens every now and then that you hear the greatest intro, the faintest sigh, the most irresistible melody, only to be overtaken by a bunch of musicians who – to put it friendly- had something else in mind with their ungoing song than you had in mind. It was my case with Barclay’s folkrock-band Les Enfants Terrible’s – also what is said to be the best novel by the hand of French author & cinéaste Jean Cocteau - on their 1978 Sur un fil blanc. In my fantasy this anonymous girl singing could be a very apt fille sourire, if only the song would have been taken to another level musiacalwise.

So I decided to re-edit the bunch, which slightly got out of hand. Basically it meant more girl and less boy. In detail approx. 1,5 min. (mainly intro, break and outro) of the original song were used, re-used and cut up, together with an intro of another of their songs, the last having to suffer severe time- stretching techniques to be extended to a Umiliani horror-burlesquette. The original thingie was a 3 min. sympho progfolk outfit, my version (not to much cleaned-up, to keep first-time excitation) turned out to be a 4 min. St. Tropez-Rimini love-drama.

It’s the soundtrack to my never existed french summer-song story. Peut-être?
Imagine my absolute astonishment when I find this picture on the web , while looking for an -imaginary- sleeve for my -not so imaginary anymore- remix. As if a higher force was involved.

Les Enfants Terribles - Sur Un Fil Blanc (Sir Edward re-edit)


Wish I had logged on to MySpace.com earlier: it's a real treasure trove for fans of FS-music. Take Peppermynt Peppermoon, like Dessous Chics (see below) a trio, who play acoustic, folky pop. They count Françoise Hardy, Magic Numbers, Belle & Sebastian and actress Milla Jovovich (who, unbeknownst to me, made an album called The Divine Comedy) as their influences. The lovely voice of 18-year old singer Iris takes me back to summer evenings when I was a little Guuzbourg, playing safely in the garden of my parents. It's real comforting.
Peppermynt has their first show on July 3rd, also the birthday of Iris, @ Café de la Danse in Paris (as support act to Yvon Chateigner). If you're there, kiss Iris on the cheeks three times for me, like we do en Pays-Bas.

NB: the band changed their name when they found out another band was called Peppermint, plus their myspace-site was hacked.

Peppermoon - Les Petits Miroirs

(also check out songwriter/keyboardist Pierre Fageolle's site)